Windows 9x

9xMicrosoft Windows 9xWindows 95/98Windows 95/98/ME95/98/ME9x familyVMM32.VXDWin9xWindows 95Windows 95 and 98
Windows 9x is a generic term referring to a series of Microsoft Windows computer operating systems produced from 1995 to 2000, which were based on the Windows 95 kernel and its underlying foundation of MS-DOS, both of which were updated in subsequent versions.wikipedia
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Microsoft Windows

WindowsPCWin
Windows 9x is a generic term referring to a series of Microsoft Windows computer operating systems produced from 1995 to 2000, which were based on the Windows 95 kernel and its underlying foundation of MS-DOS, both of which were updated in subsequent versions.
Defunct Windows families include Windows 9x, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

Windows 98

98Windows 98 Second Edition98 SE
This includes all versions of Windows 95 and Windows 98.
Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems.

Windows ME

ME8.0Millennium
Windows ME is sometimes included.
Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows ME (marketed with the pronunciation of the pronoun "me" and codenamed Millennium) is a graphical operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems.

Windows NT

NTMicrosoft Windows NTWinNT
Windows NT, which was aimed at professional users such as networks and businesses, used a similar but separate version number between 3.1 and 4.0.
Gradually, the Windows NT family was expanded into Microsoft's general-purpose operating system product line for all personal computers, deprecating the Windows 9x family.

Windows 95

95Microsoft Windows 95Windows
Windows 9x is a generic term referring to a series of Microsoft Windows computer operating systems produced from 1995 to 2000, which were based on the Windows 95 kernel and its underlying foundation of MS-DOS, both of which were updated in subsequent versions. This includes all versions of Windows 95 and Windows 98.
Windows 95 (codenamed Chicago) is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems.

Windows XP

XPWindows XP SP2XP SP2
All future versions of Windows, starting with Windows XP, would be based on the Windows NT codebase.
Some of the programs and features that were part of the previous versions of Windows did not make it to Windows XP. Various MS-DOS commands available in its Windows 9x predecessor were removed, as were the POSIX & OS/2 subsystems.

MS-DOS

DOSPCMicrosoft DOS
Windows 9x is a generic term referring to a series of Microsoft Windows computer operating systems produced from 1995 to 2000, which were based on the Windows 95 kernel and its underlying foundation of MS-DOS, both of which were updated in subsequent versions.
Windows 9x

Windows Update

Automatic UpdatesMicrosoft UpdateWindows (Security) Updates
Windows ME was conceived as a quick one-year project that served as a stopgap release between Windows 98 and Windows XP. Many of the new features were available from the Windows Update site as updates for older Windows versions.
Windows Update is a Microsoft service for the Windows 9x and Windows NT families of operating system, which automates downloading and installing Microsoft Windows software updates over the Internet.

Windows 2000

20002KWindows 2000 Server
The release of Windows 2000 marked a shift in the user experience between the Windows 9x series and the Windows NT series.
Similar to Windows 9x, Windows 2000 supports automatic recognition of installed hardware, hardware resource allocation, loading of appropriate drivers, PnP APIs and device notification events.

Operating system

operating systemsOScomputer operating system
Windows 9x is a generic term referring to a series of Microsoft Windows computer operating systems produced from 1995 to 2000, which were based on the Windows 95 kernel and its underlying foundation of MS-DOS, both of which were updated in subsequent versions.
Windows 9x had very little distinction between the interface and the kernel.

WIN.INI

Previous versions of Windows used files such as AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, WIN.INI, SYSTEM.INI and other files with an .INI extension to maintain configuration settings.
Many of these settings were honored in Windows 9x, although the files had begun to be phased out in favor of the Windows registry.

Computer multitasking

multitaskingmulti-taskingmultitask
In addition to improved capabilities given to native applications, Windows also allowed users to better multitask older MS-DOS based software compared to Windows/386, thanks to the introduction of virtual memory.
A similar model is used in Windows 9x and the Windows NT family, where native 32-bit applications are multitasked preemptively.

Rowland Hanson

Its name was initially "Interface Manager", but Rowland Hanson, the head of marketing at Microsoft, convinced the company that the name Windows would be more appealing to consumers.
Windows 9x

Protected mode

protected-mode16-bit protected mode286 protected mode
In such a configuration, it could run under another multitasking system like DESQview, which used the 286 Protected Mode.
That lasted through the Windows 9x series.

Windows Registry

registryregistry keyssystem registry
Like Windows NT, Windows 9x stores user-specific and configuration-specific settings in a large information database called the Windows registry.
On Windows 9x and NT 4.0 systems, they contain the string REGEDIT4 and are ANSI-based.

VxD

virtual device driversvirtual device driver
Once in protected mode, the virtual device drivers (VxDs) transferred all state information from MS-DOS to the 32-bit file system manager, and then shut off MS-DOS.
VxD is the device driver model used in Microsoft Windows/386, the 386 enhanced mode of Windows 3.x, Windows 9x, and to some extent also by the Novell DOS 7, OpenDOS 7.01, and DR-DOS 7.02 (and higher) multitasker.

Architecture of Windows 9x

Windows 9x kernel
Architecture of Windows 9x
The architecture of the Windows 9x series kernel is monolithic.

Kernel (operating system)

kerneloperating system kernelkernels
Like most operating systems, Windows 9x consists of kernel space and user space memory.
This product line continued to evolve through the 1980s and 1990s, with the Windows 9x series adding 32-bit addressing and pre-emptive multitasking; but ended with the release of Windows Me in 2000.

NTFS

alternate data streamMFTAlternate Data Streams
Windows 9x does not natively support NTFS or HPFS, but there are third-party solutions which allow Windows 9x to have read-only access to NTFS volumes.
This is the case for $STANDARD_INFORMATION attribute that is stored as a fixed-size record and containing the timestamps and other basic single-bit attributes (compatible with those managed by FAT in DOS or Windows 9x).

.sys

SYS*.SYSsystem
VxDs usually have the filename extension .vxd or .386, whereas WDM compatible drivers usually use the extension .sys.
Certain files using this extension are not, however: MSDOS.SYS and IO.SYS are core operating system files in MS-DOS and Windows 9x.

COMMAND.COM

DOS promptCOMMANDcommand prompt
When Windows 95 started up, MS-DOS loaded, processed CONFIG.SYS, launched COMMAND.COM, ran AUTOEXEC.BAT and finally ran WIN.COM.
LFNFOR: Enables or disables the return of long filenames by the FOR command. (Windows 9x).

Preemption (computing)

preemptive multitaskingpreemptivepre-emptive multitasking
Both the VMM and virtual device drivers run in a single, 32-bit, flat model address space at privilege level 0 (also called ring 0). The VMM provides multi-threaded, preemptive multitasking.
In Windows 95, 98 and Me, 32-bit applications were made preemptive by running each one in a separate address space, but 16-bit applications remained cooperative for backward compatibility.

List of alternative shells for Windows

desktop shell replacementshell replacementsWindows shell replacement
On desktop machines, Windows Explorer is the default user interface, though a variety of additional Windows shell replacements exist.

INT 13H

Disk servicesinterrupt 13hBIOS Enhanced Disk Drive Specification
Many MS-DOS programs and device drivers interacted with DOS in a low-level way; for example, by patching low-level BIOS interrupts such as int 13h, the low-level disk I/O interrupt.
Windows 9x and Windows for Workgroups 3.11 also bypass BIOS routines when using 32-bit File Access.

Monolithic kernel

MonolithicDynamic Extendablekernel
Other monolithic and hybrid kernels, like Linux and Windows NT, are also susceptible to malfunctioning drivers impeding the kernel's operation.
Microsoft Windows 9x series (95, 98, 98 SE, Me)