back to article Linux 3.11 to be known as 'Linux for Workgroups'

The first release candidate of version 3.11 of the Linux kernel has arrived, and to commemorate the occasion, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has given the kernel a new codename and a new, Microsoft-inspired boot logo to match. As of Sunday, Linux kernel 3.11 is officially named "Linux for Workgroups," borrowing the moniker …

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  1. Piro

    Ah, the memories.

    Good old Win 3.11..

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      It still wants its shrubbery.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Ah, the memories

        Good old Eadon. I wonder what he'd say?

        1. apjanes
          Trollface

          Re: Ah, the memories

          Eadon... yes, where is he. It strikes me this forum's relationship with Eadon is a bit like Tom & Jerry, they fight like... um... cat and mouse, but miss each other terribly when they are apart. Hate him when he's here, grumble when he's gone!

          1. Great Bu

            Re: Ah, the memories

            More Itchy and Scratchy I always thought.....

            They fight, they fight,

            They fight, they fight, they fight.

            Fight fight fight, fight fight fight

            The Eadon and Register shooooooooow !!!

            1. Waspy
              Joke

              Re: Ah, the memories

              Someone's got to do it...

              EPIC EADON NO SHOW FAIL

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: He was banned...

                  Oh thanks. I wondered...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The Linux bloat continues unabated...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It is a bit of a monolithic monstrosity. I used to roll my own kernels once, but when it takes about half an hour or more to go through the configuration screens you do think it is time for a change.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Its so nice

            Not to need tonnes of driver disks. I will have to have a clear out soon of all my old driver disks for various devices I dont have. I still have some floppies with windows drivers for the network port. The funny thing is they worked for the OEM of windows XP as it didnt auto configure the common port.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    So I suppose...

    This means it won't come with a start menu but merely several groups of icons?

    How disappointing ;-)

    1. dogged

      Re: So I suppose...

      Start buttons are essential though, right? Any OS that doesn't have is doomed, right?

      No? I heard it here...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So I suppose...

        The start menu was a quantum leap in usability on the Windows desktop. That was 1995, what was the Mac OS like back then? or Linux even? I don't think Linux was really becoming usable until a couple of years after that. That was still the days of the LILO bootloader with all its quirks.

        1. Tim Parker

          @AC Re: So I suppose...

          "The start menu was a quantum leap in usability on the Windows desktop. That was 1995, what was the Mac OS like back then? or Linux even? I don't think Linux was really becoming usable until a couple of years after that. That was still the days of the LILO bootloader with all its quirks."

          It was fine in '95 - the 2.x series kernels came out the following year but even the 0.96/8 ones were alright up to a point.. driver support for cheap consumer tat was still more miss than hit, but X windows had been ported a couple of years prior and the (GNU) compiler chain was useful and (more importantly for me at the time) rather cheaper than the Microsoft C compiler (which they'd bought from someone, forget who, pretty good it was too).

          I mainly used it for interfacing with the University network, some dev work and as a front end onto the SGI Onyx in another room that had research data and analysis tools.

          Linux wasn't as consumer friendly as OS/2, Windows etc back then, but for technical work - especially on machines with a more-workstation-than-whitebox bent - it was alright and a very compelling software development platform. Crashes - yes, lock-ups - yes, mostly Duplo-level window/desktop managers - yes.... but fine for all that, and they were all criticisms I could level at my Windows box. Windows '95 looked OK (IMO) when it came out, but everything before looked and ran like cheap crap compared with the mainline OSes we used, e.g. Solaris, Irix, HP-UX and most of them couldn't even connect to a network after a standard install.

          One thing I didn't miss was playing the diskette shuffling game to keep the AAA set to hand whilst trying to load the rest of the OS onto the other ones - anyone who installed Linux around then without and infinite number of floppies will probably remember something similar.....

          1. Tim Parker

            Re: @AC So I suppose...

            "Windows '95 looked OK (IMO) when it came out, but everything before looked and ran like cheap crap compared with the mainline OSes we used, e.g. Solaris, Irix, HP-UX and most of them couldn't even connect to a network after a standard install."

            That sounds weird on re-read - what I meant by that was that most of the versions of Windows couldn't connect - not the other OSes.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: @AC So I suppose...

              "That sounds weird on re-read - what I meant by that was that most of the versions of Windows couldn't connect - not the other OSes."

              I worked once for a MS partner out On The Bleeding Edge and although I found the user experience of Windows 95 innovative you are bang on about the lower level issues for the poor buggers in the set-up and install trenches.

              According to our installation and support guys we had problems mainly because firms would buy from "you spec it, we deliver it" PC-by-mail operations (once upon a time these were a lot more common than they are now) and a delivery of "identical" PCs would have so many variations in NICs, video cards and gosh knows what else that the driver configuration was a nightmare suck-it-and-see process.

              And let's not talk about the IRQ conflict hell. Swap out a sound card and end up working all day to get everything else back on line (maybe by buying a different sound card than the one you were trying to install).

              Ah, them were the days. The days I'm glad we're well shot of now.

        2. Jess

          usability on the Windows desktop. That was 1995,

          Yes, it did bring it into second place.

          Ironically, Windows 95 was far more similar to RISC OS, than the Windows 3.x machines that replaced it in the early 90s. (Meaning many school leavers faced with windows 95 had a much steeper learning curve, than they would have had)

          Shame they never fixed the input focus system though.

        3. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

          Re: So I suppose...

          My recollection is that most Linux software was still command-line stuff. Yes, there was X-windows, with the free window manager (I forget its name) from MIT. Its main role seemed to be to run lots of terminal apps simultaneously. As actual X-apps one had:

          - basic clock

          - the Dali clock, with graphically changing characters and colours. Very popular, I miss it.

          - xv, an impressive image editor for its time.

          - and

          - er

          - that's about it.

          Star Office was not widely known until Sun bought them and promoted it; and it was not free as in priceless. There was Latex (terminal based coded markup), still hard to beat for mathematical documents. There were terminal editors: Vi, more or less usable, and Emacs (you loved it or hated it).

          Yes, things are much better now, despite the near-death experiences of KDE4, Gnome3, and Ubuntu.

          1. Gerhard den Hollander

            Re: So I suppose...

            Dali clock still lives, along with xscreensaver (which I still run), both from the same guy, who used to code for netscape (remember the days ) .

            xv wasnt really an editor, and other than viewnior, not many image programs come close to it's ease of use when it come to putting an image on the screen as fast as possible, with as little unnecesary junk as possible.

        4. DJO Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: So I suppose...

          The start menu was a quantum leap in usability on the Windows desktop.

          This always bugs me, a "quantum leap" is an electron moving from one shell to the next shell and is the smallest amount of change possible in a system. So rather than meaning a massive change it really means a itsy bitty tiny change at or beyond the limit of measurement.

          But there again that might be exactly what the poster meant.

    2. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: So I suppose...

      "This means it won't come with a start menu but merely several groups of icons?"

      I always thought the Program Manager interface was logical and usable enough - and now I have more or less the same thing on my Android phone with grouped icons on Nova Launcher.

  3. TheOldFellow

    WFW 3.11

    Hey, I still have the floppies!

    But no floppy drive :(

    1. Shrimpling

      Re: WFW 3.11

      I'm sure your not the only one... I've still got mine too!

      If Wikipedia ever stops working I've got my Encarta 95 CD Rom as well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: floppy

      If you've got a 3.5" floppy I'd keep that info to yourself and not announce it to the world

    3. Captain Save-a-ho
      Coat

      Re: WFW 3.11

      They make excellent drink coasters...

      1. davidp231
        Pint

        Re: WFW 3.11

        Especially if you get the neon ones.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: WFW 3.11

          Hah, i still *use* a floppy disc. Our denford milling machine works just fine in windows 7 but the software had a licence floppy to unlock it! I have a usb floppy drive that i can wander about with....

  4. jherz
    Windows

    I wonder how long until MS sues

    As noted

  5. Pond
    Headmaster

    WFWG TCP/IP?

    If I remember correctly WFWG didn't actually ship with a TCP/IP stack, it was meant to but it wasn't ready in time for media production so everyone had to download tcp32b.exe from a BBS.

    1. Gary Heard

      Re: WFWG TCP/IP?

      We had Trumpet installed at our workplace, the general feeling was that it was miles better than the MS offering.

      The thought of downloading off a BBS, I'd say "Good Old Days", except they weren't, give me the web any day

      1. Why Not?

        Re: WFWG TCP/IP?

        oh Trumpet twice as fast and doubly stable.

        1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
          Facepalm

          Re: WFWG TCP/IP?

          Microsoft TCP/IP supported Ethernet, I had to use Trumpet Winsock for using my modem with SLIP (predecessor of PPP). Trumpet was absolutely unstable. I switched to Linux soon after.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I wonder how long until MS sues

      Yeah, it's cute but probably illegal - wonder if MS will sue and give Torvalds more ammunition, or find a way to play cool.

      I know which I'd bet.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I wonder how long until MS sues

          "Something tells me they won't give a shit."

          Quite the reverse, they will take it as a compliment, "Oh look, Linus admits they've just caught up with WFW 3.11".

          Redmond doesn't do irony. For evidence, see every communication coming out of Microsoft, ever. They have more self belief than Richard Dawkins, or a whole nightclub full of rappers.

          1. Euripides Pants Silver badge

            Re: I wonder how long until MS sues

            Did anyone else read that as "a whole nightclub full of crappers"?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Did anyone else read that as "a whole nightclub full of crappers"?

              Sadly, though perhaps more appropriately, I got "a whole nightclub full of rapists."

              Where's Dr. Freud when you need him?

      2. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: I wonder how long until MS sues

        Probably not illegal. It would have to be a trademark, I don't think they could have got one back then before things got insane, and it's a long dead product so it would be hard to show anyone getting confused.

  6. Greg J Preece

    Most notably, AMD has contributed more than 150 patches that improve support for Radeon graphics cards, including support for new hardware and for dynamic power management in the open source driver.

    Can't wait for this! Nice to see AMD continuing to improve their Linux support after the release of Steam on the platform. The cards are still woefully underpowered when running under Linux, compared to Windows.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The cards are still woefully underpowered when running under Linux, compared to Windows."

      That's more a result of the unstructured architecture of Linux compared to Microsoft's optimised model. I wouldn't expect to see that fixed any time soon.

      1. Tomato42 Silver badge
        Stop

        "That's more a result of the unstructured architecture of Linux compared to Microsoft's optimised model. I wouldn't expect to see that fixed any time soon."

        And how do you explain L4D2 running faster through DirectX wrapper to OpenGL on proprietary nVidia drivers than on Windows?

        Just stop this nonsense.

        Radeon drivers are slow because they are Alpha quality software, as in not feature complete and far from fully optimised.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "And how do you explain L4D2 running faster through DirectX wrapper to OpenGL on proprietary nVidia drivers than on Windows?"

          It was specifically being optimised for Linux.

          If you look at real world graphics benchmarks that are the same on both platforms, Windows 8 is substantially faster than the latest Ubuntu, etc.

      2. Tim Parker

        "The cards are still woefully underpowered when running under Linux, compared to Windows."

        That's more a result of the unstructured architecture of Linux compared to Microsoft's optimised model. I wouldn't expect to see that fixed any time soon.

        I'm not sure what you mean about the architecture... certainly the point at which the images are rendered on the screen has more routes to it on Linux, what with different compositors etc, than Windows which is a single target - but that's not to mean that you can't try and optimize the performance on Linux for each, just that's it's potentially a bigger, more costly, job. That touches on one of the main reason for differences - economics.

        Where there is a large shared code base, such as openGL, the binary drivers from AMD and nVidia tend to run about the same speed on Linux - and certainly for GL work that speed is on a par with the performance on Windows (some GL benchmarks Windows is faster, some Linux + binary driver is faster). For a lot of businesses, GL performance is what matters - not directX etc, the situation is different, by default, for consumer PC OSes which are still dominated by Windows. In the latter case, the performance on Windows is still generally much higher than on Linux - and the chance to optimize the performance of a Microsoft protocol on a Microsoft platform is enough to probably keep it ahead, or at least on par, for the foreseeable future.

        That said, it is not always the case - one of the more notable exceptions recently(ish) is with Steam and Left 4 Dead 2. The following quote from one of their dev teams seems to contradict the idea that a confusion of architectures on Linux is the reason for some performances differences

        ".. - the company squeezed 270.6 FPS (Frames Per Second) from the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit and a whopping 315 FPS on Ubuntu 12.04 32-bit. This translates into a 16.7% increase in performance, or a 14.3% decrease in the time taken to render frames.

        According to Valve, when the company started the experiment they struggled to get 6 FPS on Linux.

        That the Linux version runs faster than the Windows version (270.6) seems a little counter-intuitive," writes the Valve Linux team, "given the greater amount of time we have spent on the Windows version. However, it does speak to the underlying efficiency of the kernel and OpenGL".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It speaks volumes for the fact that they were not running the same code base on each platform.

          In real world tests of the same Open GL benchmarks on each platform, Windows is almost always faster: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=intel_windows8_ubuntu&num=1

          1. Tim Parker

            "In real world tests of the same Open GL benchmarks on each platform, Windows is almost always faster"

            No it's not - the particular case of the Intel driver was that the Linux performance was much better than the Windows one for a while, then the Window driver got some serious tweaking by Intel and is now much better in turn. Have a look at the GL benchmarks for the AMD and nVidia drivers, not just the Intel one, on Phoronix for more.

      3. Greg J Preece

        That's more a result of the unstructured architecture of Linux compared to Microsoft's optimised model. I wouldn't expect to see that fixed any time soon.

        Utter, utter nonsense. Valve's initial port of L4D2 ran faster on Linux by quite a way. Some of the original Eyefinity multi-monitor demos were running on Linux, apparently. When the software running on it is properly optimised (which is what AMD are doing), Linux is by no means slower than Windows.

        Please go and read up on Linux graphics capabilities so you have the slightest notion what you're talking about.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Greg J Preece

      "Can't wait for this! Nice to see AMD continuing to improve their Linux support after the release of Steam on the platform. The cards are still woefully underpowered when running under Linux, compared to Windows."

      About time AMD and Nvidia put some leg work into getting their cards working. I used to hate steam for putting some annoying popup malware on my system to play games, but after seeing the effort they are making to port games and how they are pushing the graphics card manufacturers to improve I have gained a lot of respect for them.

      I particularly like that they managed to get faster graphics on linux than on windows as it forced windows to improve their directX. Hopefully this will continue and benefit all of us who use the technologies.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: @Greg J Preece

        About time AMD and Nvidia put some leg work into getting their cards working.

        What precise features are you missing from nvidia drivers, apart from the ability to read their source code?

        More to the point, what features have you missed from nvidia drivers for the past 5 years, during which time every single nvidia graphics card going back to the geforce 2 has been fully supported on linux, BSD and solaris.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Tom 38

          "What precise features are you missing from nvidia drivers, apart from the ability to read their source code?

          More to the point, what features have you missed from nvidia drivers for the past 5 years, during which time every single nvidia graphics card going back to the geforce 2 has been fully supported on linux, BSD and solaris."

          Unfortunately stability. I dont blame linux as it runs fine on most of my machines but the nvidia drivers have their rather large issues. I do hope it clears up soon because I like my linux installs and it does seem more stable on mint15 but still it occasionally freezes my screen and I have to ctrl alt backspace. I have played TF2 on linux and I was plenty impressed but on the desktop I still have odd issues depending on which driver I choose (noveu, Nvidia stable, Nvidia experimental I believe they are).

          I do need the Nvidia ones to run TF2 and the stable one has the best stability on my system but I still get some issues when using the system normally. I will point out that windows went through an odd phase of crashing and restoring the Nvidia driver some time ago but it seemed to clear up after some updates from Nvidia.

        2. Greg J Preece

          Re: @Greg J Preece

          What precise features are you missing from nvidia drivers, apart from the ability to read their source code?

          More to the point, what features have you missed from nvidia drivers for the past 5 years, during which time every single nvidia graphics card going back to the geforce 2 has been fully supported on linux, BSD and solaris.

          Down, boy! I was referring to optimisation, where the nVidia cards are - like the Radeons - still faster on Windows by significant amounts. nVidia have done waaaay better with their Linux support up to now, but they're not perfect, so simmer down. :-p

    3. davidp231

      "The cards are still woefully underpowered when running under Linux, compared to Windows."

      Really? RtCW (for me) has really a really strange habit of dropping framerate to single digits on a stock installation of Windows (most recent Radeon drivers), yet under Linux it plays at a much higher framerate, with no drops - it completely trounces Windows in performance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The cards are still woefully underpowered when running under Linux, compared to Windows." etc..

        I can't help thinking some commentards may be trying to confuse propriatary drivers with (F)OSS ones, perhaps with the aim of attributing the difference to a vendor's FUD campaign. Shirely no commentard on such a revered organ as El Reg could be so naïve? Both nVidia and AMD offer propitiatory Linux drivers for their cards. The Linux drivers from nVidia are first rate... stable, solid, fast... every bit the equal of their Windows brethren (with which they share the overwhelming majority of their code). ATI^HHH AMD's Catalyst offering is, just as it has always been, an unmitigated catastrophe... an unstable erratic abomination... again, almost indistinguishable from it's Windows twin. The difference in the quality of the code, between vendors, is immense, while the differences in how their code compiles to different targets is remarkably insignificant.

        I wonder ATI/AMD's inability to deliver competent propitiatory drivers might well explain the conspicuous superiority of Radeon over Nouveau. Necessity being the mother of invention and all.

        Sadly, open drivers can probably never surpass propitiatory ones. One reason being the impracticality of playing so fast and loose with *other people's* patents when those *other people* are free to inspect the code. As the open drivers mature and are refined and optimised, it'll be interesting to see just how much of a performance edge those secret algo sauces are providing. All this *nothing* to do with the OS the drivers are run on, of course. With the propitiatory drivers so similar between OSs, perhaps the willy-wavers might find more substance in a comparison of the platforms' *open* drivers. How are the (F)OSS drivers of the Devil's^HHHH NSA's own OS performing in comparison to the Linux ones?

  7. Belardi

    "WFW 3.11 was Redmond's first fully 32-bit OS" - er... uh, no.

    Windows 3.x was never an Operating System. It was a GUI overlay that ran on a piece of shit OS called MS-DOS. Remember the days of 8.3 file names?!

    CATPI122.JPG

    CATPI125.JPG ~ etc, instead of "My Cat Picture in Chicago 1996.jpg" which the Amiga and Macintosh were doing since the mid 1980s.

    If you built a new PC, got out your Windows 3.x disks (and only those disks) and tried to install it... you wouldn't get far since you needed MS-DOS 5~6 INSTALLED first.

    MS-DOS was always garbage. it was fine for 1970s~ 1982 standards.... that's it.

    1. Toastan Buttar
      Facepalm

      Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

      MS-DOS required the extensions of Windows 3.x to become a true 32-bit OS. I'm not going to argue that the combination was a GREAT OS, but the combination certainly WAS the first MS 32-bit OS.

      Your and idiout.

      Amiga OS was the best of all three at the time, with proper pre-emptive multitasking and clever use of custom sound and graphics chips. Any current OS (Linux, Windows or OSX) knocks all early '90s OS into a cocked hat now, of course.

      1. firefly

        Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

        The daddy of them all during that era was RiscOS, OK it didn't have true pre-emptive multitasking but it was buttery smooth on the fast ARM hardware and never got in the way of you getting stuff done.

        1. AOD
          Thumb Up

          Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

          Have an upvote from me for mentioning RiscOS. Happy days with my Archimedes A410 at Uni followed by a RiscPC when I graduated.

          RiscOS wasn't perfect, it had its flaws (the multi tasking was cooperative so naughty apps could make it unhappy) but some of the stuff was genuinely jaw dropping such as the realtime font anti aliasing that made documents look good on the cuboid multisync monitors of the day. Oh yeah and the same outline fonts used for screen display were used for printing as well.

          The RiscOS task manager was quite something as well. You want a RAM disc of a certain size? Sure, click on the relevant section and drag a slider to set how much memory to dedicate to it. Bam, one RAM disc created dynamically.

          The thing I found most ironic was that I knew far more about what was going on under the hood in the PCs I was working with commercially than I ever did with my Acorn machines because they just worked.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

            And ARM plus RiscOS turned out to be the future.

            Someone showed me a still running RiscPC the other day. I said "I've got the latest version of this" and hauled out a BlackBerry Q10.

            Yes, I know the OS is not RiscOS, but RiscOS was hugely influential in the development of small device operating systems. And as the X86 architecture produced processors which throw out more heat per square centimetre of case than does a nuclear reactor, the ARM architecture seems to be winning the argument about the future of computing.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

          It was stored in ROM which helped. Now if the AmigaOS was stored fully in ROM (parts were on disc) then it would have been much nicer.

          Once hard discs became more popular it made a huge difference.

      2. Belardi

        Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

        But Win3/DOS didn't really do much. It was always a garbage hack system. I didn't say it wasn't a 32bit OS, I said that Windows 3 itself is NOT an OS.

        AmigaOS was always a 32bit OS from version 1.0 with its 16/32bit CPU. So when Amiga 3000~4000s came out (pure 32bit CPUs), there was no re-compiling code or other mess.... software JUST WORKED.

        Windows 95 gift to the world : PnP (Plug N Pray) - whatever... Amiga had PnP since 1985... you plugged in a modem, video card, etc... they worked.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

          Amigas were great, but they lacked two fundamental things for a business scenario:

          1. Memory protection. A bug in an Amiga application could take the entire machine out. Losing all your work (I've been there).

          2. Virtual memory. Sometimes you just need a little more work memory.

          1. Belardi

            Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

            1 - Oh? Like Windows9x was ever stable? MS-DOS was abit more stable... you know... being single-tasking. Win3.x was never stable. My old feature phone was more stable than my Android smart phone... but its also 1/10th the functionality and abilities.

            2 - Amiga's memory usage isn't the same mess as Windows. And of course, MSDOS was a single-tasking CLI turd. With Windows 3.x, a 4mb 386-25mhz PC was still sub-standard to an Amiga with a 7mhz CPU and 1mb of memory.

      3. RAMChYLD
        Boffin

        Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

        Word.

        Windows NT 3.5 WAS MS' first 32-bit Operating System ;)

        Also, Windows 3.11 was still 16 bit iirc. Remember Win32S? You needed to install this on WFW3.11 to have 32-bit software (meant for NT3.5) work on Windows 3.11. Good times. It also provides some compatibility with Win95 software.

        1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

          Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

          "Windows NT 3.5 WAS MS' first 32-bit Operating System ;)"

          I think you mean Windows NT 3.1 here. ;) ;)

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. quarky
            Windows

            Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

            ""Windows NT 3.5 WAS MS' first 32-bit Operating System ;)"

            I think you mean Windows NT 3.1 here. ;) ;)"

            Windows CE surely. Windows NT was based on a lot of code co-developed with IBM.

          3. browntomatoes

            Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

            I can't believe noone has mentioned Xenix 386 - which came years before Windows 3.0 and was 32-bit... although it perhaps has a questionable claim to be a "Microsoft" product as the 386 version was produced by SCO (based on MS's earlier work which was in turn based on AT&T's code), as well as the fact that MS sold Xenix to SCO around that time (not sure if this was before or after Xenix 386 was released).

      4. davidp231

        Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

        I thought NT 3.5(1) was their first full 32bit OS. Unless they mean consumer grade...

      5. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

        Amiga OS was amazing.

        Or rather, it wasn't. It was a perfectly competent OS. The problem wasn't that it was the db's, but that Windows was utter shite in comparison.

        I mean - we had pre-emptive multitasking and proper sound and graphics in 1988 on hardware that soon became fast enough to do video processing.

        Then MS dragged everyone back to a 70s style command line OS with a horrible bodged pseudo-GUI that could just about cope with task switching and 8-bit colour.

        And we were supposed to be impressed, or something.

    2. Belardi
      Devil

      Thumbs down for calling out MS-DOS for what it was?

      FACT: Windows 1~3 were NEVER an Operating System (NT is an OS).

      FACT: MS-DOS is a re-engineered version of C/PM that was sold to Billy Gates for about $20,000 when they half-lied to IBM "yes, we have an OS".

      FACT: MS-DOS was always garbage. When you used a REAL modern OS in the 80s, you'd know that MS-DOS was crap. Yes, in 1985, the Amiga 1000 CLI mode (before the GUI loaded up) would run circles around MS-DOS. Far more powerful, far more flexible. Running DOS-Shell in 9x is so crumble-some.

      Try this in 1988: Running 8 MS-DOS windows on a PC.... oh, you couldn't. But on AmigaOS, you COULD. And each window could be a different size and shape. I grew up with the Amiga, and when Commodore died and took Amiga with them, I *had* to move to the Microsoft world for work... man, using MS-DOS/Windows 3 and Win9x was always a severe downgrade.

      Cannot be all pissed over a fact.

      Needless to say, as horrible as Windows95 was, it was better than MS-DOS with its pseudo long-file names. Win98 is when they got their consumer running decently. NT 4.0 was almost useless as it was a crash magnet... nothing like installing a SP which kills the ZIP-Drive driver, re-install the driver, kills the SP... and around we go. So not until XP did Microsoft get their OS in order... but that was the start of activation hell.

      Windows 8 drove me back to using Linux along with my Windows7 computer.

      Thank you Linux.

      1. Toastan Buttar
        Alien

        Belardi

        You have some issues. Perhaps you should hire an analyst (or talk to OMM-0910).

        People just "got stuff done" under the earliest, crappiest MS operating systems. Get over it. Why is it so important to you that they shouldn't have found productivity?

        Word 2.0 ran under W3.11. Possibly the greatest word processor of all time.

        1. Belardi
          Trollface

          Re: Belardi

          I don't have issues. I'm stating things as they are, nothing more. Yeah, it sucks that an inferior product out-sold a much better one. That credit goes to Microsoft's marketing and business team... while Commodore was managed by morons and greed... some Cayman Islands type games.

          Did MS-DOS work? Yes. Did it run Word, yes. Did it run WordPerfect, yes. Was it easy to use? no. Was it powerful, meh.... it worked.

          MS-Word is quite good, greatest of all time... whatever. Word 2003 or OpenOffice - no real difference. Even today, I'm sticking with Office 2003. It runs and does everything I need. How it marked mistakes is great, etc.

          But back in 1990 or so, Final Write did some pretty amazing stuff - before Word for Windows and things that most word processors still don't do. Final Writer's spell checker didn't use a list. It LOOK at the words you typed and gave you a list based on what it looks like you were trying to spell.

          I admit, I have dyslexia. I count on spell checkers to help me on words. Final Write (for Amiga and WYSIWYG before Windows3 came out) was more helpful. While MS-Word, even today - counts on its list of mis-spellings to offer a correction. Example: refrigerator (correct)

          refigerator MS-Word can fix it.

          refegerator MS-Word can't, but Final Write COULD. This is the choices that Word2003 gives me: regenerator/s.

          Of course... that was then... today, Final Write is junk and IMHO - fails the same reasons that many Linux developers are failures or fail at fixing problems with product. Designed by programmers for programmers. Rather than "for programmers and end-users". Final Writes biggest flaw is the lack of an UNDO function. Accidentally delete a page of text? Too bad, its gone! But it has great formatting controls, color options and AREXX support. I talked to the Owner of the company when I was sent a letter about a $20 upgrade deal (includes 2 diskettes worth of fonts!!) I considered it for the fonts. I said "when you are going to add an Undo?" he said "that will be when the programmers decide that its needed". WTF?! I told him, no thanks.

          I used CygnusED on the Amiga which is 1000x more powerful than notepad (DOS or Windows version) - it had an undo history of 5000 or so characters. I could select text vertically too, which was important. Yet, a word processor lacked that? Today, I use Notepad++ (its free) and is one of the very best text editors out there (My favorite). And even with OpenOffice, its the same stupid game. I told a few of the guys who actually work on it "You need to add an Outlook type PIM/Email module to get the MS-Office market" Here it is, almost 10 years later... their solution? Get Thunderbird and some other PIM.

          That kind of thinking is stupid. How hard is it to program a PIM? Outlook works very good because its integration into the rest of MS-Office. In general, someone like me doesn't need MS-Office - especially nowdays.

          MS-DOS was a successful product. It made some people into billionaires. It created the industry we have today. But it was never a good product. If IBM kept PC-DOS and MS was never allowed to make MS-DOS - no clones. Amiga and Macs would be the leaders in the market, Linux would be larger too. In hindsight, the CEOs/board of Commodore never had the vision or talent to make the Amiga take over the computer market. If Bill Gates owned Amiga, he would have done it.

          I know, that back in the late 80s.... Bill Gates knew MS-DOS/Windows1-2 were garbage. I'm sure he was happy that Commodore was a bunch of morons. Let me tell you this, A 1985 Amiga computer CAN access the internet (limited colors) A 1992 Amiga and use the internet today (mostly). MS-DOS cannot. And I doubt that there is a single living person using Windows 3.x on this planet.

          The past is the past, but for many people today - they we not around back then. So I make a point to state things how they were (at least from my experience). How many people on this site had their first computer be a 64K or less system? I can still somewhat marvel at my $100 cellphone, which is way beyond the abilities of my $2500 Amiga 3000 + camera + video camera + music player + voice recorder + a phone! Today, 16GB of RAM is about $100... vs the 6mb on my old Amiga.

      2. Jess

        So not until XP did Microsoft get their OS in order

        After several years of hell.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And at the same tiem to use Linux...Oh you couldn't

        Ok When you compare 95 to Linux...what I have to MOUNT a cd to even read it? Oh how quant.

        I'll just watch this VCD on my Linux ox. Just give me a few hours to work out how to do it. Oh crap now I've got to unmount the sodding disk to get it out. Ahhhhhhhh

        95 pretty much invented plug and play. Ok it wasn't great, but it a boody sight better than everything else out there.

        PS The Atari Falcon (especially the Falconmk2 & X) was way better then the Amiga when it came to multitasking so there, nah nah na naaah na.

        1. Belardi
          Devil

          Amiga and MacII had Plug in Play.... yes, even the Amiga 1000 from 1985. Win95 was nightmare.

          LOL... The falcon was better? The 32bit CPU on a 16bit bus? Yeah right... and MultTOS came out around 1992, just as they stopped making it. Amiga OS was multi-tasking since version 1.0 in 1985. Whatever. :)

    3. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      Indeed!

      Yes, basically the only "Windows" that was actually a full blown OS was Windows NT. The Win 3.x stuff was running on top of DOS, 3.11 ran over 6.22 which oddly was incompatible with 3.1 and 6.2 (I had the latter versions of Windows and DOS). Basically DOS and Win3.x had some patchwork to run 32-bit stuff, but the OS was still DOS. It extended as well into Win9x, but DOS 7.0 was hidden away from most users' eyes so few non-tech people noticed it. It also had everything pancaked with Win9x layered over Win3.x layered over DOS. You could even see which layer blew up by looking at the error windows/messages:

      • Win9x style window: Win9x layer.
      • Win3.x style window: Usually a GPF or some GDI error. It meant the error comes from the 3.x layer.
      • BSOD: You hit something really low level, probably on the DOS layer. The whole screen was in text-only, DOS format.

      The jump in Win2000 and WinXP to the NT kernel did wonders for Windows.

      1. Belardi

        Re: Indeed!

        LOL.... yep.

        Check this out.... Windows 8.0 still has Windows 3.1 crude code built in. You can see it easily.

        Go to Drive Properties from the desktop... the ugly blue and purple drive pie-chart... zero difference from Windows95 and a bit updated from Win3.x.

        Microsoft has little talent.

        1. John Robson Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Indeed!

          "Check this out.... Windows 8.0 still has Windows 3.1 crude code built in. You can see it easily.

          Go to Drive Properties from the desktop... the ugly blue and purple drive pie-chart... zero difference from Windows95 and a bit updated from Win3.x.

          Microsoft has little talent."

          Hang on - we're berating them for changing the UI and for keeping it consistent...

          1. Belardi

            Re: Indeed!

            UH... no. Its that Windows 95 > XP > vista > 7 changed and upgraded its UI style. Doesn't change function.

            Meanwhile, all these versions... still use a 1992 properties code... which looked outdated since XP.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Devil

          Re: Eadon is back - errr "Belardi"

          Welcome back, Eadon (Belardi). Missed you, sort of. Well, not really.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Belardi

      You might want to take a look at this blog post about how Windows 3.11 really worked.

      http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2010/05/17/10013609.aspx

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Belardi

        The article you have linked to has errors.

        "It's kind of stunning to realize that Enhanced mode Windows was really a completely new operating system with multiple virtual machines, pre-emptively multi-tasked with virtual memory."

        3.11 was in no way pre-emptive, it was a co-operative multitasker.

        1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

          Re: @Belardi

          "3.11 was in no way pre-emptive, it was a co-operative multitasker."

          Take a FAIL point. 3.11 ran two kinds of programs, or three if you installed Win32s. They were Win16(*) apps, which as you rightly say were run on a cooperative multitasking basis; Win32 apps with severe restrictions on Win32s (no idea on the coop/preempt split there); and MS-DOS apps in V86 mode, which were preemptively multitasked.

          Each DOS app ran in a sort of private virtual machine, and the VMM (Virtual Machine Manager) would run the various VMs (n MS-DOS and one Win16) preemptively against each other. A DOS program that was spinning in a compute loop would continue to run, and take its turn (imposed by the VMM) for access to the CPU. Of course, the real machine (MS-DOS itself) underneath was agressively single-threaded, so you were liable to run into contention if you did any I/O or other DOS calls, but for runnable VMs not inside mutexed zones, preemptive was the rule.

    5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      It was not 32 bit either

      I ran it for a few years on a 25MHz Harris 286. It actually ran faster than than on most early 386-es.

      It was the first Microsoft OS to allow installing additional 32bit runtime (under windows) which created a wonderful DLL hell as most Internet apps like Netscape, etc depended on it. It also run dos prompts/apps, etc in v386 mode utilizing one of the new features of 386. The core of windows itself however remained resolutely 16 bit and went 32 bit only with the release of 95.

    6. david 12 Bronze badge

      Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

      2013 and you are still arguing that 20 years ago something "was never an operating system"?

      Grow up.

      1. Belardi

        Re: Windows 3.x was never an Operating System

        Its not an argument. Its a fact.

  8. Why Not?

    they should have called it we all used to describe 3.11 as 'W*ndows for crash groups', can't complain kept me busy and wasn't as obscure as the early UNIXs (you just had to make everything fit in 540k ish).

    That flag will upset them.

    Do you think windows 8 should be called 'Tiles for focus groups'?

  9. AOD
    Unhappy

    Autoexec.bat & Config.sys

    Oh sweet Lord I've just had an awful flashback to those 3.11 days!

    Wheezy Compaq 386 machines on a token ring network in my first ever job. The pain that Autoexec.bat and Config.sys imposed upon you when trying to get stuff running on the machines.

    I can still recall when the first Dell 486 hit the office. Suddenly the software build task that used to take 90 minutes for a single DLL, now took about 10 mins or less. We were suitably impressed.

    Not the good old days, just the old days.

    1. BigAndos

      Re: Autoexec.bat & Config.sys

      You're right there! I recently got hit by nostalgia and decided to spend a spare evening setting up a Windows 3.11 installation in Virtual Box. I managed to install DOS and then 3.11, then came time to set up the peripherals. I installed the CD rom driver from a virtual floppy disc image, added to config.sys and autoexec.bat and then rebooted. It loads the driver and then hangs on the MSDOS screen!

      Whatever else Windows 7 or 8 may have problems with, at least they (more or less) sorted out driver installation!

      1. AOD
        WTF?

        Re: Autoexec.bat & Config.sys

        You know, even installing 95 was almost an exercise in self abuse.

        My second job involved a stack of IBM Thinkpads (way before Lenovo) and a frequent need to reinstall 95 on them due to dipstick salesdroids frequently fscking things up.

        My best friends were a stack of Win 95 install disks taller than a Pringle's tin and a lot of patience. See, even if you had a Win 95 CD, from what I remember, once you'd reached a certain point in the install process, it would reboot and start the install in anger. At that point you no longer had a working CD driver (had to re add it later from what I recall). Bit hazy on the exact details as I think my brain has glossed over some of the more horrific details in self preservation.

        Our finest hour was one twunt who breezed in on the Friday afternoon of a Bank Holiday weekend with a fscked machine in tow. Said numpty had let his offspring loose on the machine (allegedly!) and it now needed a rebuild. We enquired if it needed to be done before the Bank Holiday and were firmly told "No".

        I headed off early and was half way home when I got a call from my boss:

        "Hi, you remember that fscked machine you saw earlier today?"

        "The one that we're going to rebuild next week?"

        "Yes, that's the one, he needs it before close of business today"

        "Really? That's not what he said when he came in earlier."

        "Yeah, I know. Sorry about that"

        So what did we do? Well, there was one guy in our team left in the office but he wasn't a PC guy, his specialty was AS/400s and all that went with them.

        Having been through the 95 install process so many times, I told him to grab the Win 95 install discs from our secure storage location (bottom drawer of that storage cabinet opposite your desk mate), grab a coffee and get comfortable.

        I then proceeded to walk him through the complete installation process over the phone and the end result was one fully functioning Thinkpad with 95 onboard.

        The salesdroid was happy and so was Boss. I was happy I hadn't had to drive back to the office and bugger up my weekend.

        1. Belardi

          Re: Autoexec.bat & Config.sys

          @AOD who said "You know, even installing 95 was almost an exercise in self abuse."

          Back in the Win95~Win98 era... GHOST was your friend! Especially since W95 needed to be re-installed fresh every 3~6 months or so (some people did it monthly... thats progress?). So I ghosted my C: clean drive to a CD-R or other HD. From 99~2003, I rarely did a full Win98x install... I just ghosted back the image, update the damn thing, then re-ghost.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. dssf
    Joke

    Hahhaha, reminds me of the later, "32-bit extensions and a graphical shell" definition...

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Windows

    "Windows 95/98, (n): 32 bit extension and a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprossessor, written by a 2 bit company that can't stand 1 bit of competition. "

    The funniest bit is the descending, by half, adjectivals...

    Brilliant when people can make math and humor intersect so silky-smooth as that.... Especially if read in the early 1900's, Walter Winchell, or even the Visine commercial voices, hahahaha

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Hahhaha, reminds me of the later, "32-bit extensions and a graphical shell" definition...

      Hmm, apparently no one's ever had that "Explaining the joke, ruins the joke" chat with you.

    2. Toastan Buttar
      FAIL

      Re: Hahhaha, reminds me of the later, "32-bit extensions and a graphical shell" definition...

      Shifting 95 right by one bit gives you 47, not 32.

      Shifting 98 right by one bit gives you 49, not 32.

  12. Mage Silver badge

    Er..

    It could only run 32 bit Application programs using win32s?

    By 1994 you could have decent 32bit TCP/P, 32 bit Disk manager/VMM/Paging, Video for Windows, Win32s to run NT applications. and reasonable reliability if it was all properly configured.

    But at release it was mostly 16 bits, no Win32s, no 32bit Applications, no decent Video for Windows, no decent disk / VM/Paging.

    Is it April already again?

    I think Linus would only be sued calling it Windows For Workgroups. <anything else> for Workgroups isn't an MS Trademark?. "Workgroups" predate Microsoft. Though originally "work groups"

    Really it's not April?

    Really the main difference with initial Win95 vs last distributions of WFWG 3.11 was Explorer, not really any more "32bit" than WFWG 3.11 + Win32S

  13. Levente Szileszky

    "AMD has contributed more than 150 patches that improve support for Radeon graphics cards"

    ...'bout freakin' time but nice work, ATI, I mean AMD.

  14. Endafy

    This article made me laugh, very tongue in cheek humor.

    With as often as the kernel gets updates I see 3.12 in what, a month after the release? I highly doubt Microsoft would bother suing about the name.

    However as far as flying the Windows flag, I believe that should be removed for the final release. In all honesty I think Microsoft would sooner laugh about it if say the flag lasted only for the 3.11 release, rather than sue, as Microsoft are a major Linux kernel contributor. Having the iconic Windows flag waving, all Linus would have to say is "look at all the Microsoft code in Linux, but sure I will take it down". Most I can see is a cease and desist letter requiring them to remove the flag, laughs will be had, and we can chock this up to "big boobs" in coding. It isn't about brand awareness, it is about developers goofing off. The flag is colored backwards.

    As far as long term effects of this goes, it will grab some press, people will freak out over it because some people have no sense of humor at all, and more mind-share about what Linux really is, a kernel not a distribution.

    1. Belardi

      I agree.... good tongue in cheek.

      If MS gets their nose out of joint... oh well, they have far more problems than a 20year old logo to a long-dead product.

      1. Jess

        20year old logo to a long-dead product.

        Unless they plan to add Program Manager to Windows 8 to improve the UI.

        (Which sadly it would)

    2. fandom Silver badge

      "as Microsoft are a major Linux kernel contributor"

      That's an even better joke

    3. davidp231

      They'll skip 3.12 except in China... it was just 3.11 with Chinese support and fonts etc. They will skip straight to Kernel 95 (4.0).

  15. Herby Silver badge

    We can wait for...

    Word for Linux!

    In my dreams of course, and everyone else as well.

    Always good for a laugh! (but I DON'T WANT the ribbon!!)

  16. RLWatkins

    Doh?

    WFWG did run on 80286 chips, and it talked to others of its kind using NetBIOS, not TCP/IP.

    Would that it had been 32-bit, that would have saved my clients money and me time farting around with 'memmaker'. Would that it had TCP/IP, as NetBIOS over ArcNet didn't scale up all that well.

    1. Jess

      80286 chips

      3.1 ran on 286 chips

      3.11 didn't

      (I believe there was a 3.1 for Workgoups, although far less common)

  17. William Higinbotham

    I was a tech during DOS, Win 3.x and so on. Thank God for QEMM. Lots of Autoexec and Config backups (We numbered them for historical reference - and bat files to load different versions depending on tasks and software to be used). Our facility use to use Wordperfect. Everyone was sad to see it go because Washington DC went to Microsoft office apps. I miss those DOS boot jokes that made the characters fall to the bottom of the screen or flashed some message at the user. Had a lot of laughs within our group playing joke at one another.

    The ASCII Guy

  18. Simon Smith 1

    @ Balardi...

    ...are you Eadon in disguise?

    1. Belardi
      Terminator

      Re: @ Balardi...

      Are you Rick Perry?

  19. Gordan

    Does that mean Linux 4 is going to be called Linux 95?

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      "Does that mean Linux 4 is going to be called Linux 95?"

      Or does it mean that Linux will finally get a proper security, authentication and delegation model built in from the ground up in a couple of versions time?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @TheVogon - Yep!

        Together with the option to check "Allow" and "Deny" privileges simultaneously. I personally love it!

      2. Daniel B.
        Boffin

        Yes indeed

        I think we call it PAM and has been available for quite some time.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember someone calling 3.11 "Windows for Wardrobes" once, it was funny at the time.

  21. Michael M

    Linux 95?

    Will the fact that this will occur after the sun becomes a red giant preclude the naming of Linux 95 being equally snappy.

    I'm assuming, in the above, that the entity known as 'Linus' is by then a loadable module, as are the rest of the kernel writers.

  22. Mark Broadhurst
    Coat

    Odd marketing move ?

    Hey look we are just like that operating system from twenty years ago from that company you probably hate. Come try it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Odd marketing move ?

      Who told you this is marketing ? Linux got where it is right now with no marketing so why would they bother now?

  23. GrumpyWorld
    IT Angle

    AKA Windows for Warehouses

    Because it was the first upgrade that no-one really wanted to touch..

  24. Badvok
    Headmaster

    Minor point I know but Windows was three point one (point) one, but the Linux kernel is three point eleven point something (rc1 at moment?).

  25. Mr Anonymous

    I thought the default protocol on WFWG was IPX/SPX being as they were trying to usurp Netware's position.

    1. alisonken1

      NetBIOS

      Early windows used NebBIOS protocol - ipx/spx was for netware.

      TCP/IP was an add-on using the winsock.dll if you needed to do internet stuff.

    2. davidp231

      That'll be the fun joy-of-joys that was NetBEUI.

  26. Clive Galway

    Many years ago, when working for a company, I changed one of the manager's WFW boot up screen to subtly read "Windows for Wankgroups". Took him over a month to notice.

  27. Saganhill

    Remember Calmira?

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