Enterprise IT Watch Blog

Jul 27 2010   11:40AM GMT

The Not-So Brief, Still Wondrous Life of Windows OS

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

Our Windows 7 in 2010 month is wrapping up, so we thought we’d do a little look back through the years.

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Remember this guy? Windows 1.0, in all of its 16-bit glory, was released in November of 1985. This OS—available only on floppy disk—was supported until December 31, 2001. System requirements for Windows 1.0: 256 KB RAM, DOS 2.0, and two floppy drives.

Subsequent versions, Windows 2.0 and 2.03, added new features such as overlapping windows. In 1990, more improvements were made to the user interface and multitasking with Windows 3.0—the distant cousin of today’s Windows 7 in terms of success—was released, selling 2 million copies in the first six months of its life. In 1993, the professional operating system Windows NT—which would later be adjusted for its home edition, Windows XP—introduced Windows users to preemptive multitasking.

Big Step

August 24, 1995 marked the release of the revolutionary Windows 95. An across-the-board replacement for Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups and MS-DOS, Windows 95 introduced a more advanced user interface and continued support for preemptive multitasking. Windows 98, the Vista of its time, seemed to be a step back from Windows 95 until its second edition.

Then there was Windows 2000 and Windows Me (Millenium edition) best known for its universal plug and play capabilities, speed issues and hardware problems. Windows’ most recent sweetheart, Windows XP was released in October 2001 in both professional and home editions. With XP, Microsoft merged its previously separate business and consumer base code to make one power-OS for the enterprise and—after a bit of stripping down—the home. Soon after, Windows repeated its own history with Windows Vista, causing users to complain about performance, security, product activation and more.

Back to the Future VII

Windows 7, released in October of 2009, was a great answer to Vista, released not three years before. Windows 7 was meant to be a simpler version of what Windows users had been using for so long. We’ve been celebrating Windows 7 for the past month, what have been your experiences with the operating system? Leave your stories in the comments or email them to me directly at Melanie@ITKnowlegeExchange.com.

Melanie Yarbrough is the assistant community editor at ITKnowledgeExchange.com. Follow her on Twitter or send her an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

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