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Windows NT

Microsoft Windows NT (Windows "New Technology") is an operating system produced by Microsoft Corporation. It was originally based on OS/2 NT, a joint project between Microsoft and IBM. The collaboration fell apart, and IBM continued to market the previous version OS/2 NT while Microsoft renamed their version to MS Windows NT, changing the main API to a 32-bit version of its MS Win16 API.

Microsoft hired a group of developers from Digital Equipment Corporation to build a new system. Many elements of NT reflect the earlier DEC experience with VMS and RSX-11

NT enjoyed more success than OS/2, due to its feature promises that were never fully realized and to Microsoft's market prowess.

Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP are later versions of Windows NT.

The acronym WNT was acknowledged by its ex-Digital developer, Dave Cutler, to be a pun on VMS (obtained by shifting each letter one position in alphabetical order, as the name of the villanous computer HAL 9000 in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey is popularly believed to have been derived from IBM).

NT uses a highly layered design, with the hardware hidden from the NT kernel by a hardware abstraction layer[?], and most operating system API functionality provided by API-specific interface modules that present specific functionality such as the Win32, OS/2, DOS and POSIX system call compatibility environments.

See History of Microsoft Windows, Blue screen of death.

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