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Windows 95 Enhancements

Windows 95 is dramatically different from any of the Windows 3.x series-not only in its look, but because it provides many enhancements that make it even more versatile and user-friendly. For an A+ technician, proficiency in using the Windows 95 environment requires a great deal of study and hands-on experience.

Windows 95 represents an evolutionary step in operating the system. The following table compares the features of Windows 3.x, Windows 95, and Windows 98. (The A+ Certification does not include Windows 98 at this time; it is included for reference only.)

Windows 3.x Windows 95 Windows 98
A 16-bit program. A 32-bit program. A 32-bit program.
An MS-DOS-based application that supplements an operating system. An operating system. An operating system.
All hardware upgrades require a software driver to be installed in order for the new hardware to work with Windows. Supports Plug and Play hardware installation. Allows user to simply plug in new hardware and let Windows 95 configure it. Supports Plug and Play hardware installation. Allows user to simply plug in new hardware and let Windows 98 configure it. Expanded hardware support for USB (universal serial bus), IEEE1394 serial bus, ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) and DVD (digital video disc), Windows Driver Model (WDM), Multiple Display Support, and more.
Supports filenames up to only 8.3 format, such as filename.doc or spreadsh.xls. Supports filenames up to 250 characters. Supports filenames up to 250 characters.
Supports only multitasking. Supports both multitasking and multithreading (running several processes in rapid sequence within a single program). Supports both multitasking and multithreading.
Cannot run the new 32-bit applications. Can run older Windows and MS-DOS applications, plus the new 32-bit applications written specifically for Windows 95 and Windows NT. Can run older Windows and MS-DOS applications, plus the new 32-bit applications written specifically for Windows 95 and Windows NT.
Program Manager and program group-centered interface. Document and work-centered interface. Document and work-centered interface. Optional Web-like interface.
Designed to be a stand-alone, single-user computer interface. Designed to be an interactive terminal on a local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), or remote or dial-up connection. Designed to be an interactive terminal on a local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), or remote or dial-up connection.
Uses Program Manager as the starting point. Designed around a Start button used to launch a program or open a document. Designed around a Start button used to launch a program or open a document.
Windows for Workgroups provided limited support communication and networking. Integrated support for for communication and networking. Provides TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) and PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) support. Improved support for communication and networking. Network-card friendly (supports Network Driver Interface Specification-NDIS). Supports PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling) and VPN (Virtual Private Network). Supports Windows Sockets 2.0, Web-based Enterprise management (WBEM), and much more.

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