8 Versions of Windows Operating System and their history
Windows is the most used operating system especially on personal computers and we recently published an article titled Different Operating Systems in The World and we gave a brief history of all the operating systems listed in that article so ensure that you check it out after you might have finished reading this post.
The Windows operating system was released in 1985 by Microsoft which is the company that owns and also markets it to the general public hence the reason why it is also called Microsoft Windows. Windows according to Wikipedia is a group of several proprietary software and graphical operating system families and each family caters to a certain sector in the computing industry.
Over time the design of the Windows logo has evolved and the one presently used is the logo without any shape covering it and it can be seen in Windows 8 and above while the previous logo can be seen in Windows 7 and below in addition, the logo can be seen on your keyboard close to the alt key.
Below, we would give a brief history of some Windows versions, and in addition, we would also list out the properties of each of them and the improvements made to them from the preceding one.
Windows 1.0: This is one of the earliest Windows versions and it was released in April 1987 but initially, it was released for manufacturing on 20th November 1985 and it was spearheaded by Bill gates after seeing the demonstration of a similar software suite. Windows 1.0 introduced the following:
- Windows Paint
- Windows Write
- An appointment calendar
- A notepad
- A clock
- A control panel
- A computer terminal
- RAM driver
Windows 2.0: Windows 2.0 was introduced on 9th December 1987 and there was a slight improvement from the previous one. The major feature of Windows 2.0 was its real-memory mode usage and other notable features are:
- Allowance of application windows
- Introduction of sophisticated keyboard shortcut
- It did not require a hard disk
- Introduction of the terms minimize and maximize
Windows 2.0 came in two (2) editions namely Windows/386, and Windows 2.1x, and some of the applications introduced are:
Windows 3.0: Windows 3.0 was manufactured and launched in the year 1990 by Microsoft also this edition introduced a new graphical user interface and clickable icons. Some of the features included in Windows 3.0 are:
- A revamped graphical interface
- Technical improvements to the memory management’
- Dynamic Data exchange
Finally, the system requirements for Windows 3.0 include at least one floppy drive for the installation disks and 1MB of memory while a Windows 3.0 with multimedia requires 2MB of memory.
Windows 95: Windows 95 is a closed source and consumer-oriented version of Windows that was released on 15th August 1995 in addition, it merged Microsoft Windows and the formerly separate MS-DOS. Some of the notable features in Windows 95 are the taskbar, notification area, Start button, sticky keys, filter keys, Toggle keys, mouse keys, and Microsoft Active Accessibility.
Windows 98: Windows 98 is a version of Windows that was released to manufacturing on 15th May 1998 and it is a closed source software. Windows 98 is a commercial software and brought with it a lot of features such as:
- Web Integration and Shell support
- Improvements to hardware support
- Other device support improvements
- Networking enhancements
- Improvements to the system and built-in utilities
- Introduction of other system tools and accessories
Windows 2000: Windows 2000 is s business-oriented operating system and it was released to retail on 17th February 2000 and some of the noticeable features are:
- Windows Desktop Update
- Windows driver model
- Microsoft Management console
- Logical Disk Manager
Windows XP: Windows XP was released on 25th October 2001 and it is proprietary commercial software. The development of Windows XP began in late 1990 and some of the features of Windows XP include:
- Fast User Switching
- Improved application compatibility
- Hardware support improvements
- Side-by-Side assemblies such as FireWire 800.
Windows Vista: Windows Vista is a closed source software that was released to the general public on 30th January 2007 and this was exactly five (5) years after the release of Windows XP. Windows Vista came with a lot of features such as:
- Windows Aero
- Windows Search
- Windows Sidebar
- Windows Internet Explorer 7
- Windows Defender
The features mentioned above are a few out of the many new features that were introduced to Windows Vista.
Windows 7: Windows 7 is a closed source version of Windows that was introduced on 22nd October 2009 and it is one of the most popular versions of Windows and it was used on Pcs, tablets, laptops, and media centers. Some of the noticeable features in Windows 7 are:
- Advances in touch and Handwriting recognition
- Support for virtual hard disks
- Improved performance on multi-core processors
- Improved boot performance.
- Addition of items to the control panel
- Direct Access and Kernel Improvements
Windows 8: Windows 8 is a closed source software and it was made generally available on 26th October 2012. Some of the noticeable features of Windows 8 are changes to the platform of operating systems, and user interface, faster start-up through UEFI integration, and the new hybrid boot mode.
Windows 10: Windows 10 was released on 29th July 2015 and this is the latest version of windows and it addressed the issues in the user interface in the previous version. Some of the features of Windows 10 include:
- Support for universal apps
- Multi-factor authentication technology
- Compression of system files to reduce the storage footprint of the operating system
Please note that this information can change at any time because Microsoft generally releases a new version at intervals so subscribe to our mailing list in order to stay updated.