QUOTE(Karlos The Jackal @ Mar 16 2006, 11:27 AM)
Windows 3.1, 95A, 95B & 98 all run from dos.
3.1 & 95A you had to type win to start it, when 95B was released they droped having to type win, but it still was a dos OS, This didnt change till 98se when it became a full indpendent OS. But still 98SE did have to use DOS for certain commands.
This isn't any more true than when the previous people in the thread said it was. All consumer Windows OSes starting with the very first release of 95 (which is not 95A, 95A is the second) only use DOS as a bootloader environment. The consumer Windows kernel replaces all DOS interrupt vector services (which is the only kind of OS service that DOS really provides). Consumer Windows is pretty stupid as 32-bit OSes go, but it is a real standalone OS nonetheless. There weren't many significant changes to the kernel design at any point - even Windows ME's kernel has the same fundamental architecture as 95.
Running DOS apps inside consumer Windows is accomplished with virtual 8086 mode, a hilariously bizarre set of trickery you can do to the 80386 and above which makes it appear to have returned to real mode, but still allows certain interrupts to be handled by returning to protected mode, which allows the 32-bit OS to regain control to handle device driver interrupts, timers, etc and to allow preemption away from real-mode apps using the timer interrupt. A modified DOS environment runs inside virtual 8086 mode, which implements some DOS interrupt vector services directly, and implements others by using cunning trickery to temporarily return to protected mode and get Windows to do them for it (like displaying things on the screen when in windowed mode). The same virtual 8086 mode is used to run DOS applications in NT-based OSes.
All this is extensively documented in published MS documentation, though many books about Consumer Windows' internals are out of print these days (nobody cares any more). It's not really subject to debate :-)