Windows 3.1x

Major release of Microsoft Windows / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Windows 3.1 is a major release of Microsoft Windows. It was released to manufacturing on April 6, 1992, as a successor to Windows 3.0.

Quick facts: Developer, OS family, Source model, Released ...
Windows 3.1x
Version of the Microsoft Windows operating system
Logo of Microsoft Windows 3.1x versions
Screenshot of Windows for Workgroups 3.11
OS familyMicrosoft Windows
Source modelClosed source
Released to
April 6, 1992; 31 years ago (1992-04-06)
Latest release3.11 / November 8, 1993; 29 years ago (1993-11-08)
LicenseCommercial software
Preceded byWindows 3.0 (1990)
Succeeded by
Support status
RetailUnsupported as of December 31, 2001 (2001-12-31)
WFW 3.11 embeddedUnsupported as of November 1, 2008 (2008-11-01)

Like its predecessors, the Windows 3.1 series ran as a shell on top of MS-DOS. Codenamed Janus, Windows 3.1 introduced the TrueType font system as a competitor to Adobe Type Manager. Its multimedia was also expanded, and screensavers were introduced, alongside new software such as Windows Media Player and Sound Recorder. File Manager and Control Panel received tweaks, while Windows 3.1 also saw the introduction of Windows Registry and add-ons. Windows 3.1 was the last Windows 16-bit operating environment and it can run more RAM in comparison with its predecessors.

Microsoft also released special versions of Windows 3.1 throughout 1992 and 1993; in Europe and Japan, Windows 3.1 was introduced with more language support, while Tandy Video Information System received a special version, called Modular Windows. In November 1993, Windows 3.11 was released as a minor update, while Windows 3.2 was released as a Simplified Chinese version of Windows 3.1. Microsoft also introduced Windows for Workgroups, the first version of Windows to allow integrated networking. Mostly oriented towards businesses, it received network improvements and it allowed users to share files, use print servers, and chat online, while it also introduced peer-to-peer networking.

The series is considered to be an improvement on its predecessors. It was praised for its reinvigoration of the user interface and technical design. Windows 3.1 sold over three million copies during the first three months of its release, although its counterpart Windows for Workgroups was noted as a "business disappointment" due to its small amount of sold copies. It was succeeded by Windows NT 3.1 and Windows 95, and Microsoft ended the support for Windows 3.1 series on December 31, 2001, except for the embedded version, which was retired in 2008.