Microsoft Windows NT 3.51

Windows NT 3.51 is the third release of Microsoft's Windows NT line of operating systems. It was released on May 30, 1995, nine months after Windows NT 3.5, and three months before the release of Windows 95. The release provided two notable feature improvements; firstly NT 3.51 was the first of a short-lived outing of Microsoft Windows on the PowerPC architecture. The second most significant enhancement offered through the release was that it provides client/server support for interoperating with Windows 95, which was released three months after NT 3.51. Windows NT 4.0 became its successor a year later; Microsoft continued to support Windows NT 3.51 until 31 December 2001. The release of Windows NT 3.51 was dubbed "the PowerPC release" at Microsoft. The original intention was to release a PowerPC edition of NT 3.5, but according to Microsoft's David Thompson, "we basically sat around for 9 months fixing bugs while we waited for IBM to finish the Power PC hardware".[3] Editions of NT 3.51 were also released for the x86, MIPS, and Alpha architectures. New features introduced in Windows NT 3.51 include PCMCIA support, NTFS file compression,[4] replaceable WinLogon (GINA), 3D support in OpenGL, persistent IP routes when using TCP/IP, automatic display of textual descriptions when the mouse pointer was placed on toolbar buttons ("tooltips") and support for Windows 95 common controls.[5] Despite the significant difference in the kernel base, Windows NT 3.51 is readily able to run a large number of Win32 applications designed for Windows 95. Most recent 32-bit applications will not work as the developers have prevented their application from working with any Windows version earlier than Windows 98, also because some applications do not work properly with the older Windows NT 3.51 interface. Despite this, Microsoft in their application releases muddied the issue, releasing 32-bit versions of Microsoft Office right up to Office 97 SR2b, but relying upon 16-bit versions of Internet Explorer technology. This is probably because 32-bit versions of Internet Explorer 4.0 and later integrated with the Windows 95 desktop, and NT 3.51 still used the Windows 3.1 desktop. Later on, up to IE 5.0, but not later 5.x versions, were offered.

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