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Friday, November 25, 2022

Every Microsoft Windows Release In Chronological Order – Screen Rant

While some Microsoft Windows versions have been loved by consumers across the board, some updates left the users divided
Users love the fact that Microsoft added the much-requested feature of being able to access the task manager through the toolbar in the recent update to Windows 11. Microsoft has been at the forefront of the personal computer industry since the very beginning. They have released a number of different Windows versions throughout these years.
While some versions have been loved by consumers across the board, some updates left the users divided. But one thing which cannot be denied is the legacy that Microsoft Windows has left on the personal computing industry.
First launched in 1985, Windows 1.0 was a major departure from the code and command-based operating systems which existed prior to this. It can be said that Windows 1.0 completely changed the world of desktop computers, and its impact can still be felt to this day.
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The presence of "Windows" is still a fundamental concept found in modern-day operating systems. Windows 1.0 let users click and point on the screen to perform functions and was considered revolutionary at the time. Earlier, users had to type in commands using programming languages for even the simplest of tasks. Having a GUI made computers accessible to a far wider range of users.
Released in 1987, Windows 2.0 was specifically designed for Intel 286. The upgraded processor allowed for improved graphics, introducing desktop icons for the first time.
The new version also allowed keyboard shortcuts and had much better graphical support. The introduction of keyboard shortcuts might not seem like a big update, but it happens to be one of the core features of any personal computing OS to this day.
Windows 3.0 was released in 1990 and was specifically designed for the Intel 386 processor. This version of Windows was quite significant in giving the "Look and Feel" of present-day versions of Windows.
Support for up to 16 colors, along with better icons, performance, and graphics, was introduced. Windows 3.0 also included Program Manager, Print Manager, File Manager, and games such as Hearts, Minesweeper, and Solitaire. Working on Windows 3.0 to this day feels so familiar that it can be compared to playing a modern game with vintage graphics. Components such as File Manager have become essential to the present-day version of Windows.
Windows NT (or New Technology) was released in 1993 and was the first foray into a 32-bit operating system. One of the biggest upgrades was the support for preemptive multitasking. The addition of multitasking increased the productivity potential of the OS by a huge margin.
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This feature would lay the groundwork for future performance upgrades. Another version of Windows NT was released called Windows NT Server, meant for businesses as servers. Another version called "Workstation" was released for client workstations.
Windows 95 was launched in 1995 and came with a lot of important performance upgrades and a new user interface, the presence of which can still be felt to this day. It also lets natively written 32-bit applications run much faster.
Removing DOS as the underlying system also removed other system limitations, such as 640k main memory and the limitation of 8-character file names. Another important upgrade was the system's ability to automatically detect and configure installed hardware, also known as Plug and Play. Windows 95 also introduced some of the best PC games like Roadrash etc.
Windows 98 was released in 1998 and introduced a lot of significant upgrades which have forever changed the landscape of Microsoft Windows and personal computers in general.
Support for technologies including FAT32, AGP, MMX, USB, DVD, and ACPI. The introduction of an active desktop with Internet Explorer was game-changing for users, laying the groundwork for the future of web browsers. Windows 98 is still to this day one of the most popular OS of all time. Windows 98 is also considered iconic because of the added support for Direct-X-based game titles, including some classic arcade-style games.
Windows 2000 was released on February 17th, 2000, and was abbreviated as "W2K". The update was majorly geared towards corporate and business systems. It allowed PCs to connect to the internet and intranet and access printers and network resources. This update was majorly an under-the-hood capability upgrade for the system, especially with access to a wider range of network resources.
There were a total of 4 versions, Professional, Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server. Each version was geared towards a different kind of business operation. Each variation had a different price point, keeping in mind the size of businesses that would need the extra capabilities.
Windows Millennium Edition was released in 2000 along with Windows 2000, which was meant for professional business systems. This version was geared toward the general consumer and is considered one of the more underrated Windows updates yet.
This version removed the "Boot in DOS" option, which resulted in faster application performances as developers were forced to only work on one version. The update also added more network connectivity options to the system, borrowing from the Windows 2000 update. This update also allowed PCs to connect to the internet and intranet and access printers and network resources.
Windows XP was built on the Windows 2000 Kernel, which made it much more stable compared to previous updates. It had two versions, Home and Professional. Microsoft provided mobility between both versions and also had plug-and-play for wireless connectivity.
Windows XP is one of the best-selling OS of all time. The update also had a completely redesigned look, the essence of which can also be seen in Windows 11. The presence of 802.11x also upgraded the wireless connectivity standard in the system. Windows 98 is still considered by fans to be one of the best Windows versions yet. The default wallpaper of Windows XP is iconic even to this day.
Windows Vista was released on November 30th, 2006, for corporations and a year later for consumers. The release had a refreshed, more modern, and sleek look, along with a faster startup time. The OS could also now go to a sleep state which would consume much less power, a feature that has stuck around to this day.
The system could also detect new hardware problems and deal with modern threats before they occur due to security upgrades. Although consumers were not happy with the instability of the system and its compatibility problems with printers and other hardware.
Windows 7 was released on October 22nd, 2009. The updated OS introduced Internet Explorer 8, Aero Snap, and Aero Shake. Support for multi-touch displays and virtual hard drives and faster booting time were also some notable additions. Multi-Touch support would be the building block for the next update.
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A better Windows Media Center, as well as improved security measures, was also introduced. Because of the stability of Windows 7, it would become one of the most widely adopted OS in the market.
Windows 8 was released on October 26th, 2012 and a completely new look termed "Metro" by Microsoft. The OS was built keeping in mind touchscreen use and could start up in a matter of seconds, borrowing from Windows Phone 7. The "Live Tiles" were connected with different applications and were updated in real time.
The OS supported both ARM and x86 systems. Users were not happy about the missing "Start" button and the overall design language, which seemed to not be designed for non-touchscreen PCs. This design was abandoned in the next update. The update also had a much faster booting time.
Windows 10 was released on July 29th, 2015, and was a departure from the "Metro" look in Windows 8 and was much more optimized for traditional PC users.
The new OS had a much faster start-up along with the return of the "Start" button but in an expanded form, retaining the tiles from Windows 8 on one side. Microsoft Edge was also introduced along with support for any tablet, phone, Xbox, or PC.
Windows 11 was released on October 5, 2021, and was the first free update in the history of the OS. Windows 11 is the most secure version of the Windows OS, and it signaled a backpedal from the brand's supposed "Windows as a Service" model.
The update featured a new look with more sleek and translucent menu bars, along with better support for touchscreens and multitasking. This version also had a lot of security and stability improvements and received regular updates over time.
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