Location: GUIs >
Microsoft Windows 3.0
The Microsoft Windows 3.0 boot screen. Now in VGA.
About this time Microsoft finally realized that the GUI was catching
on. Functionally, the window management is not much different than
version 2.x, however they took some steps to make it look fancier. Command
buttons and the window controls now have a 3D look. However this 3Dnes
did not extend to many other window controls.
Microsoft replaced the old MS-DOS Executive with Program Manager and
its companion, File Manager. Program manager gives the user large Macintosh
like icons to click on to start programs. Although program groups can not
be imbedded in other program groups, the icons are drag and dropable between
On the technical side, Windows 3.0 is capable of running in 8086 "real
mode" (640k limit), 286 "standard mode" (~16 meg limit using XMS), and
386 "enhanced mode" which also allows page swapping (hard drive space is
the limit). Windows 3.0 is the last version of Windows that will run on
8088/8086 IBM PC compatibles.
This is File Manager. Files can be managed relatively easily with the
ability to drag and drop between folders and drives.
Notably, the File Manager and Program Manager are similar to those included
with OS/2 1.1 a year prior to the release of Windows 3.0.
Windows 3.0 also includes a completely revamped control panel. Like
Program Manager, the control panel now displays using large icons.
The Windows 3.0 control panel also allows you to change the background
to display a specified pattern or bit-mapped graphic. Also, double-clicking
on the desktop starts the Taskman program. Taskman is a small program that
can be used for switching tasks more easily if many windows are open, rearranging
the open windows, and rearranging minimized program icons.
Windows 3.0 also includes a new, very advanced hypertext help system.
Yes, it looks like a web browser. The Windows 3.x help files worked quite
well, unfortunately Microsoft ditched this format in Windows 95, probably
so they could re-introduce this very same style of help with Hyper Help
in Windows 98.
Another new application that was included with Windows 3.0 is Windows
Paintbrush, a replacement for the old Microsoft Paint program in 1.x and
2.x. This program actually handles color and supports .BMP and .PCX graphics
The infamous Windows Solitaire is now included with Windows!
Exiting Windows 3.0.