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Win16 Applications (Win16 Subsystem)

Windows NT can run just about any 16-bit Windows application, providing that it conforms to the Microsoft standards for writing Windows 3.x applications. Each application can run in a separate Virtual DOS Machine (VDM) with its own memory protection.

Win32 Applications (Win32 Subsystem)

Windows NT can run applications designed for both Windows 95/98 and Windows NT.

OS/2 Applications (OS/2 Subsystem)

Windows NT can run OS/2 applications in character mode if these applications use only the pure OS/2 development tools. Windows NT cannot run OS/2 graphical applications.

Unix Applications (POSIX Subsystem)

One of the most talked-about features when Windows NT was introduced was its support for a standard Unix programming environment known as POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface for Computer Environments). Programs written to the POSIX standard can run on any POSIX implementation (including that of Windows NT). Windows NT can run any application that adheres strictly to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) POSIX standards.

Processor Options for Windows NT

In addition to the application support subsystems, Windows NT can run on many processor types. Before NT, most network operating systems ran only on the Intel platform. But the Hardware Abstraction Layer of the Windows NT architecture allows NT to run on different hardware platforms by simply using a different HAL. Currently, Windows NT supports the following CPU types:

Intel 386 (I386) Architecture Arguably the most popular platform for NT. This type includes the 80386, 80486, Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, and Pentium III as well as any newer processors in that line. A rule of thumb: If an I386 architecture runs DOS, it will run NT.

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