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Operating Systems: Concurrent and Distributed Software Design by Tim Harris, Jean Bacon

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27.1. Introduction to Windows 2000

In 1988 Microsoft decided to design and build an operating system for the 1990s. The existing MS-DOS was designed for hardware and modes of use that were rapidly becoming restrictive, if not obsolete; that is, single-user operation on 8-and 16-bit architectures with primitive support for running multiple processes and without any memory protection between them. The alternative, OS/2, had attempted to be broader in scope but contained substantial portions of assembly language for a uniprocessor CISC architecture (Intel 80286), and could not evolve to take advantage of new RISC processors or of the more conventional memory protection features of subsequent Intel CPUs. Furthermore, experience from academic OS research ...

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