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MS To Finally End OEM Licensing For Windows 3.11

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the like-a-moth-at-a-candlelight-dinner dept.

Windows 388

halfEvilTech writes with an excerpt from Ars Technica's story on the sputtering out of Windows for Workgroups 3.11: "Believe it or not, that headline is not a typo. John Coyne, Systems Engineer in the OEM Embedded Devices group at Microsoft, has posted a quick blog entry that broke the bad news: as of November 1, 2008, Microsoft will no longer allow OEMs to license Windows for Workgroups 3.11 in the embedded channel. That's exactly 15 years after it shipped in November 1993! Poor OEMs have so much to put up with these days; first Windows XP, and now this!"

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388 comments

Abandonware (5, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 6 years ago | (#24139841)

The story's a bit amusing, but for me it does raise kind of a serious question. Maybe slightly OT, but I've always wondered why it is that abandonware doesn't automatically become public domain. Many people were really upset when Apple killed the "Classic" OS, just as many will feel the sting of XP support being abruptly withdrawn soon. Seems to me it would be a fair enough rule that software with a sizeable installed base that is abandoned by its creators should be opened to the community, so it can live on or die on its own merits. Personally, I'd love to see what the community might have made of the old Apple UNIX, and even Win2K and XP might be made into something really cool with a community-based effort.

Re:Abandonware (1)

harshmanrob (955287) | about 6 years ago | (#24139947)

I remember using BOTH Apple Unix (A/UX) and Unix Coherent. Man those were the days.

Re:Abandonware (5, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 6 years ago | (#24139979)

Are you saying that discontinued products should be made available for free or that they should be open-sourced? If it's the former, that's one thing (though that still doesn't necessarily free the original manufacturer from any license or patent obligations they may have made). If it's the latter (which is what your last sentence makes it sound like), that would be a major issue, since the underlying technologies (which themselves are usually patented or licensed) are often used in the newer products that replaced the older ones.

Re:Abandonware (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#24140067)

Of course they should be open sourced. Ideally all four of the software freedoms [gnu.org] should be enshrined in law.

Re:Abandonware (4, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 6 years ago | (#24140411)

That would make software "free", but the people who create it less so. Shouldn't I be allowed to choose how I distribute my software? Let the market decide.

Re:Abandonware (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#24140475)

Not if you use that software to remove the rights of others.

Re:Abandonware (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140537)

So I'm not allowed to use Open Office to track my human trafficking shipments?

Re:Abandonware (5, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | about 6 years ago | (#24140689)

Why are you in the first place? Office has some nice built in templates just for that.

Re:Abandonware (4, Funny)

colmore (56499) | about 6 years ago | (#24140769)

So I'm not allowed to use Open Office to track my human trafficking shipments?

I think IBM handles a lot of contracts in that market.

Re:Abandonware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140535)

Copyrights don't matter, software should be free, etc. I agree with you - if I write something, what happens to it is my business. Your rights as a user don't trump my rights as a creator...

Re:Abandonware (1, Flamebait)

novakyu (636495) | about 6 years ago | (#24140749)

Let the market decide.

How do you propose to let the market decide when the government has granted you a perpetual monopoly (often euphemistically called "copyright")?

Say what you want, but "let the market decide" is the last thing you can possibly say when proprietary software is involved.

Re:Abandonware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140819)

Because, government granted copyright or not, no member of the market is forced to buy it in the first place.

Re:Abandonware (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 6 years ago | (#24140825)

I don't agree.

I have a problem with the idea of software becoming open sourced just because the users want it. If you knowingly agree to be bound by a license, you should honor that agreement unless the licensor acts in an unconscionable way, and then your own actions should only be sufficient to address the specific issue. Everybody knows vendors stop supporting old software. You can't complain if the vendor gives you a couple years to upgrade and then pulls support, because you bought the license to use the software knowing this could happen.

This is important. This is why businesses and individuals should use open source software wherever possible: in order to control their future. Much of the open source software I use is because I don't like the license restrictions of the proprietary alternative.

People and organizations should support open source and free software rather than make deals with proprietary vendor then renege on them. And if people should be so cavalier with licenses, then the same applies to free licenses as well.

Re:Abandonware (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#24140091)

Discontinued products should be made available consistent with the spirit of the
original intent of US Copyright and the actual relevant Constitutional language.

Anything that patented is already "protected" in terms of "personal private property".
Further obfuscation simply isn't necessary. Furthermore, it's entirely moot since
anything patented has to be disclosed anyways (there are no secrets involved).

There may be complications in using the source but that's a situation that exists
already with Free Software.

If it's not worth the author keeping for sale anymore then it should quickly enter
the public domain. Abandonware should quickly go PD across the board.

It's really the only way to make quasi-perpetual copyright not stiffle new creators.

Re:Abandonware (3, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#24140757)

That linus torvaldes guy isn't selling linux, so I guess that should be public domain as well?

Re:Abandonware (1)

spockman (532973) | about 6 years ago | (#24140129)

I totally agree that if being 'Abandoned' then they could make it 'Free'. I do not agree that they should make it Open Source as I am sure there is code which was rolled up or kept in later versions that are still sold and supported.

Re:Abandonware (4, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | about 6 years ago | (#24140229)

Are you saying that discontinued products should be made available for free or that they should be open-sourced?

I can't speak for clang_jangle, but I believe that software should be required to ship with buildable source if it is to qualify for copyright protection. It would be the software/copyright analogue of the disclosure required for patents. It would go some way to mitigating the problems caused by copyright as it is applied to software, abandonware being one of them.

Buildable source always? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#24140335)

I believe that software should be required to ship with buildable source if it is to qualify for copyright protection.

How would you build, say, a Wii game from source?

Re:Buildable source always? (1)

Talchas (954795) | about 6 years ago | (#24140597)

Build it on a computer, burn to cd/dvd, done?

Lockout chip (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#24140871)

Build it on a computer, burn to cd/dvd, done?

The Wii SDK with which retail games are built is not public. Nor is Nintendo's digital signing key for executables that run on retail Wii consoles.

Re:Abandonware (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 6 years ago | (#24140253)

I think that when companies decide not to support their old software anymore they should have the choice -- release it under an open source license (which might allow them to maintain some small degree of control), or allow it to enter the public domain. I'm aware that under current IP law that can become hellishly complicated, but IMO it ought not be that way.

Re:Abandonware (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 6 years ago | (#24140941)

Only if you've modded your Wii. Natively Wii-compatible DVDs can't be burned with most DVD burners.

Re:Abandonware (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140419)

only a nigger would say something like that stupid. are you a nigger? because you sound like a nigger.

good job outing yourself as a nigger, nigger.

Re:Abandonware (1)

jrothwell97 (968062) | about 6 years ago | (#24140643)

It depends. Windows today still uses quite a lot of code from the earliest versions of Windows. However, considering the transition between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, it was practically a total rewrite. Mac OS X borrowed more from NeXTStep than OS 9, so I see no reason why Apple can't open-source Mac OS Classic.

Re:Abandonware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24139989)

not that I agree with it but rationalization:
1. newer versions are not built from scratch; fear of exposing more vulnerabilities.
2. possible legal issues if the developer used someone else's code w/ or w/out license.

Re:Abandonware (1, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#24140005)

Some of us feel the same about current software, and act accordingly.

Re:Abandonware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140055)

Is it really "abandonware" if the code still lurks in later versions? I'd be surprised if XP code, or even 3.11 code for that matter, wasn't still part of Vista.

Re:Abandonware (5, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 years ago | (#24140069)

You can actually download System 7.5.3 [apple.com] from Apple for free. Sure you don't get the source code to edit it, but at least you can still run it. I think this is a good solution. Once your software is no longer commercially viable, let people use it for free.

Re:Abandonware (1)

Udderdude (257795) | about 6 years ago | (#24140457)

System 7.5.3 for life!

Re:Abandonware (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140633)

Yeah.... and that's a great decision on Apple's part, BUT, I'd really like to see them continue that tradition by making MacOS 9.1 free, or at least do it for 8.6 and 8.1?

They no longer sell a single computer that is even designed to run any of these older MacOS versions, and I can't imagine they really make any worthwhile profit on sales of new copies of any of them at this point in time?

System 7.5.3 was a popular "milestone" release of MacOS because it had a lot of basic functionality, but still a small enough footprint to run on real early vintage Macs. But I'd also argue versions 8.1, 8.6 and 9.1 were "key" as well.

For people with still "vintage" but relatively recent and more powerful Macs like the PowerMac 9xxx, 8xxx and even 7xxx series - it seems silly limiting it to System 7.5.3, just because that was the most recent freely available version you could get?

I believe you needed to get to version 8.1 to even support such concepts as using your own image file as a desktop background?

Re:Abandonware (4, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 6 years ago | (#24140821)

I think old versions should all be made available, just as soon as they are no longer available for purchase. Then perhaps we would see some actual innovation. About a year ago I stumbled across WFW 3.11, and DOS 6.22. On a slow day at work I installed them on a recent system. I must say DOS and Win3.11 fly on modern hardware. :)

Re:Abandonware (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#24140929)

Except it was free to begin with. Nothing there changed, except support is gone.

8.0 is when they started charging for the OS.

Re:Abandonware (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 6 years ago | (#24140959)

You can actually download System 7.5.3 from Apple for free. Sure you don't get the source code to edit it, but at least you can still run it. I think this is a good solution. Once your software is no longer commercially viable, let people use it for free.

Is there anything us Intel based peeps can do with this OS? (I don't suppose VMWare supports PPC emulation...?)

Re:Abandonware (3, Interesting)

el_chupanegre (1052384) | about 6 years ago | (#24140075)

I think basically because new software is very rarely a revolution and very often an evolution. If XP became public domain for example, a large portion of Vista goes public with it by relation. It only takes a few geeks to fill in the blanks and release the patches and everyone could have a 'roll your own' Windows that would probably be better than Microsoft has to offer.

Also, there is the obvious case where thousands of geeks grep the code looking for amusing sections and potential embarrassment for the company releasing it. Didn't that happen when the Win2K code was leaked?

Finally, they would say they have invested thousands and thousands of man-hours into the code, it's theirs and nobody elses! Of course, most of us here are F/OSS developers and that idea is a bit alien to us, but that's the way they do it unfortunately.

Re:Abandonware (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 6 years ago | (#24140341)

I think the main concern is that of royalties to other companies.

Windows code includes the use of code licensed from various parties. MS can only release what they own as PD. You'd still need to pay a license to "whoever else" unless they also released the licensed code as PD.

Layne

Re:Abandonware (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 6 years ago | (#24140109)

Maybe slightly OT, but I've always wondered why it is that abandonware doesn't automatically become public domain.

It's called "selling refrigerators to the Eskimos" to create and grow a market for inferior, useless products that nobody would buy otherwise. You have to create a need and then deny access to it. It's why they need things like infinite copyright and patents.

Re:Abandonware (5, Insightful)

Verdatum (1257828) | about 6 years ago | (#24140141)

Companies believe, and often jusifiably so, that it makes little business sense to do this. Even though they abandon it now, they reserve the right to "unabandon" it later (granted this makes more sense for properties like out-of-print books than for out of date software titles). Maintaining the rights allow companies to do things like charge you ten dollars to play the original Super Mario Brothers on your Wii. Second, since the old software can do some of the same things as the new software, consumers could for certain applications, go with the public domain OS when otherwise they would be forced to pay for the current OS. Microsoft does not want to be in competition with it's own now-profitless product, that would just be silly.

Re:Abandonware (2, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | about 6 years ago | (#24140147)

I would applaud that, and not just for software. Any out of print book, album, movie; anything that can be given copyright protection should enter the public domain if it is out of print.

Too bad we have the best legislators that money can buy.

Re:Abandonware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140695)

Whoa, what century were you born in? Its only been since the mid to late 1990's when books started to be edited digitally and even then, the final press-proofs weren't fully digital until this century. The pretty-pretty books you read are not text files sent to a press, but complicated digital layouts. It would take days and days for a publishing company to reset all of that digital text back into something like a book for you to download for free. Days and Days of PAID time.

Don't hold your breath.

Re:Abandonware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140163)

Because then Microsoft would have to compete with the free versions of their own products.

Re:Abandonware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140193)

The story's a bit amusing, but for me it does raise kind of a serious question. Maybe slightly OT, but I've always
wondered why it is that abandonware doesn't automatically become public domain. Many people were really upset
when Apple killed the "Classic" OS, just as many will feel the sting of XP support being abruptly withdrawn soon.
Seems to me it would be a fair enough rule that software with a sizeable installed base that is abandoned by its
creators should be opened to the community, so it can live on or die on its own merits. Personally, I'd love to
see what the community might have made of the old Apple UNIX, and even Win2K and XP might be made into something
really cool with a community-based effort.

Way too much proprietary information they would have to pull out of the code first. Not to mention if XP was allowed to grow outside of MS it would be in direct competition with the rest of MS. Maybe some older stuff like 98 could become public.

Re:Abandonware (2, Insightful)

skutch (805084) | about 6 years ago | (#24140297)

It's not in a company's best interest to release an abandoned piece of software into the public domain because then it may compete with the company's supported products. e.g. Why would I buy the latest version of Microsoft Windows when I when an old-ish version which adequately suits my needs is in the public domain?

only a little off-topic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140393)

Where can I find a site that shows how to pair down XP for an Asus Eee? I wanted the linux version but that's sold out everywhere. I had to pay the $50 XP tax but since I own a license I'll just stick with it. But I want to remove all the unnecessary fluff.

Re:Abandonware (1)

Narpak (961733) | about 6 years ago | (#24140885)

I've always wondered why it is that abandonware doesn't automatically become public domain.

You my friends are obviously a communist infiltrator. Public domain is only a way for the parasite to leech of the creativity of the strong...

... too... much... Bioshock...

Damn. (1)

Mr_Reaper (231387) | about 6 years ago | (#24139847)

And I really wanted a copy on my new dell.

AHMAGAD! (1, Interesting)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | about 6 years ago | (#24139859)

And nothing of value was lost.

Anonymous Coward (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24139869)

This news doesn't bode well for Windows 95...

Re:Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140849)

Does it mean my Windows 98SE PC for Final Fantasy XI is safe for a while?

Windows 3.1st Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24139885)

All yer Winders are belongs to usses.

I don't believe it (4, Funny)

snoyberg (787126) | about 6 years ago | (#24139899)

A slashdot article without a typo? Can't half that!

Re:I don't believe it (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 6 years ago | (#24140159)

Timothy should of put one in.

Re:I don't believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140687)

Timothy should have put one in.

Fixed that for you.

About a month ago (1)

unleashedgamers (855464) | about 6 years ago | (#24139925)

I found 3 boxes I had from way back... 2 Windows 3.1 boxes one still unopened and in mint condition. and one box to upgrade from dos to windows 3.1. Maybe there will finally be a market to sell these and make a few bucks, or hell maybe even use the opened one.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24139933)

Look Microsoft, you don't know what it's like - I'm the one out there every day putting my ass on the line. And I'm not out of order! You're out of order! The whole freaking system is out of order! You want the truth? You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! 'Cause when you reach over and put your hand into a pile of goo that was your Windows 3.11 machine, you'll know what to do!! Forget it Microsoft, it's Chinatown!!!

But... (4, Funny)

Illbay (700081) | about 6 years ago | (#24139945)

...will my "Bob" license still be valid?

Ahh the memories (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | about 6 years ago | (#24139957)

I recall when the original WfW packs hit the stores many years ago (was it CompUSA?). Software + NIC, IIRC.

At the time, I was running LANtastic, a terrible networking package. It was cheap, and handled my multinode BBS fairly well, but it was REALLY proprietary and sometimes had no reason to crash but did.

I sold my multinode BBS about that time when I first noticed WfW. Since I was a bit flush with cash after selling the old BBS, I decided to purchase a WfW "starter pack" of some sort. A few hours later, and it was up and running on my now-smaller home network.

At the time I was working for a Novell installation company, and I detested Novell's interface. WfW was significantly better, even though it wasn't as geek-friendly as Novell. I was not very *nix concerned at the time, either, but at that point I had over 9 years of PC experience.

For me, WfW really beat down what my old standards were. LANtastic was out. DESQview was a dying application. Novell was too expensive for the small networks, and too hard to administer for the basic admins at the clients I was handling at the time.

I recall clearly saying "This is going to sweep the PC world." And it did. It was the beginning of a much more profitable venture for me, personally, and provided the basis for many jobs of the geeks who circle at /.

So RIP WfW. It was nice knowing you.

Re:Ahh the memories (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 6 years ago | (#24140353)

I recall when the original WfW packs hit the stores many years ago (was it CompUSA?). Software + NIC, IIRC.

It would have been SoftWarehouse at the time.

Re:Ahh the memories (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 6 years ago | (#24140715)

Nice Nic

Re:Ahh the memories (4, Funny)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | about 6 years ago | (#24140545)

hey, what's the problem with lantastic ? i earned my living out of it for a bunch of years. i liked the way the DOS boxes bleeped everytime the coax cable was open.

bleep! bleep! bleep! bleep!

and there i went with a 50 Ohm terminator to find the faulty node...

ahhh, the good old times.

now get of my lawn, punk.

Re:Ahh the memories (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140697)

nobody used networks to make a multinode bbs you god damned liar

Like it or not (1)

Scr3wFace (1200541) | about 6 years ago | (#24139975)

I bet most of us can remember the day you loaded 3.11.... and said "you gotta be kidding me"!

Re:Like it or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140329)

I switched from a Commodore Amiga to a PC with Windows 3.11 and I know exactly what you mean.

Re:Like it or not (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | about 6 years ago | (#24140577)

I bet most of us can remember the day you loaded 3.11.... and said "you gotta be kidding me"!

Hey, it was miles better than either Windows 3.0 ... which doesn't mean much.

Re:Like it or not (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about 6 years ago | (#24140911)

I bet most of us can remember the day you loaded 3.11.... and said "you gotta be kidding me"!

Hmm... I remember that, at the time I "discovered" Windows in a store for the first time (I was used to having 286s running DOS 4.1 and Turbo Pascal in school, and to an Apple IIe at home), it was at version 3.11. I saw Paintbrush running at blazing speed in a 386 machine and immediately fell in love with the whole thing.

Nowadays I'm an Ubuntu user, but not having had contact with a Mac or Amiga before Windows, it was like heaven compared to what I knew. This only goes to show that the reaction one has really depends on his background, eh?

Its not a joke, it can be serious (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#24139981)

If part of an industry is relying on something and it goes poof, it costs quite a bit of money to retool to accommodate such a radical change.

Also goes to show you that old isn't always 'bad'.

Re:Its not a joke, it can be serious (4, Funny)

Illbay (700081) | about 6 years ago | (#24140095)

Also goes to show you that old isn't always 'bad'.

It's a good rule of thumb, though. I just found a cabbage in the fridge that I think we bought three months ago.

OMG, the stench!

Re:Its not a joke, it can be serious (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140481)

If part of an industry is relying on something and it goes poof, it costs quite a bit of money to retool to accommodate such a radical change.

An industry which does not think about the future deserves everything it gets when the future smacks it in the face. You cannot run your company on the basis that product X, technology Y or hardware component Z will always be available and always supported. Forward planning is part of business.

Re:Its not a joke, it can be serious (4, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#24140997)

And it goes to show that Stallman is inevitably right.

There's no reason why bits "rot". The only reason is because that software is closed source, and the ONE company ordained to maintain it refuses to do so. This isn't a problem in Free Software, where anybody can pay a programmer to maintain it to X date, regardless if the original creator is long dead (or imprisoned).

This isnt just aimed towards old unmaintained versions of Windows, but also aimed at every piece of code anybody uses that is not documented and opened. If it's closed source, the user is a serf.

And elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140001)

General Motors will no longer support the use of buggy whips on any of their new models.

Re:And elsewhere (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#24140131)

Well, when you keep on selling horse drawn carriages way past their prime...

Re:And elsewhere (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140515)

With gas at $4.00+ per gallon, that horse-drawn carriage is looking more and more appealing.

Re:And elsewhere (1)

nsayer (86181) | about 6 years ago | (#24140551)

But that's the thing - if there's a market [amish.net] for something...

Re:And elsewhere (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#24140833)

Except that's not the Microsoft situation.

They are much more like GM in this respect: able to be largely
oblivious to non-trivial user requirements and completely able
to ignore anything as saavy as planning for the future or
anticipating new trends.

Re:And elsewhere (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 6 years ago | (#24140939)

Yeah but marketing is the problem here. No matter how much cash you put into Web, TV and radio ads, it makes no difference!

Why not open source 3.1/3.11 (0, Redundant)

ya really (1257084) | about 6 years ago | (#24140063)

I dont see what good either is doing MS anymore. They obviously aren't making a profit from either after 15 some years. Why dont they release the source code to the community?

Re:Why not open source 3.1/3.11 (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 6 years ago | (#24140161)

Equally valid question: what real good would having the source available do for anyone?

Hell, what good would having the program itself (without source) do for anyone? It's really old software, I just can't imagine it serving any real use other than as a "Neat, look at this old software" toy.

Re:Why not open source 3.1/3.11 (5, Interesting)

fishbowl (7759) | about 6 years ago | (#24140549)

>Equally valid question: what real good would having the source available do for anyone?

And what about those of us who *do* have the source? (My university was one of the few with a source license.)
I wonder if end-of-lifing the product changes the contract terms.

Re:Why not open source 3.1/3.11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140567)

The X-Ray machine I use at work is running the control program under win 3.11. Only time I see it is when it boots, else it's fullscreen on a touchscreen. Wonder what happens if the computer dies... oh well...

Re:Why not open source 3.1/3.11 (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24140165)

Why dont they release the source code to the community?

Fear of embarrassment? :)

Re:Why not open source 3.1/3.11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140255)

Because they still sell some of that code. Its in Vista.

Re:Why not open source 3.1/3.11 (5, Funny)

mmxsaro (187943) | about 6 years ago | (#24140203)

Probably because the majority of Vista's architecture is based on 3.11.

Re:Why not open source 3.1/3.11 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140277)

Are you actually stupid, or do you just play it on the internet?

Its meaningless really (4, Interesting)

voss (52565) | about 6 years ago | (#24140103)

If an OEM has purchased a pile of Windows 3.11 licenses from microsoft they can continue to sell it indefinitely...under the doctrine of first sale. So people who want windows 3.11 can license it until November 1st.

Admittedly Microsoft may stop the sale of NEW licenses which is what they are apparently are doing.

I suspect win 3.11 is licensed for POS devices and legacy applications. I guess all those people licensing that stuff will have to go to windows 95/98 embedded???

Re:Its meaningless really (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#24140375)

I suspect win 3.11 is licensed for POS devices and legacy applications. I guess all those people licensing that stuff will have to go to windows 95/98 embedded???

Anything wrong with porting that stuff to Windows CE or Wine?

Now, now... (5, Funny)

BForrester (946915) | about 6 years ago | (#24140801)

I suspect win 3.11 is licensed for POS devices...

Just because someone is using crappy hardware, it doesn't give you the right to use language like *that*.

Re:Its meaningless really (1)

R2.0 (532027) | about 6 years ago | (#24140803)

"I suspect win 3.11 is licensed for POS devices "

I believe that it is the installation of Win 3.11 itself that transforms a device into a piece of shit.

Ridiculous! (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | about 6 years ago | (#24140149)

Now how am I supposed to finish debugging the expansion packs I've been developing for Civilization and Duke Nukem 3D?

Re:Ridiculous! (1)

domatic (1128127) | about 6 years ago | (#24140795)

www.eduke32.com

Can't help you with Civilization.

what a shame (1)

ya really (1257084) | about 6 years ago | (#24140173)

This is an outrage! I'm switching to Linux only now! 3.1/3.11 were my first Windows OS back in 1994. I do hold a little nostalga for it still, though I always hated exiting to DOS to play doom.

I LIKED Windows 3.1/3.11 (1)

VoxMagis (1036530) | about 6 years ago | (#24140185)

After all, you could just drop back to DOS to do useful and fun things!

Re:I LIKED Windows 3.1/3.11 (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 6 years ago | (#24140799)

I used to drop back to DOS even under Windows 95/98.......I had a bootable floppy that I would use to do recovery for friends and relatives.

Layne

You just don't understand (5, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 6 years ago | (#24140287)

While the tone of the /. post comes across as thinking this is funny, the actual truth is that this may well impact some oem vendors in a serious way. For all of it's faults, Win3.1 was far more stable than Win 95, 98, WIN me or any later version. I personally worked on mission critical systems that ran 24/7, never needing to be shutdown (Heck, usually the only time I would have to deal with our old Novell file servers was when the daylight savings time changes took effect, and if that had been taken care of at the application level rather than the system level they may have run for years without human contact). We had a number of DOS and even Win 3.1 systems that sat there cranking out the product day after day. The programmer who did the 3.1 application was a true craftsman, he took the time to track down every memory leak in his code and correct it, and those systems were quite capable for running indefinitely without ever going down.

Contrast that to Win95. When it was discovered that there was a serious bug in Win95 that would crash the system after 40 days of operation, the reaction in many places, including here on Slashdot, was "You mean there are people who have actually kept Win95 running for 40 days?" I doubt that we will ever see products from Microsoft again that had the stability required for process control applications that existed in DOS and Win3.1 .

Of course, If they need it, many OEMs will simply keep shipping Win3.1 solutions, just not pay Microsoft. They may be putting themselves at quite a risk, but it sure would be an interesting lawsuit to see get to court. I would love to see how Microsoft reacts to the "We had to pirate the software to keep our company running and it's workers employed, because the newer Microsoft software is such crap" defense. Likely Microsoft would not, and would drop the suit.

Best Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24140371)

Aw man. Windows 3.11 was the best version of Windows. And I'm not kidding!

I wonder about MSDN (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 6 years ago | (#24140429)

I wonder if it will still be available to MSDN subscribers.

(please feel free to ridicule the crap out of me if this was mentioned in TFA or on TFB)

I do have one nice thing to say about W3.11; if you can get it to run on anything about as or more modern then a PII it runs (and installs) really fast!

So when can I run Vista on my 486? (1)

tjstork (137384) | about 6 years ago | (#24140487)

Just out of curiosity, if I did happen to be a guy selling 486s, would Microsoft have a Vista version that can run on it?

in 1993 & in 2008 (5, Funny)

hxnwix (652290) | about 6 years ago | (#24140531)

Only the most hardcore used "Windows NT",
President Bush's popularity sank to new lows,
Afghanistan's ongoing collapse continued to somehow worsen,
A series of bomb blasts killed scores of people in India,
RMS insisted that Linux be called GNU/Linux and nobody cared,
MTV sucked ass,
The number of Americans incarcerated increased by between 300,000 and 700,000 a year...

Re:in 1993 & in 2008 (2, Funny)

hxnwix (652290) | about 6 years ago | (#24140559)

make that last one "every five years"

Does anyone know who's using it in embedded? (2, Insightful)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about 6 years ago | (#24140617)

I can see this as a niche product, one that fits perfectly.

Embedded controller. Low memory use. Weak (therefore cheap/easy on electricity) chip. Networkable, but no TCP/IP (no Internet can be good, i think our Canon copiers got the slammer worm a few years back).

Re:Does anyone know who's using it in embedded? (2, Informative)

nsaspook (20301) | about 6 years ago | (#24140977)

In SEMI fabs there is a lot of DOS/Win3.11/OS2 running critical process control equipment. Machines running WfW3.11 are making todays quad CPU chips.

Embedded Windows 3.11 was crazy in 1993. (2, Interesting)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#24141015)

Around the time that people were developing new software for Windows 3.11 they had the option of using smaller, faster, and less power-hungry operating systems like OS/9 (which had recently been re-released as OS/9000 but is now OS/9 again) and QNX had been around for over a decade.

It's not that things like real-time multitasking and POSIX compatibility were unnecessary, but rather that these features had essentially no overhead compared to the mess of already-rotting DLLs and captive DOS environments that Windows was built on.

The people who were using Windows as an embedded system were already considered dangerously careless by the hard real time community... we were dubious about using UNIX, and UNIX was an order of magnitude cleaner and more reliable than Windows 3.11.

I would rather not have a heart monitor running on Windows, thank you very much. If the products based on Windows in 1993 go off the market, because the manufacturers can't find any more certificates of authenticity in their warehouses, we'll be all the better off for it.

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