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 PostPost subject: Windows 3.2 "Red China" might be a beta        Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:18 am 
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Recently I checked both the MSDN version and the "Red China" version, and noticed quite a few subtle differents, which makes me wonder that Red China version might actually be a beta build.

In Red China, the "Chinese Version" mark is placed below "Version 3.2", not like MSDN but just like the earlier 3.1 Simplified Chinese.

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Windows 3.2 MSDN

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"Red China"

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Windows 3.1

The "Red China" International, Font and IME Control Panel icon is similar in style as other 3.1 Far-East builds (like 3.1.141 Traditional Chinese).

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"Red China"

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Windows 3.1.141, from BetaWiki

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Windows 3.1.158, from BetaWiki

While the MSDN builds have more polished icons (at least in my opinion). And this new IME icon is actually used in later versions of Windows.

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Same IME icon, in Windows 98.

Both README.WRI and PRINTERS.WRI of the MSDN version contain extra chapters than the Red China build.
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Top: "Red China", Bottom: MSDN

Both builds include the same IMEs and they report the same version: ABCWin(智能ABC) 2.11, winzm.ime(郑码) 2.0, winpy.ime(拼音) 1.1, wingb.ime(区位) 1.1, winmb.ime(通用码表) 1.1. But the actual files do differ. I can't look into what actually changed though.

The help file of ABCWin IME in Red China contains a bad link. The MSDN one has it fixed, the overall formatting is better as well.
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Left: "Red China", Right: MSDN

The default IME list template, IMEINFO.SRC, contains timestamps when each IME is installed. in MSDN build, they are all 1994.10.27(YYYY.MM.DD), while the Red China build contains 1994.8.23, 1994.8.24 and 1993.7.14. The last one being the same as Windows 3.1.
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Left: "Red China", Right: MSDN

Although I don't know why IMEINFO.SRC in Red China specifys winpy.ime 2.0, winzm.ime 2.0 and wingb.ime 2.0...

Therefore, Red China should be a earlier beta build, maybe in Aug 1994 if IMEINFO.SRC is to be believed.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows 3.2 "Red China" might be a beta        Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:27 am 
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Nice research, you seem to be onto something here. Would be useful to know where the Red China build came from.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows 3.2 "Red China" might be a beta        Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:09 pm 
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Well, both are 3.10.153, but it could be that the Red China edition is a Release Candidate, like the 1.01, 103 or 300 RC's.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows 3.2 "Red China" might be a beta        Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:43 pm 
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From what I remember, the "Red China" build was the one circulating around in the days of the original OSBA, and likely originated on Chinese sites. Given that Chinese warez releases often included pre-release builds (see 3.10.141 Traditional Chinese and PC DOS 6.1 Traditional Chinese beta), this also being a pre-release is not impossible.

Edit: As for that "International" icon - I recall seeing the same kind of icon in Windows 3.1 English with Japanese support as well, as well as in the Thai version.

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