So I got my hands on another early Windows NT preview. This one is so rough around the edges, it’s more of an alpha then a beta. It’s even reflected in the bootup screen.
Well, what has changed from the 1991 releases? Plenty, the registry is coming along quite a bit, but there is no integrated setup program at this point. I almost wonder if this build was meant to be internal only, as it does drop stuff about your Microsoft badge ID. No, really!
In this build 297, and it includes the OS/2 & MS-DOS/WOW subsystems. The POSIX subsystem is absent, further cementing the idea that it was included much later to target Windows NT at government contracts with a POSIX check-box. I’ve only done some simple testing with the MS-DOS compatibility and it was ‘ok’ but nothing too solid. I didn’t have any luck with the OS/2 stuff, maybe I’m just doing it wrong. One thing is for sure, if it’s this rickety in 1992, they were nowhere near ready in 1991!
Another fun touch is who it’s registered to. I guess since Bill is footing the bill for NT, it’s all his anyways.
With that being said, the installation which involves a batch script dos2nt.bat is very touchy, it does require few files to manually edit. I’ve found it works best with a d drive to swap to, but for the most part NT cann’t find itself properly and you wind up with a blank desktop, stemming from the “An error has occurred in the registry. The Program Manager’s settings and groups can not be accessed.” error. Since NT at this point is far more closer to Windows 3.1, then 1991’s builds being closer to Windows 3.0, the famed game reversi is missing…
However the administrative tools is in NT now, the logon/logoff and locking works. NT at this point is transitioning from an OS running a 32bit version of Windows 3.0 into a fleshed out operating system.