Windows 3.11 to Sing its Last (MIDI) Song On November 8th, 2008

Illustration for article titled Windows 3.11 to Sing its Last (MIDI) Song On November 8th, 2008

In a short and slightly poignant posting on his MSDN blog, a Microsoft systems engineer has announced that Windows 3.11 will be officially discontinued four months after XP's unceremonious removal from the consumer market. The secret to 3.11's 15-year lifespan was the embedded space, where it has dutifully provided a platform for countless low-horsepower cash registers and train schedule displays.

To be completely fair, 3.11 has only been "available" in the sense that embedded systems OEMs could buy it through limited channels, just as they will be able to purchase XP Embedded (which is a full-featured Pro version of the OS) into the foreseeable future. At least you can fudge a little and tell your kids that XP has "gone to a better place," but don't even try to pull that crap with 3.11. It's dead, and those spoiled brats have to learn what that means someday. [John Coyne]

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Although it was far from being the first computer I worked with, my first PC was a 386SX/20 with 2MB RAM (later upgraded to 6MB,) an 89MB hard drive, DOS 5 and Windows 3.0. That one got superseded by a newer system (486SX/20) a couple of years later, and eventually we had a LAN of 3 (or more at times) PCs in the house that me and my brothers would use to play multiplayer Descent and Descent 2 over IPX LAN.

Eventually, when my Dad was working on a Novell Netware certification we got a Pentium 75 with 32MB of RAM and a 400 megabyte drive, and man, that thing flew (it could boot to Windows 3.11 in six seconds flat.) By the time we upgraded to the next system in line, we had moved on to Win95 though.