What is Microsoft Windows NT?

Posted On 2005-11-1 by FortyPoundHead
Keywords: Windows NT
Tags:  Windows NT Windows 2000
Views: 1810

Note: For security and support reasons,
UITS recommends using Windows 2000 Professional
or Windows XP Professional, rather than NT

Workstation 4.0 on Indiana University's network. Windows NT 4.0
entered its Extended Lifecycle Phase in June 2002. This means that it
is no longer considered a mainstream technology, and support will
become more limited during this phase. For more information, see
Microsoft's Windows Desktop Product Lifecycle Guidelines page at:


Microsoft Windows NT, first released in 1993, was Microsoft's platform
of choice for high-end systems. The current version, 4.0, is intended
for use as a network server (NT Server) or a workstation (NT
Workstation). Windows NT did not replace Windows 95. While
Windows NT contains the Windows 95 interface, it is entirely
32-bit. For more information on the differences between Windows 95 and
NT 4.0, see the Knowledge Base document What are the differences between Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0?

Technical features of Windows NT

  • Interface

    • Contains the Windows 95 interface and features like the
      Start button, Taskbar, Explorer, Network
      Neighborhood, and Briefcase

  • Networking

    • NetWare client and login script support
    • Enhanced meta-file (EMF) spooling for improved network printing
    • Support for 15 network protocols
    • Peer-to-peer and FTP server capabilities
    • Client software for both telnet and FTP services

  • Messaging Capabilities

    • Windows Messaging Subsystem
    • Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Schedule+ included

  • Remote Management

    • Remote management utilities such as Event Viewer, Performance Monitor,
      Service Controller, and Registry Editor
    • Dialout capability to remote servers
    • Remote dialin capability

  • Remote Access Services (RAS)

    • Internet access to Windows NT Server and DNS names for
      resource connections
    • Dialout capability to remote servers, including Internet services
    • Remote dialin ability to any workstation
    • Full network functionality over remote links using NetBEUI, IPX/SPX,
      and TCP/IP protocols
    • Dialin capability to remote NetWare servers using RAS
    • Multi-link capability for channel aggregation of multiple
      modem connections

  • Security

    • Per-file and per-directory security with the NT file system
    • Local desktop security; user ID and password required for access
    • Account lockout capabilities to prevent unlimited login attempts
    • Network security with single network login using challenge/response
    • Government C-2 level certifiable security

  • Application Support

    • Native support for all applications based on Windows
      95, Win32, 16-bit Windows, 16-bit MS-DOS, 16-bit
      OS/2, and POSIX 1003.1
    • Separate memory spaces for 16-bit applications (multiple virtual MS-DOS
    • Preemptive multitasking for 16-bit and 32-bit applications

    • 486 emulator allows 386-enhanced 16-bit applications to run on
      RISC machines
    • OLE support between all 16-bit and 32-bit Windows based
    • Asynchronous I/O queue for improved responsiveness
    • Structured exception handling for easy troubleshooting

  • Graphics and Multimedia

    • Significant performance gains for graphic intensive applications
    • OpenGL APIs for high-performance three-dimensional color graphics
    • 16-bit and 32-bit API support for the Video for Windows 1.1 feature set

  • Utilities

    • File compression with NTFS
    • User Manager for configuration and security
    • Disk Administrator for graphical disk configuration
    • Diagnostics utility that details basic system information
    • Performance Monitor for local and remote troubleshooting
    • Tape backup
    • Event Viewer and logging utility for local and remote troubleshooting
    • Long filename support on FAT and NTFS
    • Configuration details managed in registry database

  • Hardware Support

    • Multiple hardware configuration; you can specify a hardware profile at
      start time, including services, devices, and video resolutions
    • Intel, Alpha AXP, MIPS, and PowerPC platforms
    • Symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) support

Windows NT Workstation 4.0 system requirements

  • Intel based Systems

    • 486/25MHz (or faster) or Pentium based system
    • 12MB memory (RAM); 16MB recommended
    • 110MB available hard disk space
    • CD-ROM drive or access to a CD-ROM over a network
    • VGA or higher resolution display adapter
    • Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

  • RISC-based Systems

    • Workstation with Alpha AXP, MIPS R4x00, or PowerPC processor
    • 16MB of memory
    • 110MB of available hard disk space
    • CD-ROM drive or access to a CD-ROM over a network
    • VGA or higher resolution display adapter
    • Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

  • Optional

    • Network adapter card
    • Audio board

About the Author

FortyPoundHead has posted a total of 1974 articles.

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