The History of Microsoft Windows Operating Systems


The very first Microsoft operating was released in August 1981, that’s right back to the typewriter days! Bill Gates and Paul Allen released “MS-DOS” which is the abbreviation of Microsoft Disk Operating Systems just 6 years after forming Microsoft. It was supported by the x86 platforms and could run of just 1MB of memory! The design was very basic it had just a command line interface where you could type in various different commands.

Microsoft Windows

Windows 1.0

After MS DOS, the next Windows operating system to be shipped out by Microsoft was Windows 1.0. This was released in 1985 just 2 years after it was announced. Windows 1.0 at the time was a more user friendly interface, instead of typing MS-DOS commands users were now able to use the mouse and click different “windows” as quoted by Bill Gates to navigate around the operating system. This operating system was the first to also release programs already installed which are still on the very latest operating systems today, such as Paint, Calculator and Notepad!

Windows 2.0

The Windows 2.0 operating system was released at a pinnacle time for Microsoft as this was their latest operating system when they became the world’s largest software company based on their sales figures. This operating was a more advanced to the previous 1.0 version, it was designed with improved graphics, multiple windows and keyboard shortcuts to make working a whole lot faster. The birth of control panel was also implemented with Windows 2.0.

Windows 3.0

This version of the windows operating system was designed with more technical elements put into place. Features such as File Manager, Print Manager and Program manager and also for the very first time you could customize the colour of your interface through 16 different colours. Windows 3.0 was programmed to be compatible to the latest processors and memory making it run a lot faster.

Windows NT

This was a strange move by Microsoft as this was an operating system which they had started from scratch, some say it was more of an experiment for office environments and it would prove crucial to the continued advanced products by Microsoft.

Windows 95

This was introduced by Microsoft as the whole new online world of Internet and emailing was born. Windows 95 was a 32bit operating system which had built in internet support and various other internet capabilities. It was able to run of a maximum 8MB of RAM, available in a CD-ROM format and also was available in 12 different languages.

Windows 98

Windows 98 was to be the last operating system based on MS-DOS, the main improvement was the ability to run and close programs more quickly and also capabilities with reading DVD disks and USB devices.

Windows XP

At the time in 2001 when first release little did Microsoft know that this operating system would be one of its best selling products in the coming years. The speed was as quick as it has been, the security awareness to protect the system from corrupt attachments and viruses, digital programs such as windows media player and movie maker. This at the time was the best piece of software around and it was compiled with 45 MILLION lines of code!

Windows Vista

Personally this isn’t my favourite windows operating system; I find it takes up a lot of memory. The best thing about Windows Vista is it’s more advanced security settings, since released in 2006 it was known at the time as the strongest security system yet. The biggest improvement with this OS is again the security and the improved graphics for the digital programs.

Windows 7

At the end of the late 2000s a new era of wireless connection started becoming popular, people could go and sit in a café which has wifi and browse the internet. Microsoft decided that they would program an updated version of windows XP which would benefit users who use wireless internet frequently. Fun fact; before it’s release Windows 7 was tested by around 9 million beta testers!

Windows 8

Finally, the latest operating system which looks like something from the future. Windows 8 was released late last year and many people were excited to see what Microsoft had to offer. Many people found that the windows 8 operating system was mainly designed for touch screen devices and not as effective on a desktop. The security was not as effective as let’s say vista, maybe that is something Microsoft will work on for the next operating system?

Windows 8.1

For the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft went back to it’s roots and gave everybody back the start button that had been missing. They also updated all security features.