What is Windows NT?

Welcome to the world of Windows NT! It is a unique operating system that has changed the computing world since its start in July 1993. Plus, with its 32-bit technology and great features, Microsoft’s NT OS has made a difference in computing.

In this article, we will look at what precisely the Windows NT version is, its history, and its features. Additionally, we will learn more about its change over time. Let’s dive right in and explore the wonderful world of NT together!

What is Microsoft Windows NT Operating System?

What is Microsoft Windows NT Operating System?

In July 1993, Microsoft started Windows NT, a 32-bit operating system. It was a big step forward in computers. Also, the NT term means new technology. It brought in many new things that earlier versions of Microsoft still needed to have. Its launch was a critical moment, leading to more new ideas in computing.

Before Windows 95, Microsoft made operating systems for work and servers. This changed how PCs worked and totally transformed how people used them. The aim was to create an OS that has steady pictures and works like UNIX. This was to make it easier for people to use well with other OSes.

NT OS came in two types: one for regular computer use and one for servers. This difference helped meet different computing needs.

This OS development began in November 1988. Microsoft and IBM worked together on it, along with developing OS/2 3.0.

At the same time, Microsoft worked on a DOS-based Windows for OS/2. Moreover, this made sure everything worked together smoothly and used resources well.

Microsoft and IBM Collaboration

When Windows 3.0 came out in May 1990, Microsoft changed the Programming Interface (API). Furthermore, this made the API much bigger.

This decision caused issues between Microsoft and IBM. They worked together less because IBM focused on OS/2 on its own. Meanwhile, Microsoft focused on developing the renamed NT.

Microsoft recruited developers from DEC, led by Dave Cutler, to craft NT. This team brought expertise from projects like RSX-11 and DEC.

They made this operating system to work on lots of different kinds of computers. It also uses something called a hardware abstraction layer to make sure it can work on various types of machines.

The developers put APIs in place as subsystems on top of the secret native API. So, this enabled future adoption of the API.

At first, the designers made a microkernel. Later on, they added more features to make the kernel work better. Thus, NT was the first operating system to use Unicode inside.

What are Windows NT Versions?

Microsoft’s operating system comes in four versions:

Comparison of Windows NT Versions
VersionRelease DateOperating System
3.11993Workstation (named just WinNT), Advanced Server
3.51994Workstation, Server
3.511995Workstation, Server
4.01996Workstation, Server, Server Enterprise Edition, Terminal Server, Embedded
5.22003Server 2003, XP x64
6.02006Vista, Server 2008
6.120097, Server 2008 R2
6.220128, Server 2012
6.320138.1, Server 2012 R2
10.0201510, Server 2016, Server 2019

All these versions can do many things at the same time. They work well on devices with one or more processors.

To process I/O requests, you must go to a package address that uses IRP requests and asynchronous I/O.

Microsoft has emphasized 64-bit support in OS development. In short, this began with Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

NT Architecture

The NT architecture has two main layers that are entirely modular and built on top of each other.

  1. User mode: Programs and subsystems are limited to the system resources to which they have access.
  2. Kernel mode: You have full access to memory and external devices. The OSes in this line employ hybrid cores in all of their cores. People discuss this term because it essentially structures a monolithic core in the style of a micro core.

In the core part, there are:

  1. A mix of core elements.
  2. A layer that helps with hardware is also called a driver.
  3. The admin sets up the primary services.
  4. Dynamic libraries, like Ntoskrnl.exe, allow things to run smoothly.

Core Mode

The kernel mode of the WinNT line has subsystems. So, it can talk to the suitable controllers using the I/O manager and I/O requests.

In Windows 2000, two parts make up the user mode layers: the environment subsystem and the integrated subsystem. These parts are essential because they help users do things in the OS.

Kernel mode in Windows 2000 has full access to the computer system’s hardware and resources.

The kernel mode protects essential parts of the OS from being accessed by regular users. Also, it stops unauthorized apps from messing with the system’s safety.

The Administrator takes care of all the user stuff. This includes handling input/output, managing objects, controlling processes, and making sure everything stays secure.

The core sits in the middle of the Hardware Abstraction Layer and the Administrator. It helps with managing multiple processors, handling threads, and passing on interrupts. Plus, it deals with exceptions smoothly.

The kernel also gets hardware drivers going. Plus, in kernel mode, there are three types of controllers: high-level, intermediate, and low-level controllers.

The Windows driver model makes sure things work together. So, it keeps both the binary and source code in check. In short, this is true for both Windows 98 and 2000.

Also, Low-level drivers are like old-fashioned device drivers. They control a device directly or work with a Plug and Play hardware bus.

Windows NT Features

WinNT looks a lot like Windows 95, 98, and Millennium on the outside. But it has a unique core called a kernel. Because of this, it has some unique features:

  • WinNT is a popular 32-bit operating system for networks. It’s good at handling many tasks at once and has strong security and network features.
  • WinNT is known for being super reliable, which makes it perfect for essential jobs. It’s great for both work computers and servers that need to work really well.

This version of WinNT builds on older versions of Windows and comes with these reliability features

1) Internal Client/Server Model

WinNT is a 32-bit operating system. In WinNT, user applications don’t run in the same memory space as the kernel of the OS, which is called kernel.

While the core is running on the ring 0, the user applications run on the three rings of the processor.

2) 32 Bit Flat Memory Model

The preferred multitasking model makes sure all programs can use the CPU (the computer’s brain) whenever they need to.

It also stops some programs from taking over all the CPU power by running programs that have problems.

3) NTFS File System

The NTFS file system is a perfect way to organize files because it’s super reliable.

4) Real 32 Bit Design

All 32-bit WinNT programs run much faster than other operating systems made with older 16-bit technology.

5) Multitasking and Multi-Use Features

It lets lots of things happen at the same time by making sure all processes can run. It also works with multiple CPUs if you have more than one.

WinNT works with CPUs made by INTEL, but it can also work with other types like Power PC, DEC Palpa, and MAC.

6) Security

One of WinNT’s most important features is its security. Right from the start, WinNT has been focused on keeping data safe. It protects both companies and the government.

To make sure things stay secure, WinNT comes with these features included in the software package:

  • Domain Security Model

It’s an advanced system for accessing networks, so it controls which network resources a user can get to.

Private servers, called domain controllers, check if users are real. They also keep security info in the SAM (Security Account Manager) database.

  • File System

It’s a file system that adds to the security of the OS. Administrators can use it to control who gets access to different parts of the network for groups or users.

  • Error Tolerance Properties

WinNT has some essential features to help you handle mistakes. Fault tolerance can handle errors that might happen while it’s working. One prominent feature is RAID (Redundant Array Of Inexpensive Disks) support, which works kind of like making a copy of your hard drive.

RAID helps get back your data if one of your disks stops working. Another essential part of fault tolerance is UPS, which gives backup power when the main power goes out. In short, WinNT notices if the power drops and quickly switches to UPS.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Windows NT

  1. What does Windows NT stand for?
Microsoft named this operating system New Technology (NT) because it is newer than its predecessors. We translate it into Turkish as New Technology.
  1. What is Windows NT used for?
They released the NT system in 1993. Microsoft designed this for us to use in business environments. Additionally, it is more stable than its previous versions, such as Windows 95 and Windows 98. Therefore, it allows us to work in a safer environment. They mostly used this system in large companies. It has become the choice of companies because it provides file and printer, network security, and user management.
  1. Is NT the same as Windows 10?
The NT edition and Windows 10 are not the same. They have differences, and it’s essential to know about them. Because Windows 10 is a newer version. Moreover, Microsoft released it in 2015. The other was a system that we first used widely in 1993.
  1. What is the difference between Windows 95 and NT?
The main difference between NT and Windows 95 is the version difference. Moreover, the 95 version, as we can understand from its name, took an active part in 1995. They designed it primarily for personal computers. For example, it was the first version to include a taskbar and start menu. In short, NT is for business, and 95 is for home devices.
  1. Can I uninstall the Microsoft NT system?
Yes, you can uninstall Microsoft NT from your computer. However, if you are using this in a corporate environment, be aware that essential services are running. Therefore, consult IT.


To sum up, Windows NT was a big deal in Microsoft’s history of making operating systems. The creators designed it to give a steady and easy-to-use interface similar to UNIX systems. The OS builds itself like a building block, consisting of two main parts: user mode and kernel mode.

This OS can handle lots of tasks at once and can work on PCs with one processor or many. People use it in all sorts of places, from regular computers to big network servers. Microsoft has kept making NT OS better over the years, and the latest version is Windows 10, which came out in 2015.

Microsoft’s NT operating system is vital for how computers run. That’s why lots of businesses and groups all over the world use it as the base for their systems.

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