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Posted · Original PosterOP

What's the difference between Windows 9x and NT, which is what Windows releases are based on today? How does this affect user experience and hardware performance?

One more thing, Windows 2000 and ME both came out in 2000, but Windows 2000 used NT, whereas ME used 9x? What is the main difference hardware wise?

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Aren't 9x and NT kernels, so the they are the parts that interface with hardware and control the time sharing of programs on the CPU. I'm actually writing a basic one for Uni at the moment. Kernels also manage all mapped memory for devices.

 

For further reading, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel_(operating_system)

 

Also Linus covers it briefly in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mINZ-YFO88c

 

NT is likely able to support the newer standards such as UEFI bios's as opposed to the legacy VGA standard.

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Windows 8.1 is NT 6.3 effectively. From memory 2000 = 5, XP = 5.1, Server 2003 = 5.2, Vista = 6, 7 = 6.1, 8 = 6.2??.

 

The main reason ME sucked is because it used the 9x kernel when everyone was demanding something better.


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What's the difference between Windows 9x and NT, which is what Windows releases are based on today? How does this affect user experience and hardware performance?

One more thing, Windows 2000 and ME both came out in 2000, but Windows 2000 used NT, whereas ME used 9x? What is the main difference hardware wise?

That is the Kernel that the OS is based off of. Windows 9x is legacy, and is 100% outdated. No modern version of Windows is based off of 9x, and hasn't been since Windows ME back in 1999/2000.

 

Windows NT is a complete overhaul/re-write of Windows. All current versions of Windows are based on it. It's superior in literally every single way compared to 9x. Most current hardware probably doesn't even support Windows 9x anymore.

 

Windows 8.1 is NT 6.3 effectively. From memory 2000 = 5, XP = 5.1, Server 2003 = 5.2, Vista = 6, 7 = 6.1, 8 = 6.2??.

 

The main reason ME sucked is because it used the 9x kernel when everyone was demanding something better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_NT#Releases

 

Please check this out, it lists the various NT releases. You're correct, 6.3 is Windows 8.1. Windows 10 is effectively NT 6.4, but they're calling it NT 10 now.


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Windows 9x still maintained backward compatability with older software. NT was marketed as a server OS and had no compatibility with Dos programs. Microsoft had to wait till most business no longer used Dos programs. The public forgets but business NEVER forget. Apple marketed the Apple 3 as a business pc.  They had inadequate cooling so the chips would work loose from the main board. Apple actually told businesses to hold the thing one foot off the desk or floor and drop it to re-seat the chips. Sort time later IBM came out with the PC and businesses never trusted Apple again. After seeing that Microsoft was carefull to keep businesses with a huge investment in WP 5.1 and Lotus 123 happy happy happy.

Also when Windows 95 came out most games where still written for Dos since the game could access hardware directly. Thats why some really awesome games could be played on chips that took several clock cycles for one instruction.

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Every OS since Windows 2000 has been running on the NT kernel. Windows 2000 is not Windows Me.


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What's the difference between Windows 9x and NT, which is what Windows releases are based on today? How does this affect user experience and hardware performance?

One more thing, Windows 2000 and ME both came out in 2000, but Windows 2000 used NT, whereas ME used 9x? What is the main difference hardware wise?

To try and put it simply:

"Windows 9x" and "Windows NT" refers to the core architectural design of Windows it runs on.

Windows 9x (Windows 95, 98 and Me) core is MS-DOS. It needs, and does, install MS-DOS first and Windows overlay itself over it.

Windows NT (Windows NT 3 (there was no NT 1 or 2), NT4.x, Windows 2000 and XP), core design allows the removal of MS-DOS, and allowing the upper layers of the Windows Operating System have more direct control of the hardware. Meaning that the MS-DOS layer is gone, and well.. I won't say Windows NT took it's place, as Windows NT by itself isn't an MS-DOS replacement, but rather the whole thing works completely differently. Heck, the command prompt in Windows is not MS-DOS, not Windows NT direct access command line, it is emulator of the old MS-DOS. It is best to see, in my opinion, that Windows NT core part is more embedded in the upper layer, while before it was more of a Windows GUI running on top of MS-DOS, and as you do things, it was executing MS-DOS commands, kinda like platform (although Windows 1 to 3.x was really more like that, Windows 95/98/Me was more entrenched in MS-DOS)

Windows NT allowed new features such as accounts as well, something that was not really possible to have, back with Windows 9x days, as MS-DOS only supported 1 user account only. Windows 95/98 added an account like system, but this was more visuals. The walls between accounts (if you want to call it that) where very week. Heck, you could close the user name/password dialog and login that way. Windows NT accounts were solid. It entire structure of Windows NT core was designed for security and and business world environment of tomorrow (1993's tomorrow, was 1997/2000, when businesses switch to computerized world, and Internet was critical for a business environment, and not just a fancy calculator, and luxury tool for accelerating and reduce error in some department, such as financial/accounting department of a company, and data logging for large companies (complete with old James Bond villain style rotating large tapes machines on the back)

Windows NT allowed greater performance to be possible with the hardware and most importantly security.

Notice I forgot to mention Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10. They are technically part of Windows NT, and are mentioned as so, but since Vista, the core of the OS was drastically modified. It still maintained many aspects of design of Windows NT architecture, but large part were recoded. This has caused Vista development take 6 years, and still not quite ready on released. But it did the the solid ground works for Windows 7, 8, and now/soon Windows 10.

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