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As far as I know, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 was released before Windows 95, and went obsolete on the last day of 2001. However, it was still made available until November 2008. Why was that so?

I mean, online sources say that that was so because it was popular among embedded systems. However, for such systems you had Windows XP and Vista Embedded (Compact) versions too, so why was it still available for that long?

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My guess would be that embedded systems with Win 3.1 would require MUCH less system resources than XP or Vista, hence the continued support for that long. – Lawrence Dec 30 '13 at 6:14
Cheapness, at the time Embedded programmers tended to stagnate on a particular OS. 16 Bit Win 3.11 as opposed to upgrading to the next thing and adopting 32 bit programming. We went through the same thing on the Win95 to WinXP hump when we escaped DOS based underpinnings with a 32 bit environment and moved to basically NT kernel and a full 32 bit environment. – Fiasco Labs Dec 30 '13 at 6:56
This question is not possible to answer unless you work at Microsoft. The simplest explaination is that enough people with enough money wanted it to be available – Ramhound Dec 30 '13 at 12:01

It runs on intel, MIPS, DEC Alpha, and PowerPC. If you bought a non-Intel platform with Microsoft software, you're pretty much stuck. I can think of several large POS and ticketing systems that still use 16-bit Windows because it isn't broken yet and the investment in a hardware upgrade is too daunting.

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You are mixing up your Windows flavours there. Windows for Workgroups was DOS+Windows, not Windows NT. Windows NT is the one that used to be available for lots of processors. – JdeBP Dec 30 '13 at 16:41

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