What happened to winipcfg and netmon?

Raymond Chen

Commenter Michael Moulton asks:

Back in the Win95 & 98 days, we had winipcfg to manage DHCP leases on the client. Additionally, we had an app (I think it was netmon) to let you view people currently accessing your shares.

Now, we have ipconfig on the command line and nothing like netmon.

I’d be interested in hearing why those tools weren’t retained.

Let’s start with winipcfg. On the Windows NT side, the tool for managing IP addresses has always been ipconfig, and it hasn’t gone away. It’s still there in Windows Vista. The winipcfg program was created for Windows 3.1 as a workaround because Windows 3.1 didn’t have a console subsystem. The program was retained in Windows 95 because Windows 95 was based on Windows 3.1. The workaround wasn’t ported to Windows NT because Windows NT already had the functionality, as a console program, which is probably how it should have been done in the first place. Oh wait, that is how it was done in the first place. In other words, the question isn’t why winipcfg changed to ipconfig but rather why ipconfig changed to winipcfg. The change was a workaround, and now the workaround is no longer needed. Meanwhile, the functionality provided by netmon exists in the Windows NT series as an MMC snap-in. The quickest way to get to it is to right-click the My Computer icon and select Manage, then go to the Shared Folders node.

(This question really wasn’t in my area, since I never worked on networking. I’m just answering the question based having used Windows for a while and not being afraid to look around.)


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