Windows NT

Updated: 09/12/2023 by Computer Hope
Windows NT

Microsoft Windows NT is an operating system. The first version was Windows NT 3.1 in 1993. It had a similar interface to Windows 3.1, with advanced networking capabilities and hardware support. In August 1996, Microsoft released Windows NT 4.0 with an interface similar to Windows 95. Windows NT was later replaced by Windows 2000; however, it still had the Windows NT kernel.


David Cutler is considered the father of Windows NT.

Windows NT system requirements

Windows NT 4.0 Intel system requirements

486 33 MHz or Pentium highly recommended
16 MB of RAM (random-access memory)
110 MB hard drive space
standard sound card for sound capability.
VGA or higher resolution
100% compatible Microsoft keyboard and mouse
Requires the previous version of Windows NT
Shipped with DirectX 2.0

Windows NT 4.0 RISC system requirements

Workstations with Alpha AXP, MIPS (microprocessor without interlocked pipelined stages) R4x00, or PowerPC
110 MB hard drive space
CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory)
Standard sound card for sound capability.
VGA (video graphics adapter) or higher-resolution
100% compatible Microsoft keyboard and mouse
Windows 3.x, 3.1x, or Windows 95 to upgrade
Includes DirectX 6.0

What is the "NT" short for in Windows NT?

The "NT" in Windows NT was originally officially short for "new technology." However, today "NT" is no longer considered an acronym.

Some believe that after David Cutler was brought over from DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) to help develop Windows NT that he used "WNT" because it is each letter after "VMS." VMS (virtual memory system) is an operating system he helped create at DEC. "WNT" may have been a way to pay homage to VMS, or maybe he was inspired by the story behind HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Backronyms sometimes used for "NT" include "network technology," "non-trivial," and "not tested."

Windows NT in the user agent

When viewing statistics or the user agent online, you may see Windows NT 5.0 or higher to describe a Microsoft Windows operating system. Below are the different user agent versions of Windows NT and their corresponding versions of Windows names.

Windows NT 4.0 = Windows NT 4.0 
Windows NT 5.0 = Windows 2000
Windows NT 5.1 = Windows XP
Windows NT 5.2 = Windows Server 2003 and XP x64 edition
Windows NT 6.0 = Windows Vista
Windows NT 6.1 = Windows 7
Windows NT 6.2 = Windows 8
Windows NT 6.3 = Windows 8.1
Windows NT 10.0 = Windows 10

Computer abbreviations, Operating system terms