Microsoft Windows : Features of All Windows Versions

This tutorial just introduces the different versions of Microsoft Windows Operating System to you.
As you all know, Windows OS is the most popular and widely used operating system across the world.

This operating system is developed and marketed by Microsoft, hence, also popularly known as Microsoft Windows. Bill Gates and Paul Allen form a partnership called Microsoft in 1975.

Microsoft Windows operating system is a closed-source operating system.It uses win32 APIs ( Application programming interface ).This provides a easy interface for the user ,GUI ( Graphical User Interface ).

Microsoft Windows is a family of windows operating systems.Let`s have a look on different versions of Windows OS :


  • MS-DOS ( Microsoft Disk Operating System ) was originally developed by Microsoft for the IBM compatible Computers.
  • In 1981, It was first run on a IBM`s PC.
  • It is a Command-Line Interface operating system.
  • It was effective operating system.
  • As it uses commands for all the operations, It is found difficult to understand for many people.

Note : Microsoft considered the Interface Manager as the final name but 
          Windows was named beacause it best describes the boxes or computing 
          'windows'. Windows is announced in 1983.

Windows 1.0 :

  • It is the very first version of Windows operating System introduced in November,1985.
  • It provides Graphical user interface , Users just have to move mouse,point and click to open any program.
  • It includes drop-down menus, scroll bars, icons, and dialog boxes to make work easy.
  • It serves many programs including MS‑DOS file management, Paint, Windows Writer, Notepad, Calculator, and a calendar, card file, and clock and a game ( reversi ).

Windows 2.0 :

  • This is the improved version of Windows 1.0 released in December,1987.
  • It includes Desktop icons,expanded memory and improved graphical support.
  • Keyboard shortcuts are also added to make work easy and fast.
  • It introduces a new feature to control screen layout i.e. Control Panel.
  • It is designed for Intel 286 processor.
  • It improves the speed,usability and reliability of the PC.

Windows 3.0 :

  • This version was released in May,1990 and a new update Windows 3.1 in 1992.
  • It has better performance, advanced graphics (16 colors ) , improved icons.
  • Programs run faster with the support of Intel 386 processor.
  • It includes some new features like Program Manager, File Manager and Print Manager.
  • This version comes up with new games ; Hearts, Minesweeper and Solitaire.
  • Windows for workgroup 3.11 released in 1992 , adds peer-to-peer workgroup and domain networking support .

Windows NT : 

  • Windows NT ( New Technology ) was released in July,1993.
  • It is a 32-bit operating system.
  • This was a business platform that supports high en engineering an scientific programs.
  • Windows NT Server was designed to act as Server and Windows NT Workstation was designed for client workstations.

Windows 95 :

  • Microsoft releases Windows 95 on August 24, 1995.It was an upgrade of all previous versions.
  • It has built-in Internet support, dial-up networking, and new Plug and Play capabilities that make it easy to install hardware and software.
  • This 32-bit OS comes up with enhanced multimedia capabilities, mobile computing and integrated networking.
  • This version of Windows includes most important and useful features like  Start menu, taskbar, and minimize, maximize, and close buttons on each window.
  • In 1995, The first version of Internet Explorer was released to connect to the Internet world.

Windows 98 :

  • Windows 98 was released on June 25, 1998.
  • It  is described as an operating system that “Works Better, Plays Better.”
  • This provides a very easy interface that a user can easily search for anything on computer or on internet.
  • It introduces a new feature , Quick launch bar ( icons of programs near start menu ).
  • The improvements in ability to support DVD disks and USB devices.

Windows 2000 :

  • This version was released in february, 2000.
  • Windows 2000 was an upgrade to windows NT workstation and designed to replace Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT Workstation .
  • It adds major improvements in reliability, ease of use, Internet compatibility and support for mobile computing.
  • It also simplifies the hardware installation and supports wireless & USB devices.

Windows ME :

  • Windows ME ( Millennium Edition ) was released in June, 2000.
  • It is a update to the Windows 98 core and includes some features of the Windows 2000.
  • It version removes the 'boot in DOS ' option.
  • It introduces a new feature System restore that roll backs the PC software configuration to a date or time.
  • It contains Movie Maker and Windows Media Player.

Note : Windows ME was the last versions which based on Windows 95 code 
           base.All the future versions are based on Windows NT an Windows 
           2000 kernel.

Windows XP :

  • Windows XP was released on October 25, 2001 which was built on the Windows 2000 kernel.
  • It is stable , reliable, usable and fast.
  • It’s available in 25 languages
  • Navigation with start Menu, Taskbar and Control Panel are more intuitive.
  • Windows XP Home Edition offers a clean, simplified visual design and such enhancements as the Network Setup Wizard, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker, and enhanced digital photo capability.
  • Windows XP Professional provides enhancing reliability, security, and performance. With a fresh visual design,It includes features for business and advanced home computing, including remote desktop support, an encrypting file system, and system restore and advanced networking features. 
  • Windows XP 64-bit Edition (2001) is the first Microsoft operating system for 64-bit processors designed for working with large amounts of memory and projects.
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition (2002) is made for home computing and entertainment.
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (2002) realizes the vision of pen-based computing.

Windows Vista :

  • Windows Vista was released in November, 2006.
  • It offers the strongest security system yet and has advancement in reliability, performance and manageability.
  • It is available in 35 languages.
  • It provides enhancement in Windows Media Player.
  • The new feature  BitLocker Drive Encryption provides better data protection for your computer.
  • It simplifies and centralizes desktop configuration management.

Windows 7 :

  • Windows 7 was released on October 22, 2009.
  • It introduces many new and attractive features like multi-touch support, Internet Explorer 8, improved performance and start-up time.
  • It improved the Security and Windows Media Centre.
  • It included Snap, Peek, and Shake—new ways to work with windows which  improved functionality and made the interface more fun to user.

Windows 8 :

  • Windows 8 is the most recent released operating System from Microsoft on October 26, 2012.
  • It can be said that this is a redesigned operating sytem which provides a new look and feel from the previous versions.
  • It gives a new look to first Start Screen which functions both for tablet and PC.
  • It reduces the load and start up time to seconds.
  • It provides a totally new interface that works smoothly for both touch or mouse and keyboaord.

As you all know, Kernel is the main and most important part of an operating system.There are two Windows kernels : Windows 9x Kernel and Windows NT kernel. 

  • Windows 9x Kernel is a 32-bit kernel with virtual memory used in Windows 95,98 and ME.
  • Windows NT kernel is a 64-bit kernel used in Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8.

This article provides a quick info about all the versions of Microsoft windows operating system. All the new versions are the updates or upgrades of the previous versions.

Have Fun!

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