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/// Windows 4.0 "Chicago" News                   Like anybody cares...
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    Found on Usenet


The next major release of Windows will bear little visual resemblance to
Windows 3.1.  Wincows 4.0, code named "Chicago," entered pre-beta testing in
September, with shipment of an experimental version to more than one hundred
testers.
 
The user interface is based on version 2.0 of Microsoft's OLE (Object
linking and embedding) technology, and resembles thje Macintosh desktop more
than it does Windows 3.1.  In addition, it behaves very much like the OS.2
Workplace shell.
 
Instead of Windows discrete File Manager, there's a Macintosh-style desktop
with folders and icons,  Some folders are analogous to Windows 3.1 File
Manager groups.  Other folders, like Windows 3.1 File Manager folders,
represent disk directories.  Still other folders and icons represent a new
level of abstraction..  All networking, for instance, is accessed through a
world-globe icon that opens to a folder full of network icons.  Double
clicking on one of the network icons opens up a folder showing servers.
Double-clicking on a server icon opens a folder of shared resources, and so
on.
 
DOS is gone completely; underneath the new user interface beats a completely
new, 32-bit multitasking, multithreaded heart.  The Chicago kernel demands
substandtially less overhead than it's distant cousin Windows NT, and
executes easily in just 8mb of RAM.  Opinion varies on the probably RAM
requirements for a shipping version.  Some say as little as 4mb, but others
wonder what may be left out to achieve such a lean package.
 
Virtually all DOS and 16-bit Windows programs run from Chicago; It's
possible to execute Windows 3.1 itself from a Chicago command-line prompt,
and Chicago runs most Windows NT Programs.
 
Still, Chicago is not NT Lite.  Clearly, it's feature set bespeaks a nearly
ideal network client (and standalone desktop) operating system.  Chicago has
many of OS/2's advantages, yet preserves commonality with its ancestors.  It
doesn't make programmers -- or users -- choose between Windows and an
incompatible 32-bit model.  Yet is has 32-bit performance like Windows NT,
and might actually share drivers with NT.  It's disk performance is so
strong that we suspect Chicago is using some of NT's impressive virtual
memory disk caching technology as well.  It's capable of offering all this
without requiring outrageous amounts of RAM in a desktop system.  It
provides outstanding DOS and Windows application compatibility while
prividing true pre-emptive multitasking and multithreading.
 
The precise packaging MS will pursue with Chicago isn't clear as we go to
press.  The pre-beta version now in limited distribution includes Windows
for Workgroups-style peer-to-peer resource sharing.  Whether it will be
included with the Basic Chicago product was unclear at press time.
 
The pre-release version of Chicago is remarkably polished (some say it's
more stable than the late betas of Windows NT were), leading to speculation
that MS might be aiming for an early 1994 release.  But at MS's ODBC
developers conference, VP Mike Maples reiterated MS's intent to ship Chicago
in the Summer of 1994.

Major features:
 
New object-oriented user interface features folders, icons, true Desktop
metaphor.  (it's about time!!! -- mt)
 
32-bit engine delivers high performance, multitasking.
 
Runs easily in 8bm.  (shipped version may run in 4mb)
 
Requires (and exploits) 386 or better CPU.