Versions History

Windows Versions History

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As a computer user, you are probably familiar with the different types of Windows operating systems that are available. Microsoft Corporation is the company behind the development of the Windows operating system.

The first version of Windows was released in 1985 and was called Windows 1.0. Since then, Microsoft has released several different versions of Windows, each with unique features and improvements.

The latest version of Windows is Windows 10, which was released in 2015. There is also the graphical user interface (GUI) for different available systems. Here is a list of the different versions of Windows, in order from oldest to newest.

MS-DOS – Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS)

Microsoft developed MS-DOS for IBM, the first operating system for personal computers. It was released in 1981 and ran on the IBM PC. The first versions of DOS were text-based and did not have a graphical user interface. However, the later versions did include a graphical user interface and are more sophisticated. Its cost was $40 USD.

Windows 1.0 – The First GUI Operating System

Windows 1.0
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows 1.0 was released in 1985 and was the first version of Windows with a graphical user interface (GUI). It allowed users to point and click on icons to open programs, rather than having to type in commands.

Windows 1.0 also came with programs such as Paint, Calculator, and Notepad. This made it more user-friendly than other operating systems available at the time. To get it, you had to part with $99.

Windows 2.0

Windows 2.0
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows 2.0 was released in 1987 and included several improvements over Windows 1.0. The most notable improvement was multitasking, allowing users to run more than one program simultaneously.

This was a big step forward for operating systems, making them more efficient and productive. Windows 2.0 also had an improved GUI that made it easier to use. The price was $100. Windows 2.0 was the first version of Windows that could be used with the Intel 286 processor.

Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows 3.0 was released in 1990 and was a major upgrade from Windows 2.0. It included significant improvements in performance and usability. The most notable new feature was virtual memory, which allowed computers to run programs too large to fit in physical memory.

This made Windows 3.0 much faster than Windows 2.0 and other operating systems. It also included features such as support for TrueType fonts and Presentation Manager. The price was $149.95. An upgrade costs $79.95.

The icons used in Windows 3.0 were designed by the company Huge metadata. They were much more user-friendly than the icons used in previous versions of Windows. It also came with games such as Solitaire and Minesweeper. It had other essential programs such as the file manager, print manager, and paint program.

Windows NT 3.1

Windows NT 3.1
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows NT 3.1 was released in 1993 and was the first version of Windows NT. It was a complete rewrite of the operating system and was designed for high-end servers and workstations.

It included support for 32-bit processors and could run multiple programs simultaneously. Windows NT 3.1 was also the first version of Windows to support the NTFS file system. The price was $495 for a server license and $1,195 for a workstation license.

Windows 95

Windows 95
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows 95 was released in 1995 and was a significant upgrade from Windows 3.1. It included many new features, such as the Start menu, taskbar, and desktop. The most significant change was the inclusion of 32-bit support, which made it much faster than Windows 3.1.

Windows 95 also came with a new web browser called Internet Explorer, which made it much easier to browse the web. The price was $209.95 for the full version and $109.95 for the upgrade. This operating system could automatically detect and configure new hardware, making it much easier to install new devices.

Additionally, Windows 95 included support for Plug and Play, making installing software programs easier. One of the most popular features of Windows 95 was its support for long file names. This allowed users to have file names up to 255 characters long, rather than the 8.3 character limit used in previous versions of Windows.

Windows 98

Windows 98
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows 98 was released in 1998 and included many improvements over Windows 95. The most notable new feature was the inclusion of the Universal Plug and Play standard, which made it easier to connect to and use devices on a network. Windows 98 also included support for USB devices and the FAT32 file system.

The price was the same as Windows 95. Windows 98 was faster than Windows 95 and included many new features to improve performance and usability.

One of the most significant changes was the inclusion of the Active Desktop, which allowed users to put web pages and other information directly on their desktops. Windows 98 included support for DirectSound and DirectX, which made it possible to play high-quality audio and video files.

Windows 2000

Source: wikipedia

 

Windows 2000 was released in 2000 and was the first version of Windows NT that was suitable for use by consumers. It included many new features, such as dynamic disk storage and Active Directory. Additionally, it supported Plug and Play devices and the NTFS file system. The price was $319 for the full version and $149 for the upgrade.

Windows 2000 was a significant improvement over previous versions of Windows NT. It was much more stable and reliable, making it suitable for mission-critical systems. Additionally, it included support for new technologies such as USB and IEEE 1394. Microsoft developed four versions of Windows 2000:

  • Windows 2000 Professional – This version targeted home users and small businesses. It included all of the features of Windows 2000, including support for networking, file and print sharing, and web browsing.
  • Windows 2000 Server – This version was targeted at medium to large businesses. It included all the features of Windows 2000 Professional and support for file and print sharing, web server software, and database server software.
  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server – This version targeted large businesses and enterprise organizations. It included all of the features of Windows 2000 Server, as well as support for clustering and load balancing.
  • Windows 2000 Datacenter Server – This version targeted large businesses and enterprise organizations. It included all of the features of Windows 2000 Advanced Server and support for up to 32 processors and eight nodes.

Windows XP

Windows XP
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows XP was released in 2001 and included many new features, such as the inclusion of Windows Media Player and Windows Messenger. Additionally, it supported the FAT32 file system and included support for USB devices. Microsoft developed two versions of Windows XP:

  • Windows XP Home Edition – This version targeted home users and included all of the features of Windows XP, including support for networking, file and print sharing, and web browsing. The cost was $199, and the upgrade was $99
  • Windows XP Professional Edition – This version was targeted at businesses and included all of the features of Windows XP Home Edition, as well as support for file and print sharing, web server software, and database server software. The price was $299 for the full version and $199 for the upgrade.

Windows XP was a significant improvement over previous versions of Windows. It included many new features to improve performance and usability. One of the most significant changes was the inclusion of the Start menu, which made it easier to find and launch programs.

Regarding security standards, Windows XP was the first to introduce the internet firewall and default encryption for wireless networking. This made it much more secure than previous versions of Windows. It used the 802.11x standard for wireless networking, which was much more secure than the earlier 802.11b standard.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows Vista was released in 2007 and included many new features, such as the Aero interface, Windows Defender, and the Windows search engine. Additionally, it supported the NTFS file system and included support for BitLocker encryption. Microsoft developed four versions of Windows Vista, which targeted at different markets:

  • Windows Vista Home Basic ($199 for the full version and $99.95 for the upgrade)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium ($239 for the full version and $159 for the upgrade)
  • Windows Vista Business ($299 for the full version and $199 for the upgrade)
  • Ultimate ($399 new and $259 upgrade)

Windows Vista was a significant improvement over previous versions of Windows. It included many new features to improve performance and usability. One of the most significant changes was the inclusion of the Aero interface, which made use of transparent window borders and 3D graphics.

Additionally, Windows Defender was included to protect against spyware and other malicious software. Regarding security standards, Windows Vista was the first to introduce User Account Control, which prompted users for permission when running programs with elevated privileges.

This made it much more secure than previous versions of Windows. It also used the BitLocker encryption system to encrypt data on both external and internal drives.

Windows 7

Windows 7
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows 7 was released in 2009 and included many new features, including the Windows Taskbar, the Jump Lists feature, and support for multi-touch input. Additionally, it supported the NTFS file system and included support for BitLocker encryption. Microsoft developed three versions of Windows 7, which targeted at different markets:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium ($199.99 for the full version and $119.99 for the upgrade)
  • Windows 7 Business ($299.99 for the full version and $199.99 for the upgrade)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate ($319.99 for the full version and $219.99 for the upgrade)
  • Windows 7’s server counterpart is Windows Server 2008 R2. It was released together with seven and was the first 64-bit-only server edition from Microsoft.

Windows 8/8.1

Windows 8/8.1
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows 8 was released in 2012 and included many new features, such as the inclusion of a Start screen, support for apps, and support for touch input. Additionally, it supported the NTFS file system and included support for BitLocker encryption. Microsoft developed three versions of Windows 8, which targeted at different markets:

  • Windows 8 ($119.99 for the upgrade)
  • Windows 8 Pro ($199.99 for the full version and $99.99 for the upgrade)
  • Windows 8 Enterprise ($299.99 for the full version)

Windows 8 was a significant departure from previous versions of Windows. It replaced the Start menu with the Start screen, which used tiles to display information about apps and programs. Additionally, it included support for apps, which could be downloaded from the Windows Store.

Besides, it supports touch input, making it suitable for use on tablets and other touch-enabled devices. Windows 8.1 was released in 2013 and addressed many of the criticisms leveled at Windows 8.

It brought back the Start button (although the Start menu still didn’t make a return) and allowed users to boot directly to the desktop if they so desired. Additionally, it included new features such as support for high-resolution displays and improved support for devices with small screens.

Windows 10

Windows 10
Source: wikipedia

 

Windows 10 was released in 2015 and included many new features, such as the inclusion of the Start menu, support for Cortana, and support for Microsoft Edge. Additionally, it supported the NTFS file system and included support for BitLocker encryption. Microsoft developed three versions of Windows 10, which targeted at different markets:

  • Windows 10 Home ($119.99 for the full version and $99.99 for the upgrade)
  • Windows 10 Pro ($199.99 for the full version and $99.99 for the upgrade)
  • Windows 10 Enterprise ($309 for the full version)

The first start-up and resume showed a significant change in speed. The new Start menu is a welcome return, albeit slightly different from what we were used to pre-Windows 8. Under “All Apps,” programs are sorted alphabetically by default but can be sorted by installed date, most used, or name. You can also add and remove folders from here.

Cortana is a digital assistant that was first introduced with Windows 10. It’s powered by Bing and can be used to perform searches, set reminders, and open apps. It can also provide information about the weather, sports scores, and more.

Microsoft Edge is a new web browser that was introduced with Windows 10. It includes features such as reading view, which strips away distractions from articles, and Cortana integration, which allows you to search the web using your voice. Windows 10 also introduced a new universal app platform, which allows apps to be designed for PCs and mobile devices.

Besides, in-built security features like Windows Defender and SmartScreen filters have been beefed up. The former offers malware protection, while the latter checks websites and downloads for malicious content. There’s also a new family safety feature that lets you set limits on what your children can do on their PC, such as what apps they can use and how long they can use them.

Windows 11

Windows 11
Source: wikipedia

 

The next version of Windows has not yet been announced. However, it is rumored to be released in 2020 and will include support for the new ARM-based processor architecture. Additionally, it is rumored that the Start menu will return and that Cortana will be more deeply integrated into the operating system.

It is also likely that the new operating system will include a new app store. Microsoft has not yet announced the release date or pricing for Windows 11. However, it is expected that the price will be similar to that of previous versions of Windows.

So there you have it – a brief history of the Windows operating system. Microsoft has come a long way since the release of Windows 1.0, and the operating system has undergone many changes over the years. With each release, Microsoft has added new features and addressed criticisms of previous versions.