The Mainframe Behind Microsoft’s Modern OS, Windows NT turns 20

The first 32 bit version flavor of Windows, Microsoft Windows NT completed 20 years of its glorious existence last Saturday. Why does it matter? Well, for one thing because all the OS(s) that Microsoft has built since including Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Azure and even the game console Xbox One are technically part of the same family as they support 32 bit computing.

Windows NT

From the kit for workstations and servers to powering the portable touch devices, the NT –New Technology version augmented and went on to become the grand success that it is today.

Leaving Windows 3.1 and the era of 16-bit computing behind, Windows NT wasn’t just an evolution, but in the right sense of the word a revolution. It was the first OS by the software giant to support 32-bit cores and enable super secure NTFS file type system.

Interestingly, though Microsoft doesn’t sell or provide support for the official Windows NT, all the operating system that came out since has been numbered right up NT’s last version 4.0. For instance, Windows Phone 8 is numbered 6.2 and the impending Windows 8 has been provided the version number 6.3.

Moving ahead of the curve, the original version of Windows NT didn’t pass with flying colors at marketing and customer satisfaction. The transition of moving from 16 bit to 32 bit resulted in confusion and witnessing plentiful Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). But again, it was more of a visionary inkling and withheld forthcoming future prospects. The OS is also credited for simplifying Windows Server utilities for introducing GUI to it.

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Susannah Lindsay quit her job a few years back to settle down in a life of domesticity. She has been living in Los Angeles for the last three years, and enjoys following new gadget releases and the latest happenings on the technological front.


  1. Farmers (Mansfield)

    What ? NT 4 wasn’t the last version of NT – although it may have been the last to actually carry the ‘NT’ name. NT 5 was eagerly awaited as its release approached, but MS chose to name it Windows 2000 just before launch. After that, NT 5.1 was released under the name of Windows XP. The current version, NT 6.2, is better known to the public as Windows 8. MS may have chosen to bury the NT name now, but that’s what we’ve all been running since Windows XP.

  2. Manish Kumar Singh

    I was also pinpointing to the nomenclature. As explained in the next lines, only the name NT was clipped, otherwise, every computing OS Microsoft has released since is part of the same NT family.

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