Windows NT – Overview, Versions and Features

Introduction to Windows NT Operating system

Microsoft introduced Windows NT (New Technology) as a series of Windows Operating system. The first version of Windows NT i.e. 3.1 was released in 1993. Windows NT was a 32-bit operating system having default file system NTFS. This Windows NT series supports preemptive multitasking.


Windows NT Versions

There are 4 versions of Windows operating system that were released with the name Windows NT. After Windows NT 4.0, the next versions of Windows NT were being released with other marketing names such as Windows 2000, Win XP. The 4 versions of Windows NT operating system are listed below:

  • Windows NT 3.1 (July, 1993) – Workstation, Advanced server
  • Windows NT 3.5 (September, 1994) - Workstation, Server
  • Windows NT 3.51 (May, 1995) - Workstation, Server
  • Windows NT 4.0 (July, 1996) - Workstation, Server, Server Enterprise Edition, Terminal Server, Embedded


Windows NT Editions- Workstation and Server

All versions of Windows NT Operating System were available in two editions- Windows NT Workstation and Windows NT Server. Windows NT Workstation simply called Windows NT was designed to act as a client workstation whereas Windows NT server was developed to work as a server over the network.


windows NT workstation

windows NT server


Noticeable Features of Windows NT

  • NTFS File System

    Windows NT family introduced default file system NTFS which is capable of recovering from disk errors automatically, support large sized hard disk, provide security like permission and encryption.

  • Hardware Abstraction Layer

    Microsoft included HAL feature i.e. hardware abstraction layer in Windows NT. HAL layer provides the interface between hardware and software, OS access hardware via HAL. This feature enables Windows to run regardless of the hardware platform.

  • Preemptive Multitasking

    Windows NT supports preemptive multitasking feature so that all computer programs share operating system and hardware resources.

  • Remotely access

    Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition was designed to provide the feature to log on the system remotely.


Data loss problems in Windows NT

Windows NT 3.1, 3.5, 3.51, 4.0 are susceptible to virus attack since Microsoft stopped providing security essentials and updates to Windows NT. Moreover, Windows NT has become too old to overcome any issues. Data loss situation can occur frequently due to either virus attack or windows crash. To restore data back to the system, one can use a tool i.e. Windows data recovery which can help in getting back lost, deleted or corrupt data from all versions of Windows NT.