Why should Windows 1,2,3,3.1 be considered "Operating systems"?

I took a peek at the OS download page for the umpteenth time, and i see something strange, as in seeing windows 1.01/2/3 as "Operating systems" on the download page. I can see this from a convenience perspective (a lot of people wanna take a peek at the first version of Windows) but nothing else. Why is another graphical shell (like GEM or norton desktop/commander) within the Applications section, but Windows 1/2, an MS-DOS shell, functionally the same, regarded as a full-fledged operating system? Is it because windows, from the beginning, had tailor-made applications that couldn't be used on MS-DOS?

Just wondering.


  • Well, if we don't call it an OS then we will piss off all the Microsoft Beta lovers and start Nerd War III. :p

    VisiCorp VisiOn was more of an OS than Windows 1. But the few that remember it just remember it as a failed MS-DOS integrated office suite.

    The later versions of Windows - 95/NT do classify as real OSes, so it is less hassle just to keep them all together.

  • It's an old debate about whether anything in the 9x line could be considered an OS or just a shell to DOS.

    Windows 1.x/2.x seem more shell like, with 3.x starting to introduce more OS like functionality and 9x going even further... with DOS being more like an OS loader.

    For the most part, when searching for things like Windows 1.x,2.x,3.x most people would look under the OS category. So I think it makes sense.

  • Even if these are pretty much things that run on top of DOS, they're still classed as OSes anyway, especially for 3.1.

  • If VMWARE/VirtalBox Says Its, Its Own OS Then Its Its Own OS

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