Evolution of WINDOWS operating system
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Once upon a time computers did not have any operating system. Every computer was built for a specific function, which meant all the code / programming was hard wired. In case the purpose / function of the computer changed then there was no other way except to either change the system itself or alter it physically.
Then came a time when programmers were hired to keep the computers running. They brought in their programs on punch cards to execute it.
In the early days Microsoft bought QDOS from Seattle Computer Products and changed its name to MS – DOS. A simple system which let one program run at a time.DOS used command line interface. It meant that the user had to input DOS command for each action. DOS would always ask for a command at command prompt. One could always automize series of commands by creating batch files.
Some of the frequently used commands used : DIR , COPYCON, TYPE, MD etc etc.
These were the dark days of computer.
In 1985 Microsoft launched its GUI based operating system called ‘WINDOWS’. Initially it was called Interface Manager but subsequently it was named as Windows 1.0. It was not a true operating system as it depended on DOS to manage applications.Windows 1.0 had little success in the market as it was plagued with hardware and software compatibility issues.
In 1987 windows 2.0 was introduced.It was specially developed considering the enormous power of 286 processors.It was also for the first time that Microsoft introduced WORD and EXCEL.
In 1990 Windows 3.0 was laucnched to compliment the new 386 intel processors. It had 16 bit colours and other fancy frills.With Windows 3.0 Microsoft introduced Program Manager / File Manager to manage files. This version was much faster then the previous ones. In 1991 Microsoft brought multimedia support to windows by introducing CD ROM and SOUND CARD. It also had a basic CD player application.It was during this period more and more applications were developed for Windows. It suddenly became a serious competition to Apple’s Mackintosh.
In 1991 Microsoft launched Windows 3.1. Here it introduced API and TTF – true type fonts.
In 1993 Windows 3.1 for work groups was introduced.
At the same time Microsoft was developing the NT platform which did not need DOS to run and also introduced NTFS file system ( New Technology File System ).
In 1995 Windows 95 was launched. In a sense it was because of this new version that PCs became popular. It had
Better network support
Better device support
Start button – A new feature to launch programs
Very good user interface – More Colours etc
Files names ( support ) – with more than 255 characters
Direct X introduced – Gaming
Windows 98 Launched – Year 1998. It had USB support. And ofcourse Fat 32 file system – ( which meant support for more than 2GB Hard disk ). And active desktop – which meant a web page could be saved as wallpaper.Later Windows 98 Second Edition was launched.
Windows 2000. Hybrid between Windows 98 and Windows NT.
Millenium Edition – Windows ME. The unique feature of this operting system was it had no support for DOS.
Windows eXPerience – Windows brought in the robustness of NT and the user friendliness of ME to introduce WINDOWS XP. Many flavours were were / are available i.e
Windows XP – Starter Edition
Windows XP – Home Edition
Windows XP – Professional Edition
Windows XP – Media Centre
2007 – Windows VISTAS launched