The Amiga had an infinitely better operating system than Windows, but I always liked the Windows 3.x look. In terms of aesthetics I preferred it to everything that came after from Microsoft. Call me old-fashioned.
(In terms of “most beautiful to look at” OS, though…I dunno. Windows 3.x, NeXTSTEP, and BeOS? I think I just have a preference for the operating systems of the late 80’s to the late 90’s…)
Firstly, nice domain! I really wish .exe could be a TLD.
Along similar lines as this post, one thing that interested me is the Windows 95 setup engine which contains a cut-down version of Windows 3.1 to display the UI. It only needed to support VGA (since that’s the Win95 minimum), and only needed to launch a single application, but it still has all the UI, keyboard, mouse, etc.
I dug into how this worked and created a few things patterned on it, both for 3.1 and 3.0. 3.0 is nice because it has real mode support, which is obviously the smallest, and using that a 3.0 runtime engine can be made to work in under 700kb. 3.1 is a little larger. Unfortunately there aren’t many real mode applications to run on it, but at least in theory there’s plenty of space to do sophisticated applications on a 1.44Mb floppy.
I think I find the term “Windows Dealer” much funnier than I should.