The History of Windows OS

8 min readMay 23, 2020


windows operating system is a one of most popular operating system that use in world what is developed by Microsoft. Microsoft Windows was announced by Bill Gates on November 10, 1983 and introduce this to provide a graphical use interface to the use. the first version is windows-1 and here is some information about windows-1 to now.


Windows 1 was released in November 20, 1985 and was Microsoft’s first true attempt at a graphical user interface in 16-bit.But windows 1 is not a complete operating system it was only a operating environment.Development was spearheaded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and ran on top of MS-DOS, which relied on command-line input.

Windows-1 OS

The first version of Microsoft Windows included a simple graphics painting program called windows paint,windows writer, a simple word processor ,an appointment calendar; a card-filer; a notepad; a clock; control panel; a computer terminal; Clipboard; and RAM driver. It also included the MS-DOS Executive and a game called Reversi to move people to use mouse.


Microsoft Windows version 2 came out on December 9, 1987.The new thing of Windows 2 was that windows could overlap each other, and it also introduced the ability to minimise or maximise windows instead of “iconising” or “zooming”. Much of the popularity for Windows 2 came by way of its inclusion as a “run-time version” with Microsoft’s new graphical applications, Excel and Word for Windows. After this there were some versions of windows 2 like Windows/286 2.1 and Windows/386 2.1 with some new things.


Windows 3 released in May 1990, improved capabilities given to native applications. It also allowed users to better multitask older MS-DOS based software compared to Windows/386 with use of virtual memory.Windows 3 supported 256 colors bringing a more modern, colorful look to the interface.They introduced the card-moving time-sink (and mouse use trainer) Solitaire for the sum total of human time wasted.But there is a another version of windows 3 that is windows 3.1

Windows 3.1

Windows 3.1 released in April 1992 is notable because it introduced True Type fonts making Windows a viable publishing platform for the first time.

The game Minesweeper also made its first appearance. Windows 3.1 required 1 mb of RAM to run and allowed supported MS-DOS programs to be controlled with a mouse for the first time. Windows 3.1 was also the first Windows to be distributed on a CD-ROM, although once installed on a hard drive it only took up 10 to 15 mb (a CD can typically store up to 700 mb).

Windows 95

Windows 95 was released in 1995 and was a major upgrade to the Windows operating system. This OS was a significant advancement over its precursor, Windows 3.1. In addition to sporting a new user interface, Windows 95 also includes a number of important internal improvements. Perhaps most important, it supports 32-bit applications, which means that applications written specifically for this operating system should run much faster.

Although Windows 95 can run older Windows and DOS applications, it has essentially removed DOS as the underlying platform. This has meant removal of many of the old DOS limitations, such as 640K of main memory and 8-character filenames. It also introduced the concept of “plug and play”connect a peripheral and the operating system finds the appropriate drivers for it and makes it work. That was the idea; it didn’t always work in practice.Internet Explorer also made its debut on Windows 95, but was not installed by default requiring the Windows 95 Plus! pack.

Windows 98

On June 25, 1998, Microsoft released Windows 98 . It included new hardware drivers and the FAT 32 file system which supports disk partitions that are larger than 2 GB . USB support in Windows 98 is marketed as a vast improvement over Windows 95. The release continued the controversial inclusion of the Internet Explorer browser with the operating system that started with Windows 95 OEM Service. One of the biggest changes was the introduction of the Windows Driver Model for computer components and accessories — one driver to support all future versions of Windows.

Windows 2000

Microsoft released Windows 2000 on February 17, 2000. It was 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.Windows 2000 was available in four editions:

  • Windows 2000 Professional
  • Windows 2000 Server
  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Windows 2000 Data center Server

Windows ME

Microsoft released Windows Me, short for “Millennium Edition” in September 2000.It was the last DOS-based operating system from Microsoft. Windows Me introduced a new multimedia-editing application called Windows Movie Maker, came standard with Internet Explorer 5.5 and Windows Media Player 7, and debuted the first version of System Restore a recovery utility that enables the operating system to revert system files back to a prior date and time. System Restore was a notable feature that would continue to thrive in all later versions of Windows.

Windows XP

On October 25, 2001, Microsoft released Windows XP. It was based on Windows NT , but brought the consumer-friendly elements from Windows ME. The Start menu and task bar got a visual overhaul, bringing the familiar green Start button, blue task bar and vista wallpaper, along with various shadow and other visual effects.

Clear Type, which was designed to make text easier to read on LCD screens, was introduced, as were built-in CD burning, auto play from CDs and other media, plus various automated update and recovery tools, that unlike Windows ME actually worked.

though it had a firewall built in, it was turned off by default,that was the biggest security problem in Windows XP.

Windows Vista

Microsoft released Windows Vista in January 2007. Vista updated the look and feel of Windows with more focus on transparent elements, search and security. Its development, under the code name “Longhorn”, was troubled, with ambitious elements abandoned in order to get it into production.

there was a problem, burdened the user with hundreds of requests for app permissions under “User Account Control” — the outcome of the Trustworthy Computing initiative which now meant that users had to approve or disapprove attempts by programs to make various changes.

Windows 7

Windows 7 was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009, and reached general retail availability on October 22, 2009.It was intended to fix all the problems and criticism faced by Vista, with slight tweaks to its appearance and a concentration on user-friendly features and less “dialogue box overload”.Some features of Windows 7 are faster booting, Device Stage, Power Shell, less obtrusive User Account Control, multi-touch, and improved window management.there were some edition of windows 7,

  • Starter (available worldwide)
  • Home Basic
  • Home Premium
  • Professional
  • Enterprise (available to volume-license business customers only)
  • Ultimate

Windows 8

On October 26, 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8 to the public.The new tiled interface saw program icons and live tiles, which displayed at-a-glance information normally associated with “widgets”, replace the lists of programs and icons.Windows 8 was faster than previous versions of Windows and included support for the new, much faster USB 3.0 devices. The Windows Store, which offers universal Windows apps that run in a full-screen mode only, was introduced. Programs could still be installed from third-parties like other iterations of Windows, but they could only access the traditional desktop interface of Windows.The radical overhaul was not welcomed by many. Microsoft attempted to tread a fine line between touchscreen support and desktop users, but ultimately desktop users wanting to control Windows with a traditional mouse and keyboard and not a touchscreen felt Windows 8 was a step back. There were also too few touchscreens in use, or on offer, to make its touch-oriented interface useful or even necessary — despite the parallel rise of tablets such as the iPad, and smartphones, which had begun outselling PCs by the end of 2010.

there is a version windows 8.1. They introduced in October 2013, Windows 8.1 marked a shift towards yearly software updates from Microsoft and included the first step in Microsoft’s U-turn around its new visual interface.The Start button also in windows 8.1 like 8.

Windows 10

Announced on 30 September 2014, Windows 10 has only been released as a test version for keen users to try. The “technical preview” is very much still a work in progress.Some interesting features include the ability to switch between a keyboard and mouse mode and a tablet mode, for those computers like the Surface Pro 3 with a detachable keyboard.Windows 10 — despite being the ninth version of Windows — is designed to unify all Windows platforms across multiple devices, including Windows Phone and tablets, with universal apps that can be downloaded from the Windows Store and run on all Windows devices.

It won’t be available until 2015, likely after Microsoft’s Build developer conference in April, so for now Windows 8.1 is the latest version of Windows.

This is some brief information a that I found.How ever now a day computer do a main role in our life and Microsoft Windows still dong there roll to develop the technology.




Undergraduate student of Software engineering-University of Kelaniya.