PC Hardware

Windows Features

Along with Windows came many new features. As a resource manager, it handles all the common or shared functions (like printing), making application programming, hardware manufacture, and computer operation easier. As long as a device or application meets the Windows standard, it is available to share its operation or data with other compliant applications or hardware.

The following table lists some of the primary features of Windows 3.1 and 3.11.

Feature Function
Customizable user environment Such features as colors, background pictures, screen savers, mouse settings, startup programs, and the Program Manager can be changed to appear and run according to the user's preferences.
Data sharing Using Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), information can be shared from one application to another. Object linking and embedding (OLE) allows embedding of information from one application in another application's file.
Icons Windows uses small pictures called icons to represent programs or objects.
Multitasking By allocating processor time to each application, Windows allows multiple applications to run at the same time. Each application is assigned a priority with the one currently in use receiving the most processor time.
Network awareness Windows can recognize disk and print resources provided by network systems. It is compatible with Novell, NetWare, Banyan Vines, DEC Pathworks, and Unix/Linux.
Virtual memory In an MS-DOS environment, programs are limited to the amount of physical memory (RAM) available in the computer. With Windows, part of the hard drive can be used as a swap file, in place of RAM. Using a swap file is slower than RAM; however, it does expand the capability of the computer.