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Microsoft Windows 3.x
Category: Abandoned Windows systems- client releases

In response to IBM's upcoming release of OS/2 2.0, Microsoft has made available a Windows 3.1 environment with several enhancements to 3.0, such as the ability to display scalable TrueType fonts (developed jointly with Apple). Changes in the new version mainly included bug fixes and the addition of media support. One of the removed features of the overlay was real-world operation, which meant that the weakest processor capable of running the new Windows was the 80286 chip. In 1992 Microsoft also released version 3.11, which contained all the fixes and updates made since the release of 3.1. About the same time Windows for Workgroups debuted, which was available both as an add-on to the already installed 3.1 environment, and a standalone product, containing Windows overlay and network extensions. Windows for Workgroups used streamlined network drivers and protocol stacks, and allowed for work in what was then a peer-to-peer local network. One of the optional components of WfW was the "Wolverine" TCP/IP protocol stack, allowing easy access to the Internet over the company's network. There were two versions of Windows for Workgroups - 3.1 and 3.11, of which version 3.11 ran only in extended mode on 386 processors, so it required a processor no weaker than 80386 SX.


These versions sold as well as 3.0. Although OS/2 features such as long file names, desktop work, and malware protection were not available, Microsoft quickly took over the PC operating systems and graphical user interfaces market and the Windows API became the standard in consumer application design.


Windows 3.x included the "Multimedia Edition", which was aimed at multimedia computers (the system itself included programs and tools that allowed to open multimedia).


Quick Review:
Type of product:

OS (Operating system)

Developed by:


Release date:

22.05.1990 (Windows 3.0)
06.04.1992 (Windows 3.1)
31.12.1993 (Windows 3.11)

End of life support date:


Minimal system requirements:

Free space on disk: 10 MB
Necessarily installed MS-DOS before

CPU: 10-25 MHz


Typ interfejsu:

GUI (graficzny)

⦁ Additional informations about files:
BETA versions (developmental, unstable) are marked in gray,
Blue - official system editions,
Green for modifications and additions (if any)

If you have trouble choosing the right version of the system to download, please refer to the markings below:

⦁ OEM- version compatible with previously purchased devices / pre-installed system on a new computer, assigned to a PC motherboard. After damage or replacement of computer parts, your license is lost

⦁ SP- System image contains a package of fixes and updates. The higher the number, the more patches and updates contained in the system. The patches are called "Service Packs".

⦁ RTM- System version released on the day of release, straight from the production line. It does not contribute anything to the operation of the license.

⦁ Retail- sales version of the program.

⦁ [Polski]- Polish language version; [English]- English language version

⦁ x86 or 32-bit - system compatible with 32-bit processor architecture. They do not support 64-bit architecture. They can use up to 4 GB of RAM.

⦁ x64 or 64-bit - System compatible with 64-bit processor architecture. Some systems (older than Vista/7) do not support 32-bit systems

⦁ x86-64- Multi-architecture edition of the program. You can choose it if you do not know what CPU architecture your computer has.

⦁ VL/VolumeLicense- A system preinstalled on company computers, this license allows you to install the same system on multiple computers and use it simultaneously.

⦁ E- System version without Internet Explorer browser.

⦁ N- System version without media programs (Windows Media Center, Media Player)

⦁ Images called: "Home/Ultimate" are actually images that contain all editions: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate

⦁ Multi-SKU: system image with multiple edits to choose from during installation. Multi-Format system

⦁ (chk): system image checked for errors during compilation (debug)

⦁ (alt): alternative system image to be downloaded, not different from the original, it is a copy/reupload

⦁ DMF: system image saved in a floppy disk format

⦁ CD/DVD: system image saved in a format designed for compact discs and DVDs.

⦁ ESD: file from digital or commercial distribution. To use it, it must be converted to an ISO file.

⦁ File preview icon:
                      IMG- floppy disk image. You can use it in a virtual machine, or use a special program to extract files.

                  ISO/MDF- ready to burn to disk, create bootable media or use in a virtual machine. It can also be used in a program to emulate virtual drives and discs.

      7Z, ZIP, RAR- compressed archive. To access the file, use a program to compress the files, e.g: WinRAR, 7-ZIP- please use file archiver program to open it.

To quickly find the image, press [Ctrl+F] on your keyboard and enter the keyword in the search field. This will highlight the images that contain the entered keyword.

Installation of these images is intended for advanced users. The following systems are published in the BETA (test) version. The installation may be problematic, the system may not work properly. Moreover, BETA versions may be unstable with drivers, programs and operation. They may have unfinished system functions. It is recommended to test the BETA version on a VM. If you have problems with the installation I recommend to consult the Beta Archive forum.

If you are looking for activation keys for Windows [Beta] installation images, click here, or use this address.