Windows 1 to Windows 10 : 29 years of Windows Evolution

3 years ago

"Computer science is the operating system for all innovation". ~Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft offered an operating system with the name 'windows' in the year 1985 as a Graphical User Interface (GUI). It is called windows or windows OS  and was built to run PC's. Microsoft Windows saw 9 versions over 29 years. 

Evolution of Windows Operating System 

Windows looks very different but somehow familiar with elements that have survived the test of time, increases in computing power and – most recently – a shift from the keyboard and mouse to the touchscreen.

Let's have a look at the series of windows

Windows 1 

The first original windows 1 was released in Nov 1985. It was spearheaded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and ran on top of MS-DOS, which relied on command-line input. It majorly relied on the mouse. To make people familiar with the use of the mouse as an input device, a very first own game called Reversi was introduced to Windows 1 which was solely dependent on mouse clicks to help people have a good command over the mouse.

Windows 2  

After 2 years from the release of Windows 1, Microsoft released a new Windows 2 which replaced Windows 1. The big innovation for Windows 2 was that windows could overlap each other, and it also introduced the ability to minimize or maximize windows instead of “iconising” or “zooming”. All the control panels were combined to one single place which is still same since that time. Also, Microsoft Word and Excel then became a part of windows 2 for the very first time. 

Windows 3 

The first windows that required a hard drive were launched in 1990. Windows 3 was the first version to see more widespread success and be considered a challenger to Apple’s Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga graphical user interfaces, coming pre-installed on computers from PC-compatible manufacturers including Zenith Data Systems. Windows 3 allowed running MS-DOS programs which helped legacy programmers to perform multi-tasking and it also gave 256 colors, giving colorful look to the interface. 

Windows 3.1

It was released in 1992 and is notable because it introduced TrueType fonts making Windows a viable publishing platform for the first time. Windows 3.1 required 1MB of RAM to run and allowed supported MS-DOS programs to be controlled with a mouse for the first time. Windows 3.1 was also the first Windows to be distributed on a CD-ROM, although once installed on a hard drive it only took up 10 to 15MB

Windows 95 

This was released in the year 1995 and it brought the first-ever Start button and Start menu. Internet Explorer also made its debut on Windows 95. Windows 95 also introduced a 32-bit environment, the taskbar and focused on multitasking. MS-DOS still played an important role for Windows 95, which required it to run some programs and elements.

Windows 98 

It was released in 1998. It brought with it IE 4, Outlook Express, Windows Address Book, Microsoft Chat and NetShow Player, which was replaced by Windows Media Player 6.2 in Windows 98 Second Edition in 1999. Windows 98 introduced the back and forward navigation buttons and the address bar in Windows Explorer. USB support was much improved in Windows 98. 

Windows ME 

It was released in September 2000 and is considered a low point in the series of windows. It was the consumer-aimed operating system twined with Windows 2000. IE 5.5, Windows Media Player 7 and Windows Movie Maker all made their appearance for the first time. Autocomplete also appeared in Windows Explorer, but the operating system was nefarious for being buggy, failing to install properly and being generally poor.

Windows 2000 

It was released in February 2000 and was based on Microsoft’s business-orientated system Windows NT and later became the basis for Windows XP. Microsoft’s automatic updating played an important role in Windows 2000 and became the first Windows to support hibernation.

Windows XP 

This one of the best Windows versions amongst the windows series. It was released in October 2001. It brought Microsoft’s enterprise line and consumer line of operating systems under one roof. This was the major used Microsoft operating system. This lasted for 13 ye are until 2014. It was still on demand on some PC's until it completely vanished. Its biggest problem was security, though it had a firewall built-in, it was turned off by default. Windows XP’s huge popularity turned out to be a boon for hackers and criminals, who exploited its flaws, especially in Internet Explorer, mercilessly.

Windows Vista 

Vista updated the outlook and feel of windows with more focus on transparent elements, search and security. 

It was buggy and a much degraded than windows me. Windows Media Player 11 and IE 7 debuted, along with Windows Defender an anti-spyware programme. Vista also included speech recognition, Windows DVD Maker and Photo Gallery, as well as being the first Windows to be distributed on DVD.

Windows 7 

It was released in the year 2009. It was intended to fix all the problems and criticism faced by Vista, with slight tweaks to its appearance and a concentration on user-friendly features Handwriting recognition debuted in 7, as did the ability to “snap” windows to the tops or sides of the screen, allowing faster more automatic window resizing. Windows 7 saw Microsoft hit in Europe with antitrust investigations over the pre-installing of IE.

Windows 8 

It was introduced in the year 2012. Windows 8 was faster than previous versions of Windows and included support for the new, much faster USB 3.0 devices. The Windows Store, which offers universal Windows apps that run in a full-screen mode only, was introduced. Programs could still be installed from third-parties like other iterations of Windows, but they could only access the traditional desktop interface of Windows.

Windows 8.1 

It was introduced in 2013. Windows 8.1 re-introduced the Start button, which brought up the Start screen from the desktop view of Windows 8.1. Users could also choose to boot directly into the desktop of Windows 8.1, which was more suitable for those using a desktop computer with a mouse and keyboard than the touch-focused Start screen.

Windows 10 

It was introduced on 30 September 2014. It was launched only as a try-out series. Windows 10 represents another step in Microsoft’s U-turn, bringing back the Start menu and more balance to traditional desktop computer users.

All about windows 

It is an operating system designed by Microsoft and it allows us to use a computer. Now windows come preloaded on all new personal computers. 

It has made all our day to day tasks possible. Windows is also used in many offices because it gives you accessVistaproductivity tools such as calendars, word processors, and spreadsheets.

Microsoft introduced the first version of windows in 1985.

The most recent used windows are: 

  • Windows 10 (2015)
  • Windows 8 (2012)
  • Windows 7 ( 2009) 
  • Windows Vista ( 2007)
  • Windows XP (2000)

Windows10 is the latest OS version of Microsoft. It is the most powerful version made till date and complex too. 

While the user interface is extremely spontaneous, you'll have to dig a little deeper to customize your experience, get maximum performance and make the most of features. 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are 10 versions of Windows available over a span of 29 years. Some common OS are Windows XP, windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows 10.