ARCHIVED: What are the differences between Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0?

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Note: For security and support reasons, UITS recommends using Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional, rather than NT Workstation 4.0, on Indiana University's network. Microsoft retired both mainstream and extended support for this version in June 2004, which means security updates are no longer being developed. For more information, see Microsoft's Windows Desktop Product Lifecycle Guidelines page at:

Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 share a common user interface. The following information from Microsoft summarizes the differences and similarities between the two platforms:

System and peripheral requirements and support
Windows 95 Windows NT
Runs MS-DOS device drivers Yes No
Runs Win16 device drivers Yes No
Recommended RAM for running multiple applications
32+MB (minimum 8) 64+MB (minimum 16)
Typical disk space requirement
55MB 120MB
Runs on PowerPC, MIPS R4x00, and RISC systems
No Yes
Supports multiprocessor configurations for scalable performance without changing operating system or applications
No Yes
Application support Windows 95 Windows NT
Win32 API for application development, OLE for linking data across applications
Yes Yes
Preemptive multitasking of Win32 applications
Yes Yes
Runs Win16 applications Yes Yes
Multimedia APIs (DibEngine, DirectDraw, DirectSound, DirectInput, Reality Lab 3D graphics libraries)
Yes DirectDraw and DirectSound
OpenGL graphics libraries for 3D graphics
Yes (SP1) Yes
System resources capacity Greatly expanded Unlimited
Runs MS-DOS applications Yes Most
Runs IBM Presentation Manager (through 1.3) and POSIX 1003.1 applications
No Yes
Application and data protection
Windows 95 Windows NT
Preemptive multitasking for Win16 applications
No Yes
System completely protected from errant Win16 and Win32 applications
No Yes
NTFS file system provides complete protection of files on a stand-alone system (files, folders, and applications can be made "invisible" to specific users)
No Yes
Has automatic recovery from a system failure
No Yes
Ease of use Windows 95 Windows NT
Next-generation Windows User Interface
Yes Yes
Plug-and-Play technology that lets you add hardware automatically and dynamically reconfigure the system
Yes No
Connectivity Windows 95 Windows NT
LAN connectivity and peer-to-peer networking, with all popular protocols including TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, DLC, and NetBEUI
Yes Yes
Open networking architecture provides a choice of clients, transports, drivers, and extensibility for support of third-party networking applications
Yes Yes
Built-in Remote Access Services
Yes Yes
Built-in Windows Messaging Client providing email and fax
Yes Fax support separate
Manageability Windows 95 Windows NT
Open system management architecture provides infrastructure for third-party system management solutions
Yes Yes
Supports existing and emerging system management standards (SNMP, DMI)
Yes Yes
System policies to provide centralized control over desktop configuration
Yes Yes
User profiles to provide consistent configuration for roving users or different users sharing a single system
Yes Yes
Remote monitoring of system performance
Yes Yes
System and peripheral support Windows 95 Windows NT
Fully exploits 386DX, 486, and Pentium platforms
Yes 486 and Pentium

This is document advu in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:20:07.