The Revolution of Windows Operating Systems

  • MS-DOS - Microsoft Disk Operating System

    Initially developed by Microsoft for IBM, MS-DOS was the standard operating system for IBM-compatible personal computers. The initial versions of DOS were straightforward​ and resembled another operating system called CP/M (Webopedia, 2018).
  • Microsoft Windows

    Bill Gates announced​ Microsoft Windows on November 10, 1983 (Computer Hope, 2018).
  • Windows 1.0

    Microsoft Windows 1.0 is introduced on November 20, 1985, and is initially sold for $100.00 (Computer Hope, 2018). The first version of Windows, released in 1985, was merely a GUI offered as an extension of Microsoft’s existing disk operating system, or MS-DOS (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017). It was notable because it relied heavily on the ​use of a mouse before the mouse was a typical​ computer input device (Gibbs, 2018).
  • Windows 2.0

    Microsoft Windows 2.0 was released on December 9, 1987, and is initially sold for $100.00 (Computer Hope, 2018). It also introduced the ability to minimise or maximise windows instead of “iconising” or “zooming”. The control panel, where various system settings and configuration options were collected together in one place, was introduced in Windows 2 and survives to this day. Microsoft Word and Excel also made their first appearances running on Windows 2 (Gibbs, 2018).
  • Windows 3.0

    Microsoft Windows 3.0 was released on May 22 1990. Microsoft Windows 3.0 full version was priced at $149.95, and the upgrade version was priced at $79.95 (Computer Hope, 2018). It introduced the ability to run MS-DOS programmes in windows, which brought multitasking to legacy programmes​ and supported 256 colours bringing a more modern, colourful look to the interface. Most importantly, it introduced the card-moving timesink (and mouse use trainer) Solitaire (Gibbs, 2018)​.
  • Windows 3.1

    ​Microsoft Windows 3.1 was released in April 1992 and sells more than one million copies within the first two months of its release. Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.1 was released in October 1992 (Computer Hope, 2018). It introduced TrueType fonts making Windows a viable publishing platform for the first time. Minesweeper also made its first appearance (Gibbs, 2018)​.
  • Windows NT 3.1

    Microsoft Windows NT (New Technology) 3.1 was released on July 27, 1993. Microsoft Windows 3.11, an update to Windows 3.1 was​ released on December 31, 1993. The number of licensed users of Microsoft Windows now totals more than 25 million (Computer Hope, 2018).
  • Windows NT 3.5

    Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11 was released in February 1994. Microsoft Windows NT 3.5 was released on September 21, 1994 (Computer Hope, 2018).
  • Windows 95

    Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 was released on May 30, 1995. Microsoft Windows 95 was released on August 24, 1995, and sells more than one million copies within four​ days (Computer Hope, 2018). The 1995 consumer release Windows 95 fully integrated Windows and DOS and offered built-in Internet support, including the World Wide Web browser Internet Explorer (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017)​.
  • Windows 98

    Microsoft Windows 98 was released in June 1998. Microsoft Windows CE 2.1 was released in July 1998. In October 1998, Microsoft announced that future releases of Windows NT would no longer have the initials of NT and that the next edition would be Windows 2000 (Computer Hope, 2018)​. One of the most significant​ changes was the introduction of the Windows Driver Model for computer components and accessories – one driver to support all future versions of Windows (Gibbs, 2018).
  • Windows ME - Millennium Edition

    Microsoft Windows ME (Millennium) is released on June 19, 2000 (Computer Hope, 2018)​. It was the consumer-aimed operating system twined with Windows 2000 aimed at the enterprise market. It introduced some important concepts to consumers, including more automated system recovery tools (Gibbs, 2018).
  • Windows 2000

    Microsoft Windows 2000 is released on February 17, 2000 (Computer Hope, 2018). It was based on Microsoft’s business-orientated system Windows NT and later became the basis for Windows XP. Microsoft’s automatic updating played a​ fundamental​ role in Windows 2000 and became the first Windows to support hibernation (Gibbs, 2018).
  • Windows Mobile

    On January 4th at CES, Bill Gates announces the new version of Windows CE will be called Pocket PC (Computer Hope, 2018).
  • Windows XP

    ​Microsoft Windows XP was released on October 25, 2001. Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit edition (Version 2002) for Itanium systems is published on March 28, 2003 (Computer Hope, 2018). ​Microsoft united its various Windows packages under a single banner, offering multiple editions for consumers, businesses, multimedia developers, and others (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017)​.
  • Windows Server

    Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit edition (Version 2003) for Itanium 2 systems is published​ on March 28, 2003. Microsoft Windows XP Media Center edition 2003 is released on December 18, 2003 (Computer Hope, 2018).
  • Windows Vista

    Microsoft releases Microsoft Windows Vista to corporations on November 30, 2006 (Computer Hope, 2018). Vista also included speech recognition, Windows DVD Maker and Photo Gallery, as well as being the first Windows to be distributed on DVD. Later a version of Windows Vista without Windows Media Player was created in response to anti-trust investigations (Gibbs, 2018).
  • Windows Home Server

    Microsoft releases Microsoft Windows Vista and Office 2007 to the general public on January 30, 2007 (Computer Hope, 2018).
  • Windows 7

    Microsoft releases Windows 7 on October 22, 2009 (Computer Hope, 2018). It was faster, more stable and easier to use, becoming the operating system most users and business would upgrade to from Windows XP, forgoing Vista entirely (Gibbs, 2018).
  • Windows Phone

    A mobile operating system for smartphones and mobile devices that serves as the successor to Microsoft's initial mobile OS platform system, Windows Mobile (Webopedia, 2018).
  • Windows 8

    Microsoft releases Windows 8 on October 26, 2012 (Computer Hope, 2018). Windows 8 offered a start screen with applications appearing as tiles on a grid and the ability to synchronise​ settings so users could log on to another Windows 8 machine and use their preferred settings (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017). Windows 8.1 re-introduced the Start button, which brought up the Start screen from the desktop view of Windows 8.1 (Gibbs, 2018).
  • Windows 10

    Microsoft releases Windows 10 on July 29, 2015 (Computer Hope, 2018)​. Windows 10, which came with Cortana, a digital personal assistant like Apple’s Siri, and the Web browser Microsoft Edge, which replaced Internet Explorer (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2017). It is designed to unify all Windows platforms across multiple devices, including Windows Phone and tablets, with universal apps that can be downloaded from the Windows Store and run on all Windows devices (Gibbs, 2018).