Microsoft Windows-386 Being Delivered With Compaq 80386-Based PCs Through Dec. 31, 1987

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This pertains to Windows/386, and how it was rushed before the normal Windows 2.0 release.

San Francisco -- September 23, 1987 -- (PRNewswire) -- Compaq Computer Corporation and Microsoft Corporation today announced Microsoft Windows/386, a product co-developed by the two companies, which is an enhanced version of the Microsoft Windows operating environment compatible with Windows 2.0.

Windows/386 allows multitasking and application switching of both existing MS-DOSR and Windows applications on 80386-based PCs. It also gives each DOS application up to 640 K random access memory (RAM) plus access to expanded memory through use of a built-in LIM software driver.

Compaq announced that it would distribute the Microsoft product, free of charge, to buyers of COMPAQ 80386-based personal computers through Dec. 31, 1987.

For the installed base of COMPAQ DESKPRO 386tm owners, Microsoft announced that the Windows/386 presentation manager would be available during October from computer dealers for a suggested resale price of $195(U.S.).

"Windows/386 means increased productivity for our users today because it allows true multitasking of current DOS and Windows applications on the COMPAQ DESKPRO 386," said Mike Swavely, vice president, Sales and Marketing, Compaq Computer Corporation. "Windows/386 represents a valuable extension of benefits for the large installed base of DOS and Windows applications which can only be achieved through the unique capabilities of the 80386."

Swavely added, "As the industry leader in 80386-based PCs, Compaq worked very closely with Microsoft to bring these new benefits to our customers as quickly as possible, while protecting the customer's investment in existing software."

The co-development effort on this product between Compaq and Microsoft actually began with the COMPAQ Expanded Memory Manager (CEMM) developed for and introduced with the COMPAQ DESKPRO 386 in September 1986. Microsoft Windows/386 provides an expanded memory software interface, similar to CEMM, compatible with the Lotus/Intel/Microsoft (LIM) expanded memory specification (EMS). This software utility breaks the traditional 640 K MS-DOS barrier. Any application that uses LIM expanded memory will be able to do so under Windows/386 without the user's need to purchase an expanded memory card or a LIM software utility.

Windows/386 uses the virtual mode capability of the 80386 to provide features such as multitasking and application switching. An additional advantage of the virtual mode is that Windows/386 can allocate any number of MS-DOS applications a full 640 K of address space, depending upon the total system memory.

Microsoft Windows/386's graphical user interface using overlapping "windows" looks and operates the same as Microsoft Windows 2.0 and the Presentation Manager in Microsoft Operating System/2 (MS OS/2)(Note).

"Compaq brought their expertise with the 80386 virtual capability to this effort," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft.

Gates added, "The easy-to-use and learn graphical operating environment that we pioneered for MS-DOS-based PCs with Windows in November 1985 reaches an optimum level of performance in the form of Windows/386 on COMPAQ 386-based PCs. The graphical user interface shared by Windows/386 and the OS/2 Presentation Manager is rapidly becoming the industry standard around which advanced graphical applications will be developed."

Additional features of Windows/386 include the capability of standard DOS applications to run in a window or use the full screen, and cutting and pasting of selected data is supported between DOS and Windows applications. Memory-resident applications are also supported.

Requirements to run Windows/386 include an 80386-based PC, such as the COMPAQ DESKPRO 386; one 1.2-megabyte high-density diskette drive; a fixed disk drive; one megabyte RAM, two megabytes is recommended; a CGA, EGA or VGA compatible display controller and display; and MS-DOS version 3.1 or later. A COMPAQ DESKPRO 386 configured with two megabytes or more of memory is preferable for the use of Windows/386 so more than one application may use an entire 640 Kilobytes of memory simultaneously. A mouse is recommended and available as an option from Microsoft.

Compaq Computer Corporation is the leading supplier of 80386-based business PCs with the 16 MHz COMPAQ DESKPRO 386. Other COMPAQR products include the 12 MHz 80286-based COMPAQ PORTABLE IIItm and COMPAQ DESKPRO 286R, the 80286-based COMPAQ PORTABLE IIR and the 8086-based COMPAQ DESKPROR.

COMPAQ(R), COMPAQ DESKPRO(R), COMPAQ DESKPRO 286(R) and COMPAQ PORTABLE II(R) are registered trademarks and COMPAQ DESKPRO 386(tm) and COMPAQ PORTABLE III(tm) are trademarks of Compaq Computer Corporation.

MS-DOS(R) is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

(Note) Microsoft Operating System/2 (MS OS/2) is a product of Microsoft Corporation.

CONTACT: (editorial) Jeff Stives of Compaq Computer, 713-370-0670; or Maura FitzGerald of Miller Communications, 617-536-0470, for Compaq Computer; or (electronic media) Tom Pearson of Pearson Communications, 215-648-3975/

Copyright PR Newswire 1987 wire