Microsoft Windows NT

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Image of Windows NT Operating System

Windows NT (short for New Technology) came in two flavors: workstation and server.  Workstation was designed as a high-end operating system mainly for corporations and anyone needing a robust, reliable and secure workstation for its employees. The server version adds a comprehensive set of tools for managing and administering networks (LAN).

I deal with the workstation version in this write up and only version 4.0 (not 3.5). Windows NT marked the first time ever in a Microsoft windows base operating system was coined truly secure. It’s designed in such a way that it earned a C-2 security rating. This just means that it meets certain government specifications for secure computing.

With Windows 95 and 98 if you didn’t know the password needed t log in to a machine, all that was necessary to thwart the security features was to press the ESC key. This of course gave you access to the entire file system. Unlike Windows 95 and 98, Windows NT will not allow you access to the file system or the desktop by pressing the ESC key. You must know your password to gain entry.

Many of the features common to Windows 95 were added to Windows NT version 4.0. Windows NT Version 4.0 sported the same Graphical User Interface (GUI, pronounced Gooey) and many other improvements. Unfortunately Windows NT lacked some features as well, the most glaring was no Plug-and-Play capabilities.

Differences between Windows NT Workstation and NT Server

Area NT Workstation NT Server
Simultaneous Connections 10 Unlimited
Multiprocessors 2 4 (32 with OEM)
RAS Sessions 1 256
Replication Import Import and Export
Network Services None DHCP server, DNS server and WINS server
Internet Services Peer Web Services Internet Information Server
Network Services No Yes
Macintosh Services No Yes
Disk Fault Tolerance No Yes (RAID 1, 5)
Domain Logon Validation No Yes

Table Courtesy NT Workstation 4, Exam Cram
Certification Insider Press
Copyright © The Coriolis Group, 1998

Differences between Windows NT Workstation and Windows 95

Area NT Workstation Windows 95
Uses DOS and Win16 device drivers No Yes
Multiplatform Yes No
Multiprocessors Yes No
Win16 applications Yes Yes
DOS applications Yes Yes
POSIX and OS/2 applications Yes No
File Systems NTFS, VFAT VFAT, FAT32
Plug and Play No Yes
Application/memory protection Yes No
Internet Services Peer Web Services No
RAS Inbound and Outbound Outbound only

Table Courtesy NT Workstation 4, Exam Cram
Certification Insider Press
Copyright © The Coriolis Group, 1998

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