A lot of people today are not aware of the evolution of Microsoft Windows. Today we have seamlessly moving, semi-transparent windows that glide across the screen with remarkable feel and sensitivity. However, this was not always the case. In this article I’d like to take you back to some of the original Microsoft Operating Systems and how they paved way for the computing world as we know it today.
In the Beginning
In the 1970’s people used typewriters to create documents. Microcomputer’s existed but nowhere did you see them in the workplace. In fact, very few people had even heard of them. However two talented men, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, set out to change all of that.
In early 1975 Allen and Gates partnered up and created a small company called Microsoft. Shortly after in 1980, IBM contacted Allen and Gates to create a new operating system that would control the hardware side of a computer as well as offer an application layer for software programs. This operating system was later named MS-DOS. Though MS-DOS was effective it was hard for some users to use due to its long and sometimes cryptic commands. http://smartwebsiteideas.com/
Windows 1.0, 2.0 & 3.0
Later in 1985 Microsoft releases Windows 1.0 which offers a graphical user interface (GUI) rather than the original DOS commands of its predecessor. Following that, Windows 2.0 hits the shelves. The upgrade took advantage of the new Intel 386 processors and its memory management capabilities. Microsoft would then go own to release Windows 3.0 which introduced new features like File Manager and Print Manager. It was also considerably faster and would go on to out sell all of its original versions.
Windows NT did not derive from its older siblings. Microsoft set out to design a new operating system from scratch. Their answer was Windows NT. Of the enhancements most notable is its ability to operate at 32 bit. Unlike the other 16 bit operating systems of the past, operating at 32 bit allowed engineers and scientist to take development to new lengths.
In 1995 Microsoft released Windows 95 which went on to sell seven million copies in five weeks. Windows 95 was released at the dawn of the internet and hit the shelves ready. It boasted dial-up support for networking allowing users to access email and browse the World Wide Web. Windows 95 also included a new feature called Plug and Play which made installing hardware and software a breeze. This is also the time we are introduced to our beloved start menu and taskbar.
Windows 98 was developed as an upgrade to Windows 95. It offered better performance and quick launch bar. It was also the first Windows operating system that offered support for DVD drives and USB devices. Windows 98 was the last operating system based of MS-DOS.
Designed for home use instead of business, Windows ME offered better media support as well as network enhancements making it easier for user setup. It also introduced the System Restore which allowed you to roll back your computer state to a previous time. Windows ME was also the last of the Windows 95 core code. All future versions of Windows would be based off of Windows NT.