Talk:Microsoft Windows

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 Definition The name of several families of closed source software operating systems, first released by Microsoft in 1985. [d] [e]

MS-DOS based?

In the textbox the OS type is listed as "MS-DOS based." This isn't entirely accurate. If you're talking about Windows 1.0 through Windows ME, then yes it is MS-DOS based. However, Windows Vista is based on Windows NT, which was a complete rewrite from scratch. Windows Vista is more accurately Windows NT based, and to truly be accurate, Windows NT (whose development was headed by Dave Cutler from DEC) was based on VMS.

I'll change the textbox to say Windows NT... the long term fix would be to have an article devoted to the MS-DOS based Windows versions. --Eric M Gearhart 12:35, 7 April 2007 (CDT)


Could we please just re-write this article from scratch? I'm getting really sick of these articles imported from Wikipedia. I believe we should scrap what we have no entirely and re-write it to conform to the Citizendium standards. --Joshua David Williams 13:07, 7 April 2007 (CDT)

Josh: lol let's go then. We can improve on what's there right now, rather than blanking it. Enough changes and additions need to be made that it won't fall under "Content is from Wikipedia" anyway --Eric M Gearhart 13:10, 7 April 2007 (CDT)
Heh. You beat me to the first edit :P How about I take the introduction and you work on the sub-sections so our work doesn't conflict? --Joshua David Williams 13:17, 7 April 2007 (CDT)
Yes that sounds fine. I was already working on the Windows/286 subsection anyway. There's a LOT that can be said on this article.... --Eric M Gearhart 13:25, 7 April 2007 (CDT)
But then again, there's a lot to be said about every article lol ;) --Joshua David Williams 13:26, 7 April 2007 (CDT)


Does anyone have a copy of "Showstopper! The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft"? It's a great book that describes the development of Windows NT and how Cutler and a couple of folks were hired away from DEC. If no on has it I'll order it from Amazon... it's a good book that I'll read again anyway --Eric M Gearhart 12:15, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

I can't say that I've ever heard of it. --Joshua David Williams 12:21, 14 May 2007 (CDT)
Well a huge chunk of a "Windows NT development" section could be cited off that book :-) --Eric M Gearhart 16:18, 14 May 2007 (CDT)
Somewhere here, I have "Windows NT (internals)". I wonder, though, how much emphasis should be placed on the older versions, relevant to the history as they are (as is MS-DOS, Xerox Star), and more on more common variants: XP, Windows Server, the V word and Windows 7, etc.
I had been thinking about writing on internals and system administration. Let me explain my perpective for that: I've been a developer for router and other networking devices/instruments, and have done a reasonable amount of internals in mainframe, real-time, and *NUX operating systems. As of late, I'm finding it a practical necessity to start learning "essential internals", so I am no longer following rote sysadmin recovery tasks, but understand, for example, what is wrong with my Registry and how to fix it. At the moment, indeed, I'm recovering from catastrophic Registry damage having applied XP/SP3 to an HP/Compaq machine that, I learned after the fact, didn't support SP3.
In this process, I keep getting told "run this tool", but I have been burned enough that I try not to run a tool for which I don't understand the principles of operation. My current approach, which I should do in the next few days, is to do a clean install of XP SP2 on an additional hard drive. HP's restore really requires the existing boot drive be disconnected while this happens. I am now trying to research the permutations and principles if I have a new C boot drive, and then reconnect an old C boot drive. So far, I've gotten several different theories.
My hope, with respect to CZ, is to get contributors from knowledgeable Windows folk, including third-vendors. The criteria would include:
  • If you have unique technology, explain it, especially in compare-and-contrast with core Microsoft.
  • Marketing speak is not acceptable. Technical and logical explanations of what your tool, or a little-known MS tool, actually does is just fine.
  • There's nothing wrong with articles on classes of errors, and the planning of recovery
  • MS or appropriate people could be invited to write on new products, again with the no-salespeak requirement. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:19, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
There is a short, critical summary of the design in Eric S Raymond's book The Art of Unix Programming. That book is available freely here: , and the summary specifically here: . Johan A. Förberg 16:46, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Historical things

Things I recall hearing. I no longer recall sources and am not sure of accuracy. Some of my circle are passionately anti-MS; I doubt they'd fabricate stories, but would not be surprised at bias or exaggeration.

  • Microsoft had the contract to develop OS/2 for IBM. That was late, but meanwhile MS were building Windows to run atop DOS. IBM sued over theft of "intellectual property" and breach of contract. I do not know how that came out.
  • At one point, Apple wanted to sue MS for "stealing" the Mac's mouse-and-windows interface. They dropped the idea after Xerox offered to testify.
  • MS got large chunks of the VMS team from DEC, used them to build NT.
  • The NT file system is essentially a copy of Berkeley's fast file system for Unix.
  • After 98, Bill Gates said there would be no more systems in that series. After he stepped down, Steve Balmer authorised ME.

To the extent they are accurate, these should be in the article. If they're not accurate, they should probably be debunked in the article.

These seem like very important points for the article. I say we add them if we can find the appropriate references.Johan A. Förberg 10:00, 8 August 2010 (UTC)