A. A. In the late 1980's the Windows environment was created to run on the Microsoft DOS operating system. Microsoft and IBM joined forces to create a DOS replacement that would run on the Intel platform that led to the creation of OS/2, and at the same time Microsoft was working on a more powerful operating system that would run on other processor platforms. The idea was that the new OS would be written in a high level language (such as C) so it would be more portable.
Microsoft hired Dave Cutler (who also designed Digital's VMS) to head the team for the New Technology Operating System (NT :-) ). Originally the new OS was to be called OS/2 NT.
In the early 1990's Microsoft released version 3.0 of its windows OS which gained a large user base, and it was at this point that Microsoft and IBM's split started as the two companies disagreed on the future of their OS's. IBM viewed Windows as a stepping stone to the superior OS/2, where as Microsoft wanted to expand Windows to compete with OS/2, so they split, IBM kept OS/2 and Microsoft change OS/2 NT to Windows NT.
Nt was once called OS/3, and OS/2 V3, I am informed by a alpha tester for IBM & MS, he had a set of 5.25 diskettes from Microsoft, and that's how he got them.
The first version of Windows NT (3.1) was released in 1993 and had the same GUI as the normal Windows Operating System, however it was a pure 32 bit OS, but provided the ability to also run older DOS and Windows apps, as well as character mode OS/2 1.3 programs.
For a detailed history have a look at http://windowsnt.miningco.com