Modular Windows 1.1?

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Mirolit
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:57 pm

Modular Windows 1.1?

Post by Mirolit »

Microsoft Modular Windows remains perhaps the least studied edition of Windows 3.x.

Among the few information on Modular Windows, there is somee mentions that Microsoft allegedly developed an update for Modular Windows at some point after the Tandy/Memorex/RadioShack VIS failure of sales. However, after a long search, I haven't been able to find any convincing evidence (disk/ROM dumps, screenshots, mentions in Windows files/source codes or at least in MS docs) indicating the existence of any particular build other than 1.0.592.
I also contacted the owner of two VIS consoles at once, who helped me find several more MS docs about Modular Windows, but all of them are somehow related to the development/sale cycle of build 592/Tandy VIS.

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De facto, no version of ModWin has been completely leaked: the available build 592 SDK (the screenshot above) contains only GDI, drivers and GUI components, but should be installed on top of regular Windows 3.x and doesn't include the ModWin kernel itself. It's probably possible to get a real build 592 by reading the VIS ROM (using a programmer or some other special device), but I don't know if anyone ever tried to do this. At the same time, according to the above mention, "Modular Windows 1.1" has never been used even in VIS, so if it really exists, it must have a set of floppy disks or at least an SDK.

As we know, Windows 95 used Modular Windows GDI (GDI.exe ) as a part of MINI.cab since at least build 99 (and build 116 contains this file with a bit earlier compilation date), while earlier builds (as well as WinNT NTVDM) used the standard 3.1 GDI. However, this file also uses the build 592 code branch (it can be verified when deleting the file, since its version is displayed, it works even in Windows 10/11).

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So does another ModWin build actually exist, or is it some kind of result of confusion in the available information?

ActivateYourTech
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Re: Modular Windows 1.1?

Post by ActivateYourTech »

Is build 592 the November '92 SDK?
https://www.youtube.com/@techactivate781
I don't like Windows 10/11. I like (best to 4th best): 7, 8.1, Vista, and XP.

Mirolit
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:57 pm

Re: Modular Windows 1.1?

Post by Mirolit »

ActivateYourTech wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2024 2:44 pm
Is build 592 the November '92 SDK?
Build 592 is what was installed on VIS.
Yes, the currently known SDK (i.e. VIS SDK) was created specifically for this version and is usually mistaken for build 592 itself.

As I mentioned above, the SDK contains most of the visual component of Modular Windows, but doesn't contain the kernel. Thus, Windows 3.1 can (after fairly simple manipulations) use the "WinShell" a.k.a. Modular Windows Shell instead of Progman (as I demonstrated in the screenshot), but it will still be Windows 3.1.

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