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Size Matter: Tiny11 developer NTDEV pushed their Windows tweaking skills to new limits by creating the most scaled-down version of Windows 11. Unfortunately, the OS barely works but can still multitask and partially supports Batch commands.
After creating one of the smallest functional Windows 11 modifications with the Tiny11 project, NTDEV is trying to do something different with the latest Microsoft OS. Building on an idea suggested by a fan, the developer wanted to find out how small he could take Windows 11 and still have it bootable.
The result of NTDEV's experiments is a Windows image that's less than 100 megabytes in size, a barely functioning operating system which scraps the GUI or any other graphic element to go back to its text-only roots. Microsoft retired the prompt-based paradigm with Windows 95, but Windows 11 can seemingly still be Windows even if it has been turned into a slow-moving textual shell.
NTDEV took inspiration from an old Microsoft project called "MinWin" that created a minimalistic, self-contained set of Windows Vista (and later Windows 7) components working as the "core" user interface. NTDEV Dubbed the new mod "NT-DOS." Viewers suggested that this barebone textual shell is how Windows Server should have been from the start.
The "NT-DOS" mod boots into a minimal shell and operates only through prompt commands. Despite supporting some rudimentary batch files, the stripped-down OS is still Windows and can even provide some multitasking.
NTDEV has been tweaking and modding Windows for quite some time now. The developer compressed the standard Windows 11 installation (64GB) into just 2GB with Tiny11, installed the OS in a 4GB USB flash drive (Live11), and ran it from within the frame buffer of a GeForce RTX 3050 GPU. The Winception experiment pushed nested Windows virtualization to unprecedented limits.
Unlike Tiny11, NT-DOS has no publicly available download yet. The NTDEV blog explains that its projects are selected and "done out of boredom" by a developer who knows how the innermost workings of the Windows OS family. Tiny11 and Tiny10 are the most "user-friendly" creations by NTDEV and have publicly available downloads for those interested in trying the latest Windows releases without all the "excessive fluff" of a standard installation.