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Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems for personal computers. In this article we look at the history of Microsoft operating systems from 1985 to present day. The development of the Microsoft Windows operating system as we know it today began in 1981. Although its release was announced as early as 1983, it would not appear commercially until two years later.

Microsoft works on the first version of a new operating system. Interface Manager is the code name and is considered as the final name, but Windows prevails because it best describes the boxes or computing “Windows” that are fundamental to the new system. Windows is announced in 1983, but it takes a while to develop. Skeptics call it “vaporware.”

In 1985, Microsoft Windows 1.0 was named due to the computing boxes, or “Windows” that represented a fundamental aspect of the operating system. Instead of typing MS-DOS commands, Windows 1.0 allowed users to point and click to access the Windows. In 1987 Microsoft released Windows 2.0, which was designed for the designed for the Intel 286 processor. This version added desktop icons, keyboard shortcuts and improved graphics support.

Microsoft released Windows 3.0 in May, 1990 offering better icons, performance and advanced graphics with 16 colors designed for Intel 386 processors. This version is the first release that provides the standard “look and feel” of Microsoft Windows for many years to come. Windows 3.0 included Program Manager, File Manager and Print Manager and games (Hearts, Minesweeper and Solitaire). Microsoft released Windows 3.1 in 1992.

At this time computers were not as advanced as in the current day, if consumers experience problems repairs could be costly and time consuming. Problems such as crashing memory and virus infections were common and people were left with little choice but to employ a computer repair engineer to conduct a repair on the computer.

Released just as interest in PCs was about to skyrocket due to the pending public release of the World Wide Web, 3.1 would be the first operating system that most people would browse the internet with. 3.1 was faster, had a drastically improved user interface and the ability to run more programs at once without crashing.

Meanwhile Microsoft continued to develop Windows NT. Microsoft hired Dave Cutler, one of the chief architects of VMS at Digital Equipment Corporation (later purchased by Compaq, now part of Hewlett-Packard) to develop NT into a more capable operating system. Cutler had been developing follow-on to VMS at DEC called Mica, and when DEC dropped the project he brought the expertise and some engineers with him to Microsoft. DEC also believed he brought Mica’s code to Microsoft and sued. Microsoft eventually paid $150 million US and agreed to support DEC’s Alpha CPU chip in NT.

Windows 95 introduced the “start” button, which is still a mainstay of the operating system over fifteen years later. It also marked the debut of the recycle bin, “plug and play” hardware, long file names (the maximum went from eight to 250 characters) and perhaps most importantly, a platform designed for 32-bit applications. Windows 95 saw the debut of Service Packs and Internet Explorer, but was also widely considered a buggy, unreliable and unstable program.

Windows 98 offers support for a number of new technologies, including FAT32, AGP, MMX, USB, DVD, and ACPI. Its most visible feature, though, is the Active Desktop, which integrates the Web browser (Internet Explorer) with the operating system. From the user’s point of view, there is no difference between accessing a document residing locally on the user’s hard disk or on a Web server halfway around the world. Windows 98 has some good features then previous for computer repairing problems. We can recover data if we loss on Windows 98. So computer repairing is little easy for this version.

Often abbreviated as “W2K,” Windows 2000 is an operating system for business desktop and laptop systems to run software applications connect to Internet and intranet sites, and access files, printers, and network resources. Microsoft released four versions of Windows 2000: Professional (for business desktop and laptop systems), Server (both a Web server and an office server), Advanced Server (for line-of-business applications) and Datacenter Server (for high-traffic computer networks).

The merging of the Windows NT/2000 and Windows 3.1/95/98/ME lines was achieved with Windows XP (Codename “Whistler”. “Odyssey” was the Codename for NT’s Successor, which was cancelled, and merged with the Windows 9x successor at the time, “Neptune”, and they became “Whistler”), released in 2001. Windows XP uses the Windows NT kernel; however it finally marks the entrance of the Windows NT core to the consumer market, to replace the aging 16-bit branch. Windows XP has some more features and make easy to repairs computer.

Windows Vista offered advancement in reliability, security, ease of deployment, performance and manageability over Windows XP. New in this version was capabilities to detect hardware problems before they occur, security features to protect against the latest generation of threats, faster start-up time and low power consumption of the new sleep state. In many cases, Windows Vista is noticeably more responsive than Windows XP on identical hardware. Windows Vista simplifies and centralizes desktop configuration management, reducing the cost of keeping systems updated.

Windows 7 made its official debut to the public on October 22, 2009 as the latest in the 25-year-old line of Microsoft Windows operating systems and as the successor to Windows Vista (which itself had followed Windows XP). Windows 7 was released in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7’s server counterpart. Enhancements and new features in Windows 7 include multi-touch support, Internet Explorer 8 improved performance and start-up time, Aero Snap, Aero Shake, support for virtual hard disks, a new and improved Windows Media Center, and improved security.

As Windows operating systems have developed and become more intelligent over the years computer repairs have become less frequently required. In fact Windows 7 has almost eradicated software based computer repairs when dealing with corrupt files and operating systems failures. Windows 7 automatically scan removable disks without use on Antivirus. So Computer repairing is less required with advancement on Windows systems.

Windows 8 is a completely redesigned operating system that’s been developed from the ground up with touch screen use in mind as well as near-instant-on capabilities that enable a Windows 8 PC to load and start up in a matter of seconds rather than in minutes. Windows 8 will replace the more traditional Microsoft Windows OS look and feel with a new “Metro” design system interface that first debuted in the Windows 7 mobile operating system.

The History of Microsoft Windows

Last Updated on April 18, 2022