Just for the laugh, I loaded Windows 3.1 into my Virtual Machine the other day.
I did it, mainly just to see if I could.
What you see above is both Windows 7 and Windows 3.1 running in their own Virtual Machines on a Linux Mint host.
When I started working with PCs the standard machine came with 1Mb of memory and a 20Mb hard disk. Windows 3.1 was considered to be fairly bloated as it weighed in at nearly 15Mb, so it took most of the disk space. Of course, Windows wasn’t an operating system in those days; it was essentially a programme that ran on DOS, which also had to be loaded onto the PC.
In those days, the Internet was still very much in its infancy, and neither DOS nor Windows came with TCPIP/IP software or a browser so they had to be loaded and configured separately. What was worse, loading IP and a browser required a full 2Mb of memory to run properly. To connect to the Internet meant adding memory, loading a TCP/IP stack (Lan Workplace was the software of choice), configuring DOS to handle the stack and then installing Netscape Navigator.
In contrast, Windows 7 handles IP and the Internet as an everyday item and we take it for granted that it will connect to the Internet as soon as it is installed. There is one small difference between 3.1 and 7 though – while 3.1 weighs in at 15Mb, 7 comes in at around 12Gb. Nearly a thousand times bigger. I would also love to see it try to run with 1Mb of memory!
Things have changed a bit over the last twenty years.