Why Does Microsoft Still Support NT

P4m80p / Snc302eeh
March 31, 2009 at 08:34:13
Specs: Windows XP, 3.06mhz P4, 512mb
Well I don't understand why Microsoft still supports Windows NT 4.0 it's such a bad useless operating system, when they cut off support for the windows 9x series even when the earliest version of windows 95 is a much better windows than NT 4.0, NT 4 doesn't even support Fat32 and why have ntfs support if you still can't have a large hard drive, Windows 98se blows NT 4.0 away minus the crappy ntfs support, To me it seems that Microsoft should have dropped support for NT 4 instead of 98.. What do you think, Why still support NT 4. it's an outdated windows that is older than 98, NT 4 comes with Internet explorer 2.0 when 95 had Internet explorer 3, 98 came with 5.0, NT 4 is like windows 3.11 with win32s and the win95 user interface, Yet they still support it, Why..

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#1
April 2, 2009 at 01:47:50
You've obviously not been around many businesses (especially older manufactring businesses) much (granted, the article is a little over a year old):

http://www.controleng.com/article/C...

NT4 was a secure, broad-based, 32-bit OS that was installed on many systems still in use today. During the "tech-boom" of the mid to late 90's (NT4's heyday), many of those PC's and servers were installed, and most of them with NT4. I worked with several pieces of equipment that did (and still do) run on NT4. Now given the current economic situation, it's not likely that many of those systems (that still are in production) are going to be replaced anytime soon. And given the TCO of such, M$ would rather support an older OS on older equipment than have a replacement (i.e. Linux-based) OS on those machines...


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#2
April 3, 2009 at 09:46:04
Well yeah seems I'm more obsolete then I thought Microsoft stopped supporting NT 4 in 2005. And well maybe NT server was better but I have the workstation version and have never had a computer that would run it with out problems, either lack of a proper video diver or not one that worked, plus it is much lamer and having windows 95 then later 98 I never really got in to using it but it never support my components either was always several things that it didn't have drivers or support for, and it is only fat16 or crappy ntfs and it is not the same as the ntfs that windows 2000 and XP use.

I do know that those businesses have computers where everything is on board or integrated so it was probably better suited for that I guess, and the server version may be different. I bought it to late like after 95 had came out.

98 was so much better but was only for end users no server version. Microsoft needs a new windows though that is designed only for end users.


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#3
April 3, 2009 at 10:11:40
I ran NT4 workstation for years and admittedly, it's a pain to install. But once configured properly, it never had a single crash of any kind and this was on a old Compaq Prosignia Server (486 with an AMD K5-133 upgrade CPU). I only had 1 other machine (out of hundreds) that wouldn't crash at some point running Win9x (and that was a IBM PS/2 Model 80 (386-DX20). Guess it's just a matter of personal choice...

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#4
April 3, 2009 at 18:05:44
"Guess it's just a matter of personal choice..."

That sounds right and well I never needed it cause I had 95 already and then got 98 shortly after, and all my systems where capable of ruining 98, an yes windows 95, 98 did have their many crashes you were lucky if you made it for 3 months with out a crash but most things were recoverable if you knew what you were doing, and there was system restore from ms-dos only though.

Anyway I really like Windows 2000 Pro and it is the most stable windows I've ever ran. But some where Microsoft went wrong with XP because 2000 is much more crash free.. and 2000 is built on NT 4 technology so I guess they did something right with it.


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#5
April 3, 2009 at 21:12:08
As far as both 2K and XP are concerned, I've really had little trouble out of 2K and none out of XP, but their hardware requirements are such that I've only a few machines capable of running them, even when "nLited". I'm trying to "shoehorn" 2K onto a HP Vectra XU (dual P90's) w/128MB to see if it's tolerable, but haven't got back around to that project yet. An nLited version of XP seems "livable" on a P233, as long as it has gobs of memory (384MB)...

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#6
April 3, 2009 at 23:18:13
Well yeah 2k is very stable but you must have not used XP in ways that I have for me it crashes every time I turn around, and I've never made it longer than a month with out having to reinstall. With 2k I ran it for 2 years never had a crash and only got rid of it because everything kept calling for XP service pack 2.. Of course that was all before I meet avast anti-virus haven't had a problem since three weeks so far and it's XP Pro this time, not the home version that I was using before. Seems there is something different about the pro versions of windows.. We will see if I make it for longer than a month. then I might change my mind about XP..

Windows 2k pro may or may not run on 90mhz with a memory cache maybe. Like 98 will run on a 486 33mhz where Microsoft's requirements say a Pentium 66mhz or faster, as for installing it on one that is a bit tricky but some low end 486DX HPs ran it just fine. Tested it myself and still have one of the computers that ran it in working condition..

Anyway here are the requirements for 2K pro.
* 133 MHz Pentium or higher microprocessor (or equivalent).
* 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM recommended minimum.
32 MB of RAM is the minimum supported.
* A 2 GB hard disk with 650 MB of free space.
* VGA or higher resolution monitor


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#7
April 4, 2009 at 00:20:07
Yeah, should have mentioned I'm using XP Pro (SP2). I'd agree about Avast as well. Kept me outta trouble for about 3 years now...

The HP Vectra project is kinda low on the priority list right now since I'm dabbling in Xubuntu on an old 400MHz PII...


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#8
April 4, 2009 at 10:47:47
Somewhere I have a HP 120mhz Pentium, it might be equivalent to run 2k, I had just installed it on a AMD 166mhz with 128mb of ram, took a while to setup but works okay on it. Is my current project for a back up computer, I have some more memory for it but I think it only supports 256mb as the Max..

For a Linux system though you need an internet ready system cause with out it updating and installing other software can be a real pain.. Or at least have a usb port for one those pin drives or wireless modems.


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#9
April 10, 2009 at 06:17:35
Windows NT 4 came out at a time when 32 MB was sufficient. FAT32 was still in the works on Windows 95 OSR2, so it never made it to the NT series until 2000. Windows NT 4 was arguably the best version of Windows for those who do serious multitasking, although some may argue NT 3.51 was the king. Can you surf the Internet with over 100 browser windows open on Windows 98 with just 32 MB of RAM? I was doing this in the mid-to-late 1990s on NT 4 without any problems.

Well I don't understand why Microsoft still supports Windows NT 4.0 [...]

Microsoft isn't just around to support end-users. Businesses loved NT 4. They could reasonably lock it down so their users don't do things they shouldn't. Can you set file permissions or limit access to critical system files on Windows 95 / 98 / ME? Absolutely not. As long as the user can boot to MS-DOS, it is game over. Sure there were workarounds, but they were all easily circumvented. You simply cannot lock down a Windows 9x machine the way you can with NT.

[...] NT 4 comes with Internet explorer 2.0 when 95 had Internet explorer 3, 98 came with 5.0 [...]

NT 4 isn't for everyone. If you are trying to run games on it then NT is not for you. If you insist on limiting yourself to inferior, integrated browsers like IE, then NT is not for you. If you cannot live without USB, then NT is not for you (although some people have successfully added this support.) Windows NT happily runs relatively recent versions of Firefox and Opera without any problems. It can even run the same versions of IE that 98 runs, if you so are so inclined. NT can be a pain to set up and get things working the way you want, as T-R-A and others will agree, but once you do, it is way more stable than the 9x series.

[...] NT 4 doesn't even support Fat32 and why have ntfs support if you still can't have a large hard drive [...]

If you are referring to the main partition, then yes it has its limits. However, you can have an extended NTFS partition virtually as large as you want. I've run NT 4 on 80GB drives and larger without any problems. The trick is to just create a small partition during setup (say 2 GB), then install SP5 or SP6a. Then in Disk Administrator, set up the remainder of your disk as NTFS and install everything there. FAT32, while not native to NT, support can be added via third party means even to NT 3.51 if you must.

[...] Microsoft needs a new windows though that is designed only for end users. [...]

This will never happen anymore. They quit doing two separate lines (for the most part) with XP.

[...] NT 4 is like windows 3.11 with win32s and the win95 user interface [...]

I would never make that analogy to describe NT 4.0. If you had said the same thing to describe Windows NT 3.1 (minus the Win95 interface), then your analogy would be more valid given its inability to run most later Win32 programs and inability to handle long file names on VFAT partitions. Windows 98 actually borrows some driver concepts from NT, btw. Thus, it could be argued that Windows 98 is like a cheap knock-off of NT minus the stability, but that would be an equally inaccurate analogy.

[...] But some where Microsoft went wrong with XP because 2000 is much more crash free.. and 2000 is built on NT 4 technology so I guess they did something right with it. [...]

On this point, I agree. XP added much unnecessary bloat, and Vista adds even more. My personal opinion was that Microsoft stopped being innovative after Windows 2000, and newer versions added nothing of value that I cannot already do with 2000 or earlier. I run NT 4 (often dual booted with 9x to get the best of both worlds) on most machines, and have no desire to run anything beyond 2000 in the Windows world.


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#10
April 10, 2009 at 22:57:15
Well that explains most of it anyway.

except that The most noticeable difference from Windows NT 3.51 is that Windows NT 4.0 has the user interface of Windows 95. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window...

Check the link it's right there in plain view.


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#11
April 15, 2009 at 19:27:09
4.0, in my opinion, is way more stable than the 9x systems. also i consider it better than windows xp because of no bloat, and with a lil hacking, no internet explorer.

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#12
April 18, 2009 at 00:08:53
"4.0, in my opinion, is way more stable than the 9x systems. also i consider it better than windows xp because of no bloat, and with a lil hacking, no internet explorer."

I agree on that point windows NT 4 after a fresh install is only 50mb, Windows 95 and 98 200mb, 2000 is about the same, XP is more like 2gbytes or larger.


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#13
April 25, 2009 at 13:44:18
"Can you set file permissions or limit access to critical system files on Windows 95 / 98 / ME? Absolutely not. As long as the user can boot to MS-DOS, it is game over."

I think you can hide protected system files in windows 98 and under dos 7 there is a program for it, and with a little dos knowledge and some Linux dos utilities you can stop a user from accessing it in plain dos from the command prompt. Plus most of your windows user have no idea how to use dos. Only people like us know the tricks because we started out with just dos. My first OS was Ms-Dos 3.3 plus.. I can lock it down with the right tools.. On top that you can setup windows 98 to require a user name and password for log on, then inside windows XP's system32 folder there is a setup program called Netsetup.exe that you can copy over to 98 windows run and install a restricted network under windows 98 and password protect it, Then not only does the user have to log on to windows 98 with a username an password, they also have to enter another username and password to log on to the network.. But no you can't lock it down.. And for the windows log on work around you can just uninstall it then it's not available as an option..

Anyway I just caught on to the real reason that Microsoft dropped 9x windows, it's because they include the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine, and can use it's development tools. Microsoft was sued by Sun Java Systems in 2003 for their use of the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine to develop Java applications. And then a few years later they came to an agreement that future version of Microsoft windows and development tools would no longer include access to the Microsoft based Java Virtual Machine. As well as for internet explorer.


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#14
May 22, 2009 at 10:26:28
the whole point of windows nt 4 was to give windows nt 3.51 the windows 95 user interface. if you really look at it their not diffrent. its windows nt 3.51 with a diffrent user interface.

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#15
September 29, 2009 at 10:50:09
I would really not describe NT4 as crappy, it was way ahead of 95 & 98 in the way of reliability, security, expandability and networking. NT4 still can support quite large disks with NTFS, and can support FAT32 with a 3rd party driver. It is a pain to get everything working, but it was never intended for easy home use, but for companies with IT personnell who knew what to do.

http://www.josephn.net


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#16
October 24, 2009 at 18:57:21
I have two older laptops (Dell Latitude C640 & D610), built in 2003 and 2006. I run Win 2K Pro and XP Pro SP3 on both of them, along with some Linux distros. I recently beefed up the memory on the C640 to 1GB, for better performance. On both laptops, Win 2K Pro (although it starts and shuts down slower), is a better OS than XP Pro. I had Win 2K Pro years ago, with no virus problems or crashes. However XP Pro, although a good OS, over the years has given me virus problems, crashed often at times, and I've done countless reinstalls. But the fact is XP is still holding 1st place in currently running OS's. The support for Win 2K Pro runs out next year and we have until 2014 for XP support. If Windows 7 turns out to be a flop like Vista, we may see a service pack 4 for XP. But back to my point: Win 2K Pro runs better than XP Pro on both of my laptops. Win 2K Pro only offers IE6, but who cares? Firefox 3.5.3 makes both OS's look good, especially Win 2K Pro. And I refused to accept IE8 on XP Pro, because I've had it before, and it's a headache in it's self. IE7 is on these systems, but they are very rarely used (Firefox smokes all of the MS browsers, even IE8). So why does Microsoft still support NT? In today's economy, everyone can't afford to buy new systems. If Microsoft really wanted to get those with older systems to upgrade, they could have built a "lite" version of Vista and Windows 7 to run on them. And they would have made a fortune in doing so, because the only OS's that will run on our systems are being sold everyday on eBay for $25 to $200. Win 95 and 98 are fairly cheap, Win 2K Pro still fetches around $100 and XP Pro gets up to $200 to $250 (the "legal retail" versions). The OEM versions are cheaper, but you must be a system builder to legally use them. So until Microsoft starts respecting the users who made them big (the ones like myself with old laptops), there will be a market for NT and XP.

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#17
February 15, 2010 at 16:38:59
Where'd you get the idea that Microsoft still supports NT 4.0? It simply isn't true. Microsoft hasn't supported NT 4.0 since the end of 2004.

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/Lif...


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#18
May 24, 2010 at 13:44:23
it had extended supported long after that, in 2008 even you could go to the Microsoft's website and still get support where 9x had been completely dropped by that time. This was all before Microsoft moved their downloads to the new Microsoft Downloads site and later the support links too, which still contains the same links it's just that they cause every thing to redirect you to their new site, but mostly it was do to the fact that windows 2k was built on the same code as NT4 an therefore served as a extended support mechanism for NT4. Where on the other hand ME was dropped along with 95 and 98, leaving no extended support mechanism.

http://telechargerman.tripod.com/


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#19
June 23, 2010 at 18:41:31
And there's still stuff related to Windows 3.1, 95, and 98, deep in the bowels of their website. That doesn't mean its "supported." You can't get new bug fixes, security updates, and you can't call in and ask for assistance in an issue. A few technical documents and old files isn't "support"; its just bad housekeeping. The evolutionary relationship between Windows NT and later versions of Windows has nothing to do with why they still have stuff related to it.

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