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Windows NT

The next Windows release on the corporate path was Windows NT (short for new technology), which was released in 1993. NT wasn't a simple upgrade from Windows for Workgroups, however; instead, it was a true 32-bit operating system designed for networked organizations. (The consumer versions of Windows remained 16-bit operating systems.)

Figure 7 Windows NT—the first 32-bit version of Windows for corporate use

Windows NT was an offshoot of Microsoft's joint development of the OS/2 operating system with IBM. When the IBM/Microsoft partnership fell apart, IBM continued with OS/2, and Microsoft changed the name of its version of OS/2 to Windows NT.

Catering to the corporate customer, Windows NT was available in two versions: Workstation and Server. NT Workstation was for individual PCs on the corporate network, while NT Server ran the mothership to which all those PCs were connected.

With improved networking capability and a near-bulletproof operation, NT became the primary operating system for corporate servers and workstations worldwide. It was also the basis for the Windows XP operating system, which joined the Windows' separate consumer and corporate paths into a single operating system in 2001.

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