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Microsoft PC Operating Systems

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Infographic: The History of Windows (from www.microsofttraining.net )...
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Someone says it will be last version of Windows! (What?!?). Someone says Windows 10 is just a merge of Windows 8 and Windows 7! The traditional Start Menu is back, but it has Tiles "a la Windows 8" too!
As of now (May 2014) I am testing the Preview beta version of Windows 10, and I  think I like it better than Windows Eight.



P.s. You may have noticed there is no "Windows 9". Yes, Microsoft just skipped it! "Windows 9x" refers instead to Windows 95/98 versions (see below). 
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Windows 8.1 brought brought back the Start button (sort of), but third-party software is still needed to revive good-old-style Start Menu.

Windows 8.1 Update (a newer version of Windows 8.1) has also brought back Desktop view as a default at start-up, as many users were unhappy with Metro/Modern view as a default.
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Unlike its predecessors, Windows 8 boots to a Start screen made of tiles. Maybe a good idea for a tablet, but definitely not for most computers and notebooks.

Windows 8 has re-engineered its boot method too, by adopting UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) as the new firmware standard.
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A major success for Microsoft, Windows 7 smoothed some rough edges off Vista, had a better performance, but wasn't dramatically different after all.

In the picture you can see Windows 7 Start Menu and Start Button on the bottom left corner of the screenshot.

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Despite of its new Aero visual style, Windows Vista wasn't loved by many users, for a number of reason. For instance, it had high hardware requirements, otherwise you could not run it regularly, or it was slow.


However, Vista had UOC (User Account Control), a feature that annoys some users but is actually very good for security, as it informs you when a program makes a change that requires administrator-level permission.
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Windows XP, whose official support by Microsoft has ended on April 8, 2014, was launched in 2001 as the successor to both Windows 2000 and Windows ME. It was a single operating system for both business and consumer markets.


Windows XP proved to be one the most popular and longest-selling products in Microsoft history. It was available in several editions, among which Edition N,  which did not include Windows Media Player but instead encourages users to pick and download their own media player. Microsoft had to release Edition N in order to comply with European Union regulations.
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WINDOWS NT (early systems)

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Windows 2000 was a choice for work places, not folks at home. It was a reliable system, but not so good for games. It was available in four editions: Professional, Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server.
By the way: funniest commercial ever!



Before Windows 2000, Microsoft had released Windows NT 3.5, Windows NT 3.51 and Windows NT 4.0, based on the new NT technology NT, the first purely 32-bit versions of Windows.
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WINDOWS 9x

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ME stands for Millennium Edition. It was announced with a futuristic commercial! But bug-plagued Windows ME is seen by many as the worst chapter in Microsoft operating system history. No surprise it had a very short life in shops: roughly one year.


Windows ME still had a DOS shell (MS-DOS Prompt window) but did not have an option to reboot in full DOS mode directly, unless you booted from a start-up diskette.
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Windows 98 and later Windows 98 Second Edition (released in 1999) were the best Windows 9x systems. If you want to try an "ancient Windows" for fun, have a go with 98 SE rather than with ME (a major flop!) or 95.

Windows 98 included all of the enhancements included in Plus! for Windows 95, an assortment of games, screensavers, themes and multimedia applications.
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Windows 95 was a major breakthrough in Microsoft operating system history. Among other things, it brought in the Start button, and dropped the DOS dependence, while still having a DOS-based boot stage.  DOS was still available with Windows, anyway: useful if you wanted to run old programs and DOS games!

    The first Windows 95 had no USB support at all. It was introduced in a later version: Windows 95b.
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DOS BASED

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Windows 3.1 and Windows 3.11 for Workgroups were the versions that made Windows popular, like it has been for many years now.

But it seems like Stone Age if you look at Windows 3.1 now! :D
Windows 3.1x was the last DOS-based Windows.
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The third main Windows version had icons instead of program names! Wow! :)
MS Windows was still based on DOS, anyway. After the PC booted to DOS, from DOS you could run Windows.
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"Windows 2.1x" stands for Windows 2.1 and later minor versions such as 2.10.
It was available in two editions, 286 and 386, for different hardware: personal computers based on 80286 and 80386 microprocessors.
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In the second version of Windows, you still had to click on the name of an application (e.g. "Clock") rather than on icons.

 
At the time, Windows was not hugely popular yet.
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Windows 1.0 was the first Microsoft operating system with a graphic environment. In other words, windows and clicks!
 
Under the graphic user interface, though, there was still DOS under the hood.
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MS-DOS

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MS-DOS, first released in 1981, was the Microsoft version of the DOS operating system, a command-line environment, that is to say you have to write the commands, as opposed to environments with a graphical user interface (GUI). DOS stands for "Disk operating system".

The last stand-alone release was MS-DOS 6.22 in 1994, but MS-DOS was still available on Windows systems. Still in 1996 the popular Quake game was released for DOS.
 


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This list celebrates the history of Microsoft PC operating systems from the first MS-DOS (1984) to Windows 10 (2015).



I do welcome any comments and suggestions, but Please Please Please! do not start flames in favor or against your favorite or most hated operating system. So done with it! By the way, I also used and appreciated Linux and Mac computer systems.



Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates (above) and Paul Allen (below) on April 4, 1975, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S. The company name was "Micro-Soft" with a dash, originally.





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Comments

Posted: 2 years, 11 months ago at May 11 10:52
I'm still using Windows 7, and I like it. What I don't like is change..........

:)
Posted: 2 years, 11 months ago at May 12 4:02
i once met someone who prefered win server 2003 over xp. also, there is windows server 2008.
Posted: 2 years, 11 months ago at May 12 7:43
ahhh old memories, still remember a bit of DOS. win 95 was big step up from DOS it will be in my memory forever, 98 was OK, used win 2000 used for a long time, XP probably the best Microsoft operating system, Vista incredibly reliable still use original instal in one laptop (8 years now!), win 7 is an OK but need to reinstall it often it is very sensitive and fails easy, windows 8/8.1 hated it so much that i went to shop and bought win 7 for my last laptop.

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