Since 1981, Windows has preserved the leading position in the operating system league, outweighing opponents such as Linux and MAC OS. In the course of the time, it has improved its services in order to provide the best quality to its customers. The trend from the creation and establishment of the first desktop operating system to the finalisation of the windows family into a more advanced group of mobile technologies and operating systems can be regarded as an immense triumph for the well known type of software.
As a historical start-up point, it should be mentioned that Microsoft Windows announced on November 1983, an extension of MS-DOS that would make available graphical operating environment. This was only just the beginning.
The first version of Windows (Version 1.0) was launched on the 20th of November 1985. This DOS Shell-like version included a minimal amount of Windows Application such as a simple painting program, a word processor, an appointment calendar, a card filer, a notepad, a clock, a control panel, computer terminal, clipboard and RAM. These applications were able to be communally multitasked but the function of overlapping windows in the course of Windows software was not yet possible. The software used for Windows 1.0 was way too simple and for that reason it failed to success in the market.
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After the failure of the first version, Windows released the second version of Windows (Version 2.0) on the 7th of December in 1987. Microsoft used the 286 intel processor, which extend memory capabilities and allowed users to overlap windows. The graphics were improved and it could use a series of keyboard combinations in order to circulate quickly through operations. Microsoft came out with a new release 2.03 exploiting the protected mode possessing additional memory capabilities of the intel 386 processor. As the time was passing by new windows releases were constantly modernised and developed.
The third release of windows was back in 1990 and it was regarded as a great success for Microsoft. The Windows 3.0 came out with highly developed graphics (16 colours) due to VGA video cards. It also offered a variety of new features and applications and an improving multitasking using virtual memory. This was the most victorious version so far having repercussion on the market by selling over 10 million copies all around the world.
After the third release Microsoft came out with Windows NT 3.1 in 1993. The modification that appears in the name is the NT which stands for “new technology”. Microsoft tried to develop a satisfactory operating system both in home and business editions using 32-bit on this version. However Microsoft used many similar features to windows 3.1, like overlapping windows. The same year Microsoft released Windows for Workgroups 3.11 which was a version of Windows 3.1 but it was networking aware. It had peer-to-peer workgroup and domain networking support. They mainly used by local area network and on standard PCs and laptops.
In 1994 Microsoft released Windows NT Workstation 3.5 which was basically Windows NT but much more improved. This product had better application support and was very keen to print servers. Another important improvement was that it had the capability to save long file names up to 255 characters.
After the Windows 3.1, Windows for workgroups and MS-DOS, Microsoft came out with Windows 95. It was the first version of Windows which did not possess the necessity to install DOS being a much more improved interface with TCP/IP which supported dial up networking and mobile computing. The particular improvement consisted of 17 cabs and the full version of 28 cabs.
Windows NT Workstation 4.0 circulated on 1996 and integrates the Windows 95 user interface with several bundled server processes. It was considered as a UNIX substitute and it consisted of over 16 million lines of code. After this release Microsoft announced that Windows NT would no more have the initials NT and the next release would be called Windows 2000.
Windows 98 was an advance edition of Windows 95. This product included Internet Explorer 4 and it contained a variety of facilities in its arsenal including support from USB to ACPI power management, reading DVD discs and open/close applications in faster modes. It was consisted by 69 cabs and had a faster registry handling. Microsoft launched Windows 98 Second edition in 1999. There had been a series of new instalments with the most vital being the addition of Internet connection sharing, which let a number of machines on a local area network to share a single internet connection. Furthermore it was easier for the user and many problems which found in the first version were fixed.
In 2000 Microsoft introduced the Windows Millennium Edition which improved multimedia and internet tasks. The system restore was presented for the first time. System restore offers the advantage to the user to restore his system to a previous point which it was working effectively. Another important feature was the Windows Movie Maker. The Millennium edition was the last version of Windows that based on the Windows 95 code base and the last release does not contain Product Activation.
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In October 2001 Microsoft released Windows XP which was the result of integrating Windows NT/2000 and Windows 95/98/Me. The initials “XP” stands for experience which represents the features you can use. The users had the benefit of enjoying music, movies, messaging easier than the other versions. However Windows XP had serious security problems that lead Microsoft to release three very important service packs. Service pack 1 was released in September 2002, Service pack 2 on August 2004 and the final release was in April 2008. Windows XP offered a variety of versions. The home edition for desktop and laptops, the professional for business and power users, the media centre which was related to entertainment, the tablet pc edition, the x64 that used on 64 bit operating system with the processor AMD64 and the final release was XP 64-bit edition which maintained 32-bit compatibility all the way through a software emulator and included quite similar features to the XP Professional version.
Microsoft released Windows Server 2003 on April 2005. This product provided a series of new security features and a “Manage Your Server” application which was used in order to set up a machine for specific roles and achieved an enhanced performance. Some applications of less importance for the server edition were disabled and users had to enable them by themselves if it was to their desire. The acceleration for display, Windows audio and Themes Service were disabled. The Windows Server was available in six editions which were web, standard, enterprise, data-centre, small business server and storage server. All editions were available in 32bit and 64 bit except the Web version and the Small Business Server release.
As was programmed, the release of windows vista occurred on the 30th of November 2006 for commercial use and for the general public on the 30th of January, 2007. An overall description of the new windows vista main purpose is that Windows Vista intended to have enhanced security by introducing a new restricted user mode called User Account Control, replacing the “administrator-by-default” philosophy. One of the major differences between windows vista and windows XP is that the original start button was replaced with just the windows icon. Furthermore vista consists of new graphic features, the Windows Aero GUI, new applications (such as Windows Calendar, Windows DVD Maker and some new games including Chess, Mahjong, and Purble Place, Internet Explorer 7, Windows Media Player 11 and in addition a large number of underlying architectural changes. Vista has six editions. The starter, home, home premium, business, enterprise, ultimate. All these editions are available both 32 and 64-bit releases. The major benefit is that 64-bit can break the 4 gigabyte barrier in addition with the 32-bit which cannot fully access.
Windows Server 2008 came up on the 27th of February. It had new virtualization technological and security features which existed on Windows Vista and it was considered as more successful that the previous version. Windows Server 2008 is considered to be the best solution for the information technology infrastructure.
The final and current version of Windows is 7. It has more rapidly booting than Vista and a there’s huge improvement on window management. Windows 7 is available now in six editions. The starter which is available on new PC’s only, home basic, home premium, professional, enterprise which is offered only to business customers and the ultimate one which has limited availability to original equipment manufacturers . All versions are available on both 32-bit and 64-bit.
There are many rumours about the next release of Windows. There’s nothing official yet but the next major release expected to be in a few years.
Microsoft Windows is inevitably of great importance in the operating system sector and since its establishment, it has completed substantive steps striving for improvement until nowadays. The fact that the specific operating system is the main selling one in the market should not be regarded as a mere consequence but rather as a proof of the hard work imputed within the quality section of the whole scheme. Moreover, the rapid improvement in the proportionality of the quality, marketing and overall, the modernisation trend of the business is of great praise and admiration.
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