A Brief History of Microsoft Windows
Windows OS, more commonly known as Microsoft Windows, is the "standard" of operating systems for PC users. It is the most popular and widespread series of operating systems in the world, with most computers being sold pre-installed with Windows. In fact, Windows dominates the realm of operating systems by a huge percentage, with an estimated 90% of all PCs or laptops running Windows. Microsoft Windows was first developed and released to the public in 1985 as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS. This was largely due to consumers' growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs). One year prior to the release of Windows, Mac OS dominated the personal computer market. However, when Windows was released, it overtook Mac OS in less than one year.
Windows 1.0, the first version of Windows to be released to the public, was an incomplete operating system. It was merely an extension of MS-DOS. Unlike today's versions of Windows, this version was basic and only contained the following components: calculator, calendar, clipboard viewer, Notepad, Paint, clock, Cardfile, Terminal, Write, and Reversi. All windows were tiled in Windows 1.0, so no overlapping occurred. Two years later, in 1987, Windows 2.0 was released to the public. This version finally allowed for overlapping windows. In addition, keyboard shortcuts and expandable memory were introduced. In 1990, Windows 3.0 had a huge design improvement. Aside from the aesthetics of the operating system, Windows 3.0 and 3.1 featured the ability to multi-task between DOS applications. The popularity of Windows 3.1 allowed for more than 2 million copies of sales within the first six months of its release.
The next major Microsoft Windows version release was Windows 95. This version boasted several aesthetic and software improvements. First, Windows supported plug-and-play hardware, long file names, and 32-bit applications. The aesthetic changes included a redesigned interface, including a Start menu, taskbar, and Windows Explorer file manager. Three years later, Windows 98 was released. Though the visual appeal did not change much from Windows 95, many enhancements were made to configurations, including support for USB devices, hibernation, and support for dual-monitors. Finally, in 2000, Microsoft released its last DOS-based version of Windows - Windows Millennium Edition (ME). Unfortunately, Windows ME is considered one of the worst tech products of all time, and the absolute worst operating systems Microsoft has released.
In 2001, Windows XP was released. This version featured a complete overhaul in the user interface, with just about every aesthetic feature upgraded. This was the first version of Windows that was released and marketed as different editions: Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional, and Windows XP Media Center. After more than five full years of development, the longest since the initial release of Windows in 1985, Windows Vista was released in 2007. Vista was focused on security features. In 2009, Windows 7 was released to consumers. There were not many changes to the operating system in this release, with Microsoft's goal being compatibility with applications and hardware already compatible with Vista. Finally, in 2012, Windows 8 was released to the public. This is considered one of the biggest changes Microsoft has made to its operating systems. Windows 8 was designed around an interface which optimizes touch-based devices. The start menu was eliminated and replaced with a start screen - large tiles instead of icons which are more convenient for a touch device such as a tablet PC. In addition, a new class of applications was introduced to the operating system redesigned primarily for touch devices.