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Microsoft Discontinues Windows 3.x

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the an-application-has-expectedly-quit dept.

Windows 384

rugatero writes "The BBC reports that, as of last Saturday, Microsoft is no longer issuing licenses for the 18-year-old Windows 3.x. Many here may well be surprised to learn that anyone still has use for the antiquated software, but it seems to have found a home in a number of embedded systems — including cash registers and the in-flight entertainment systems on some long-haul passenger jets (Virgin and Qantas are cited). Considering Linux's credentials as an embedded OS, this news could very well indicate the possibility of more migrations in the pipeline."

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384 comments

Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25636987)

Slashdot, where's the Obama story?

Re:Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (4, Funny)

derfy (172944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25636999)

Well, it's news that matters, right now, so....

Two weeks.

Re:Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (4, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637049)

Yes, and all nerds by now know that when it comes to governmental issues, the president no longer matters. A new CEO for General Electric however...

Re:Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (2, Funny)

overcaffein8d (1101951) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637339)

yeah, i hear he's just really a figurehead

Re:Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637013)

It is busy hoping itself into existence.

Re:Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (1)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637095)

What, you think Obama beating McCain is going to be news to anybody? He's had this thing locked up ever since the stock market went to crap.

Re:Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637151)

WERE FUCKED!!!

Re:Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637187)

And nerds everywhere rejoiced. Finally people on /. are getting laid.

Re:Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (5, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637253)

Wait... what obama story? Did something happen?

Re:Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637497)

Yeah, they finally caught him.

America discontinues Republicanism 1.0 (1)

titzandkunt (623280) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637335)

Might be able to sneak it in if you phrase it something like that...

Re:America discontinues Republicanism 1.0 (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637463)

I think that was Republicanism 6.5 or so.

Re:Slashdot, where's the Obama story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637499)

It's currently being taxed into oblivion by the one-party supermajority (aka Bush administration 2.0).

How dare they! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25636991)

Windows 3.x is a lean, stable, functional, and secure OS! How could they do such a thing?

Re:How dare they! (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637041)

Surprised? Surprised to learn that Win3.1 is still in use? I think the descriptor they're after is totally fucking gobsmacked so hard my gob flew across the room and bit me in the ass when I passed out and fell on it.

Re:How dare they! (2, Informative)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637045)

Now that's a ROFL.

"WARNING - The system is either busy or has become unstable."
An error has occurred in this application. Close / Ignore

Windows 3.1 was full of random errors and crashes.

Re:How dare they! (4, Funny)

phyrz (669413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637461)

I wonder if Qantas is using 3.1 for its navigation system as well? It would go a long way to explaining their recent issues...

That explains it (5, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25636995)

in-flight entertainment systems on some long-haul passenger jets

Ahh, so that's what they ment by "Every seat is a window seat".

Re:That explains it (5, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637015)

That's not the sky, that's a BSOD.

Re:That explains it (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637057)

I'm trying to find something funny to say about crashing, Windows and Qantas' recent in-flight incidents. I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere...

Re:That explains it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637277)

I guess they still haven't tracked down that bug in Solitaire that would make the whole system hang.

Re:That explains it (1)

holywarrior21c (933929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637345)

Don't worry. Just make sure you don't get the window seats. or antiviral cream might reduce chance of crashing at the cost of flight speed.

Entertainment? Win3.1? (4, Funny)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637185)

How would an in-flight entertainment system even run on Windows 3.1? What kind of entertainment would you be viewing?

Playing Cinepak-compressed video at 15 frames per second in 8 bit color? Maybe playing Minesweeper?

ahah! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25636997)

That explains why I've taken 4 qantas flights in the past year and the inflight entertainment system hasn't worked once..

China Airlines uses Linux on their in-flight (5, Interesting)

vovin (12759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637003)

Just in case you were interested China Airlines uses Linux on their in-flight.
I flew another airline that also used Linux but I don't recall which one. It's not very often you get to see the boot up but in one case they rebooted the system after they landed and in the other my partners crashed when we were trying to change the default language.

Re:China Airlines uses Linux on their in-flight (2, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637087)

I flew Cathay Pacific recently, and they were using Linux for their in-flight entertainment too (my screen was stuck in standby at the start of the flight, so I got to see it reboot).

Re:China Airlines uses Linux on their in-flight (4, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637133)

I think more use Linux then use Windows. Every airline that I have flew on internationally that had an in flight entertainment system(Delta and Continental for sure, probably others) used the same in flight entertainment system that was linux based. I got to see the penguin a lot when my system repeatedly rebooted on a flight from Atlanta to Munich..... Now that the companies saved money by going Linux, maybe they can invest it in some touch screens that can actually take abuse.

Re:China Airlines uses Linux on their in-flight (5, Funny)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637137)

It's not very often you get to see the boot up but in one case they rebooted the system after they landed and in the other my partners crashed when we were trying to change the default language.

Oh my God, that's terrible! My condolences for your loss, and I will never use Linux again.

Re:China Airlines uses Linux on their in-flight (-1, Flamebait)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637407)

It could just be they are bullshitting.

  I remember reading about a crashed Linux in-flight Entertainment system probably here on Slashdot http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/20/2231228 [slashdot.org]

  Difference is I never bullshitted and said I'd seen it in person.

Beside why bother to post about it on here other than to troll?

Re:China Airlines uses Linux on their in-flight (4, Interesting)

2Bits (167227) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637275)

Just about every in-flight or on-board system in China used Linux by now. Those in the subway (Shanghai), on the bus, on the train, etc. Sometimes, you are on a bus, the bus runs over a hole or a bump, it shakes too much, the system flickers, and then you see a Linux boot up screen. Boot up time is pretty short, from black screen to fully animated screen with sound in less than 15 seconds.

Re:China Airlines uses Linux on their in-flight (1)

HonIsCool (720634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637315)

Sadly, I'm not sure it's such a rare thing to see. I've flown SAS and Finnair to Japan and both used Linux systems for the in-flight entertainment system. Unfortunately both systems also crashed and had to be rebooted repeatedly :( Once they had to actually move me to another seat because the system wouldn't play anything other than the flight map... Of course, both still beat KLM which didn't even have a private system, just a preset movie on a monitor hanging over the aisle.

Darn (1, Funny)

Misanthrope (49269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637005)

I guess this means my sweet 386DX with the 2400 baud modem is going to be hacked the next time I dial into Prodigy to access Mad Maze.
I wonder if this will simply end up with companies using Wine over linux to run their legacy apps?

Re:Darn (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637317)

Uhm, I have never tried, but is Wine actually Windows 3.x compatible?
I'd imagine many of those legacy apps are 16 bit, controlling ISA cards that used to cost a lot more than the PC controlling it.
I don't think Wine would be able to execute 16 bit apps, or that rewriting the driver for Linux would be feasible in that case.

Re:Darn (1)

Tatsh (893946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637543)

I use Wine to run WEP games all the time, even on x86-64 Gentoo Linux. It works better than native Windows. It translates the old widgets to Win32 widgets correctly unlike Windows XP for many widgets. The only thing Windows XP translates correctly is the menus. It does not fix theming so therefore an app will only look like it fits in your environment if you use classic theme.

Re:Darn (1, Interesting)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637331)

Man i pine for the old days.
I had a 486DX2 running at 66MHz with 8MB RAM and windows 3.11 WFW. It used up 24 3.5 floppies.
I even cracked a shareware which provided simulated taskbar for Win 3.11 (this was just after Win 95 release). The code was COOKIEFEAST.
I also tried to run the JDK 1.0.2 on it by adding 32-bit extensions to the Win 3.11 but it never ran.
The bootup was significantly faster than my vista today (am downgrading to XP today; call up Dell and tell them to shove their Vista DVD up their a**** and send me an XP CD).
 

Re:Darn (5, Funny)

kv9 (697238) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637377)

The bootup was significantly faster than my vista today (am downgrading to XP today;

you misspelled upgrading.

Re:Darn (1)

nsheppar (889445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637337)

Oh man I remember that, that maze was awesome. My dad and I spent hours on it, mapping the mazes to figure out where we were going.

Re:Darn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637413)

Wine has pretty poor support for Win 3.x software. Almost none of my old games work.

Re:Darn (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637501)

You still need a copy, which is sort of the problem, but DOSbox supports Win3.1

Performance boost. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637007)

Upgrading from Windows 3.x to Vista Ultimate should provide a significant performance boost for any application.

Why not XP? (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637009)

I know it's not the same situation, but finding systems with XP is now difficult. Why not wait until 2017 (or how ever long now + (now - windows 3.x coming out) is to support XP. (I know levels of support are different, but I'd like an easier time of finding XP)

Re:Why not XP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637053)

If all you'd like is an easier time of finding XP, then you're asking for license issuance, not support.

Re:Why not XP? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637147)

I suspect that support for XP will actually be fairly similar. Its just that that will only be of use to you if you are a legacy customer with a load of XP embedded machines. Embedded is a totally different world. Heck, according to The Register [reghardware.co.uk] Intel only stopped shipping embedded 386s, perfect for running embedded Win3.1, in September of 2007.

Unfortunately, the economics of user and embedded environments make for very different horizons.

Re:Why not XP? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637435)

MS will probably sell XPe licenses until the next embedded windows OS has been out for some time. This will likely be around 2015 (Win7 ships 2010, add 5 years) so your estimate probably isn't far off.

Oh yeah (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637023)

They are all nice to you when you retire. "Have fun on the beach," they say. Then one day, when you are relaxing in your hammock enjoying your time off maybe sipping a gin and tonic, the phone rings. "It's Linus and the Mac fag," they say, "They're back." "No way, I'm out of the game," you say. Then Windows ME bangs on your door, his back riddled with bullet holes, you know now and then that the computing world needs you. Up in the attic, you grab a handful of floppies and your trusty 2400 baud modem. "Fuck it," you mutter.

Re:Oh yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637217)

I find your views fascinating, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

I still have it. (5, Insightful)

arrenlex (994824) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637025)

Somewhere in our basement there is still an old machine which dual-boots windows 3.1 and windows 95A.

It probably doesn't boot anymore, as it was having motherboard problems late in life, but a year or so ago I converted it to a virtual machine image under qemu. I can, within 5 minutes, boot a virtual machine into a legal copy of windows 3.1 that runs and contains useful applications that we don't have equivalents for.

It's amazing that all this software still exists and is used by people, even after 18 years. Old tech is not as dead as you might think.

Re:I still have it. (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637131)

On a funny level, I'm curious what you think is a useful application on windows 3.1 that we magically somehow don't have an equivalent of. What do you have in mind?

Re:I still have it. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637287)

we have lumber cut optimizer which is not available for new platforms. it optimizes the number of boards the lumber cutting saw can slice for a given varying shape of wooden log.

Re:I still have it. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637305)

On a funny level, I'm curious what you think is a useful application on windows 3.1 that we magically somehow don't have an equivalent of. What do you have in mind?

My university lab has a 15-year old piece of scientific equipment that still works perfectly. It cost about $200,000 new. It is controlled by a pc running windows 3.1. Not windows 3.11, and not windows for workgroups, they won't work.

Now, you could replace it all with new equipment (over $100k), or spend a lot of time fooling around with circuit cards, analog-to-digital converters, oscilloscopes, and write some complex software to control it all from a modern pc, or just run windows 3.1.

And they have quite a few old computers with PCI slots (hard to find these days) stockpiled in case of failure.

Re:I still have it. (1)

elthicko (1399175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637373)

I liked that skiing game where at the bottom you got eaten by the yeti or something ;)

Re:I still have it. (2, Informative)

Slisochies (1183131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637445)

SkiFree

http://ski.ihoc.net/ [ihoc.net]

Re:I still have it. (4, Interesting)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637403)

On a funny level, I'm curious what you think is a useful application on windows 3.1 that we magically somehow don't have an equivalent of. What do you have in mind?

One word (well, two words really, but only one when smashed together like marketing people like to do): SkiFree [ihoc.net] .

Sure you can get a 32-bit version that runs under XP and even Vista, but come on! That's nothing like playing it the way it was meant to be played - 16 bits, 100% CPU usage, and Windows 3.1. Everything else is just a poor copy.

Incredible (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637039)

Ok, I'm genuinely surprised at this. Considering how unstable 3X was, I'm shocked that anyone is using it for anything. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see DOS used in embedded systems, but 3X? Lots of people should have been fired a long time ago for going there in the first place.

Re:Incredible (2, Informative)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637067)

OS/2 1.3 lived on for many years in ATM machines. Unlike Windows 3.1x, it was considered the most rock solid 16 bit OS out there. What did a majority of the machines get replaced with?... oh Windows.

ATM machines (4, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637125)

OS/2 1.3 lived on for many years in ATM machines. Unlike Windows 3.1x, it was considered the most rock solid 16 bit OS out there. What did a majority of the machines get replaced with?... oh Windows.

And as I've said in earlier stories, that's a bummer.

Here in California we still have two types of Bank of America ATM machines. The older models, with the amber monochrome screens, I am told still run OS/2. The newer ones, with the color LCD screens, run Windows, and they are MUCH slower than the old ones and their interface is much less streamlined and intuitive.

Now I ask you: It's an ATM machine. What was gained by the transition? The new ones allow you to do some fancy things -- such as setting preferences, so you can hit a "Quick Cash" button and get a predetermined amount with one keypress -- but most folks are just trying to get money out of the things and never spend the time to configure their own preferences. Really the only benefit of the new machines was the ability to show color ads during the transaction, but otherwise the OS/2 software was perfectly capable of handling the required operation (and even more so).

Sometimes I wish more applications developers had experience with the embedded systems world. Know what I mean?

Re:ATM machines (4, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637201)

They also use the windows default sounds... Incorrectly! The ATM's use the "Error Beep" to confirm proper operation. After years of conditioning, it drives me nuts.

At least do a little legwork [pdsounds.org] .

Re:ATM machines (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637349)

My favourite misuse of standard sounds is the software that powers our "Telstra" broadband cards (I think they're Sierra wireless cards). When you disconnect the data session -- or it's disconnected for you -- it plays the TADA sound.

Always struck me as being an entirely inappropriate way to indicate the connection has been ended.

Re:ATM machines (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637355)

Some of the new Bank of America ATMs will scan your checks at the machine, allowing you to make instant deposits without a slip at any hour of the day.

IMO, this is a pretty darn cool feature.

Their use of the Windows default sounds, though, is indeed maddening.

Re:ATM machines (3, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637541)

Now I ask you: It's an ATM machine. What was gained by the transition?

If they are like the color BofA ATMs I've seen in Northern California, they play full motion video ads, which are maybe not what customers want, but presumably very significant to banks.

Re:ATM machines (5, Insightful)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637583)

Ever notice that the part that is slower involves you looking at an advertisement?

Me thinks that is not a coincidence.

Re:Incredible (1)

ritcereal (1399801) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637093)

It was probably developed when the companies first decided to do their own in house development. My guess is that they didn't want to hire Linux developers and 3.x was the cheapest windows option the could find with the features they wanted. It's all about how much it costs at the end of the day.

Re:Incredible (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637119)

I've seen Win 3.0 code still in use in a major chain restaurant's back office systems as recently as 4 years ago. The systems worked fine with actual Win 3.0 and OS/2. The applications ran as-is on Win 2000 without many changes.

Tried, tested systems are usually more stable than new systems with lots of new code.

Go figure!

Re:Incredible (1)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637221)

Well, to be honest, if they're running 3.1, they ARE running DOS. :)

Re:Incredible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637347)

I can agree with you on this...a few years ago, I worked in a casino. We had a set of 4 video slot machines with the same game on them. They were the most troublesome machines in the casino, requireing up to 8 resets (reboots) a day. They also took forever to come back up. We found that they were running Windows 3.1 as their OS...shortly after that, they were replaced. Most modern video casino gaming machines are now running Linux.

Re:Incredible (3, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637397)

Considering how unstable 3X was, I'm shocked that anyone is using it for anything.

Unstable? Maybe to your average Joe Luser who, ignorant of computers, let programs install all kinds of crap in CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT and WIN.INI... Or didn't know how to properly set paths, or any one of dozens of other ways to tune his machine. But to those who did know how to tune, and how to clean up after crappy installs, Win 3.X was very stable.
 
I think Windows 3.X got a bad rep because, unlike vanilla DOS systems, you actually had to know what you were doing to set everything up properly. Few people bothered.

Back in 1991... (1)

FreakWent (627155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637085)

I used to coax Win 3.11 to run on a 286 with 1024LKb RAM.

That was a desktop then, but would probably qualify as embedded today!

Damn it! (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637097)

I was finally getting my config.sys and autoexec.bat files optimized. I suppose I could try putting Vista on my 33 MHz 486 (don't worry, it's a DX) ...

Re:Damn it! (3, Funny)

misleb (129952) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637211)

Dude! I finally broke the 640k conventional memory barrier with QEMM386. You should try it!

Re:Damn it! (5, Funny)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637293)

I suppose I could try putting Vista on my 33 MHz 486

Yep, just be sure that the turbo button is pressed on if you want to be able to move the mouse around.

Ahh, 3.11 -- best Windows ever? (3, Insightful)

mattytee (1395955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637099)

Windows for Workgroups 3.11 gets my vote as the best OS Microsoft ever released, warts and all.

Reliability, ease of configuration, scriptable network installation (remember how you could just toss all the install files in a directory?), and I miss those good old PIFs.

Unlikely though it sounds, I ran a physical window manufacturing plant on Windows 3.11 with some DOS machines too -- all on 10base2 ethernet at 2Mbps. Bus topology and thin coax -- I still have nightmares where a NIC dies somewhere between the data entry machines and the Paradox (for DOS) server.

The glass cutting optimizer was maybe the highest-uptime box I've ever seen, and it lived in a terrible environment of dust and glass shards and extreme heat and cold. Windows 3.11, we hardly knew ye!

And that's the crux of the matter, specific use (3, Insightful)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637205)

WfWG 3.11 with specific, well-engineered apps? Great.

Any MS OS with bloaty, ill-conceived apps from a multitude of vendors, many of which don't play nicely with each other? (I'm looking at you, Netscape and Hewlett-Packard!). Not so much.

I've little doubt that even though there will be no new licences issued by MS, there will continue to be pockets of it in production systems for another decade or two.

Re:Ahh, 3.11 -- best Windows ever? (1)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637327)

10base2 ethernet at 2Mbps

10base2 ran at 10 Mbps, not 2Mbps. The '2' was the original spec'd maximum cable run (10base2, 200 meters, 10base5, 500 meters).

Re:Ahh, 3.11 -- best Windows ever? (2, Informative)

mattytee (1395955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637405)

Wasn't the coax itself limiting speed, it was the NICs. NC2000s only supported 2Mbps.

Deep in the bowels of MSland.... (2, Interesting)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637117)

there's an entire division of people packing their desks up right now and going home.

"We had a good run team." One of them says as they walk off into the sunset.

Re:Deep in the bowels of MSland.... (3, Funny)

EnglishSteve (834757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637251)

"We had a good run team." One of them says as they walk off into the sunset.

I totally read that as "walk off into the usenet". Heh.

Foolish Linux idealogues (-1, Troll)

bartwol (117819) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637135)

Considering Linux's credentials as an embedded OS, this news could very well indicate the possibility of more migrations in the pipeline.

Yeah. That's a real good reason to take something that works, and to spend a whole lot of time and money getting it ported over to Linux so that...it...ummmm...works?

Such is the folly of religion.

Go away. I'm trying to watch my movie.

Re:Foolish Linux idealogues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637241)

Yeah. That's a real good reason to take something that works, and to spend a whole lot of time and money getting it ported over to Linux so that...it...ummmm...works?

If you bothered to read the article (ok, no one does that), or the article summary, or even the HEADLINE, you would have noticed that win 3.x is being discontinued, as in NOT FOR SALE AT ANY PRICE.

So if you have a working shipping product that runs with win 3.x, you won't be able to BUY win 3.x ANY MORE.

So, you have a couple choices:

1. Pirate win 3.x and use it, along with the legal risks
2. Try to purchase sufficient quantities of win 3.x on ebay
3. Port your product onto linux, vxworks, or something else, like windows NT 4.0.

Such is the folly of religion.

Such is the folly of slashdoters who don't read.

Re:Foolish Linux idealogues (1)

bartwol (117819) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637479)

My experience has been that companies behave very pragmatically with their valued customers, and that this pragmatism is rarely limited by stated policies. I question your willingness to accept the "It's-over-for-Windows-3.11" policy at face value, as in doing so, you conveniently ignore the likelihood of a simpler, less expensive solution to the stated problem.

Consider this from Microsoft regarding end-of-life of its "desktop products":

Lifecycle and Licensing FAQ [microsoft.com]
1. Does the Windows Desktop Product Lifecycle Policy affect how long I can legally use a Microsoft operating system after I've licensed it?
No, this policy only affects the ability to obtain new licenses through certain channels, the time period and the way that Microsoft will provide product support for each operating system. The ability to use a Windows desktop operating system after it has been legally licensed is unaffected...

Re:Foolish Linux idealogues (5, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637261)

Either spend a whole lot of time and money getting it ported over to an operating system that doesn't cost any money to license, or spend a whole lot of time and money getting it ported over to an operating system that doesn't scale with your existing hardware base, costs money, and can be end-of-lifed like the operating system it is replacing. In that view, Linux looks pretty good.

I think the part that you're missing is that windows 3.x is no longer aquirable for these applications, and as such new hardware will need to be re-engineered for a newer operating system. In this case, a free and unencumbered OS might be the right way to go... either Linux, BSD, or FreeDOS.

In other news... (5, Funny)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637149)

...Ford announces they are discontinuing production of Model-A parts. Wright Aircraft and Bicycle Company is also rumored to be considering scaling back licensing of its iconic Wright Flyer, citing loss of market share to "those new-fangled planes with landing gear and ailerons."

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637343)

...Ford announces they are discontinuing production of Model-A parts.

Ok, but if customers are still willing to pay for Model-A parts, why discontinue production?

More importantly, there isn't anything stopping Mopar or anyone else from making equivalent Model-A parts.

Aha! That explains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637161)

...why QANTAS jets regularly take multi-thousand foot nosedives (http://tinyurl.com/6jynku [tinyurl.com] ).

Ah, the memories... (4, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637177)

I still remember the first time I used a PC running Windows 3.11... I was in my early teens. I recall it was during a party at my uncle's place. I played with it just a bit, but it was enough to make a very strong impression on me. The interface, the usability, those things led me to make me a very important choice. That day I swore to myself: when time comes to get my own computer... it must be a Macintosh.

Re:Ah, the memories... (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637533)

I used DOS and Windows 3.11 when I was a kid. 12 years later, I'm still using Windows. Why? Because I'm familiar with it and know how to hack it. I'm guessing that's why so many ex-Unix users learnt Linux. As it is, I'm only learning Linux now.

I used Windows 3.1 recently--no, really (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637179)

Mordor: The Depths of Dejenol [wikipedia.org] , a game written for Windows in Visual Basic 3 back in 1995, still has a number of loyal players [mordor.uni.cc] . Last time I checked Mordor did not work with Wine, and many people have had issues running it in Vista (it apparently requires UAC to be disabled). Mordor plays perfectly in DOSBox with Windows 3.1 installed, though.

why does it automaticly mean linux? (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637245)

what nonsense. if their inflight system runs on windows it'd make a hell of a lot more sense to run it on xp/vista or something that's actually compatable (yes you can run win16 apps on vista). of course this is slashcrap so everything means linux. your linux is linux is all that linux.

Re:why does it automaticly mean linux? (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637399)

Not necessarily a point for Linux, but Win16 apps usually assume to have low-level control over the hardware. Something they wouldn't have in XP or Vista.

Re:why does it automaticly mean linux? (3, Funny)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637411)

Can you imagine Vista, running on the back of every seat in a A380?

Super computers are heavy you know, and have you seen Vista's power usage?
The jet needs the engines for flight you know.

Just watched Windows 3.1 start (2)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637271)

I just watched Windows 3.1 start up a couple of weeks ago. The town where I live had an e-cycling day where you could recycle a variety of electronics for either free or only a nominal fee. So, I fired up my old 80386/25 DX (with an installed 80387 co-processor) just long enough to do a "format /u c:" and then dropped it off for recycling along with a bunch of other old computer junk I had accumulated over the years (full length, 8bit monochrome video cards, lots of various ISA cards, a few 10-base T NICs along with some co-ax cable and such).

I still have a "true blue" IBM PC/AT (6MHz 80286) with a full height 30 MB hard drive and dual 5.25 inch floppies that I decided to hang onto just in case it actually becomes a collector's item. And, in the same vein, a still shrink wrapped copy of Windows/386 (5.25 inch floppies for installation media).

Cheers,
Dave

Useful application on windows 3.1 (1)

YasharF (1165107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637361)

The Microsoft Macro Recorder was sometimes useful in 3.1. The recorder could track your keystrokes and mouse clicks and repeat your actions during the replay. I think it converted the actions into a macro script that could also be manually edited in a text editor. The nice thing about it was that it was like a quick visual batch file to automate procedures without having to write scripts.

Not just for automation (1)

Fallen Andy (795676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637563)

The macro recorder was a great tool for testing for leaks - especially GDI handles. Even Borland's Turbo Pascal for Windows IDE had GDI leaks (splash bitmap). Sadly missed on later versions of windows...

Andy

Hmm, coincidence? (2, Interesting)

BlindSpot (512363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637365)

The place I just started working at decomissioned their old point-of-sale software only a couple months ago. They still have to use it for reporting and I was asked to troubleshoot their printer the other day, so I had them start up the software and print something, and there was the unmistakable look-and-feel of a Win3.1 app. <shudder> Well now I know why they had to decommision it! (It was running under Win95 though.)

cash register? (1)

mathfeel (937008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637371)

I was at Sears auto center today. I could almost swear that their repair/billing system looks like something written for 3.x running on win95/98.

Can't confirm it one way or another though.

Linux credentials - what about GUI load? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637443)

Considering Linux's credentials as an embedded OS, this news could very well indicate the possibility of more migrations in the pipeline.

NOT TROLLING: I've got a 486 8mb Thinkpad with Calmira on Win3.11. Calmira is a W98 lookalike desktop. It all boots in less than ten seconds, and runs plenty fast from the GUI viewpoint. Linux doesn't have anything like that as far as I know, does it?

Obviously you can't go online with the old beast anymore, but for a super-lightweight GUI kiosk base I don't know that there are any Linux projects that compete with 3.11.

(Kids, please don't go listing mini-linux distro URLs for karma points -- I've tried them all. Nearly everything can't run on 8mb, and the remainer is dog slow to boot and run. Let the people with real-world experience post on this one, thanks.)

Re:Linux credentials - what about GUI load? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637603)

I suspect most of the overhead is X, which used to barely run in 256 color mode on an 8MB system in the 486 days.

A year or so back we were running ARM Linux with a custom GUI and HD video playback in 32MB (probably using around 20MB just for framebuffers), so 8MB for a kiosk application should be doable. You're unlikely to find such a system out of the box though.

win 3x on Stress test machine in wafer fab (3, Interesting)

danwat1234 (942579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637465)

I used to work at ON Semiconductor in Gresham OR, and they have win3x on a wafer stress testing machine as of 2008. Its an old machine, but still perfectly good because as the feature sizes get smaller with Photolithography, stress testing is the same (as far as testing the flatness of the surface). So yeah, there are still uses for that OS I suppose.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637471)

Considering that selling more copies of Windows 3.x has zero cost to Microsoft, and that nobody expects it to be supported, I wonder why do they need to discontinue it.

Re:Why? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25637531)

there is still cost associated with it, just keeping it in stock is costly. they have probably reached the point they are losing out keeping the boxes in the warehouse. still 18 years is a hell of a long time. i can hardly think of any OS version that is still selling that's 18 years old.

Free the code! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25637517)

They could release the code, but I guess they can't give the core of Vista away...

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