In the days of DOS and Windows 3.11, both third party applications and the operating system stored configuration data in plain text files, known as INI files (Initialize files) after the .INI extension used. These files were stored in multiple locations on the hard disk, and were extremely hard to manage. To address this issue, in Windows 95 Microsoft fully introduced the concept of the Registry (a basic form of registry did exist in Windows 3.11 and NT 3.51). The Registry can be considered a simple database system with a hierarchical structure that contains all the configuration information for both Windows and third party applications.
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