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So farewell Windows 3.x

Microsoft stopped issuing licenses for Microsoft Windows 3.x software on 1 November after 18 years.
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Written by Colin Barker, Senior Reporter on

Microsoft stopped issuing licenses for Microsoft Windows 3.x software on 1 November after 18 years.

After some early mid-steps with versions of Windows that used concepts like "tiling" of Windows before it hit upon the distinctive style of overlapping windows (an idea borrowed from Apple's Mac). The various versions helped Microsoft on its way to first a substantial share of the software market and onwards to a commanding hold. It was not until the launch of Windows 95 that Microsoft really consolidated its share of the market.

The history of Windows 3.x is the story of the growth of Microsoft to that position where it could think about supplanting the Apple Mac. It was able to do this partly because Apple kept a tight hold on companies that wanted to use the software or share resources like printers and drives and limiting their numbers.

Microsoft though was open to anyone. Common software interfaces and open, freely available standard software meat that companies could find it easy to link their products to Microsoft's.

For the first time we saw utilities like Program Manager and File Manager for controlling and using Windows applications as well as simple applications like NotePad and games like Solitaire.

With Windows 95 the software moved on again this time backed by an enormous marketing blitz.

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