A Look At Evolution Of Microsoft Windows Computer Science Essay

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The Microsoft operating system has seen many changes from past three decades. From Microsofts disc operating system introduced in 1981 to windows 8 introduced in 2012, Microsoft operating system got changed completely. What began as a hard to use and understand text only operating system with MS-DOS, it excogitate into a complete graphical user-friendly interface (GUI) with windows 8. With the changes in computer hardware, software connecting to the user too needed to be changed. Microsoft's operating systems have excogitate and changed greatly with the progression of computer systems.

Windows 1.0:

In 1983 Microsoft annunciate the development of Windows, a GUI for MS-DOS for IBM PC and appropriate computers since 1981. In 1985, after 4 years, Microsoft released windows 1.0. Microsoft Windows 1.0 is a 16-bit graphical operating environment, developed by Microsoft Corporation and released on November 20, 1985. It was Microsoft's first attempt to implement a multi-tasking graphical user interface-based operating environment on the PC platform that runs on MS-DOS. Windows 1.0 was the first version of Windows launched. Windows 1.0 was the first commercially available GUI (Graphical user Interface) operating system from Microsoft Corporation founded by Bill Gates.


When Microsoft introduced MS-DOS in 1981, many of the user's didn't find it a user friendly product. It was difficult to use since it was text based operating system. Bill gates saw the popularity of Apple's Lisa and Macintosh or MAC computers which uses GUI interface and was more user friendly so in 1983 Microsoft announced their next generation operating system which will provide a GUI and a multi tasking environment for IBM computers.


a) It was a graphical version of MS-DOS

b) 16-bit Operating System that cost less than 1MB in overall

c) It allowed multi-tasking

d) It had various applications such as Calculator, Notepad, Calendar, Clipboard viewer, Clock, Control Panel, Paint and Write.

e) Applications were supposed to handle memory only via Windows memory management system, which actualize a software-based virtual memory scheme allowing for applications larger than available RAM.


System requirements for Windows 1.0 included:

a) CGA/Hercules/EGA(listed as "monochrome or color monitor")

b) Windows 1.0 requires MS-DOS 3.1 because it's a 'front-end' DOS so it requires DOS environment to operate.

c) It requires 384 KB RAM, 512 KB recommended

d) It requires 2 double sided drives or a hard drive


a) It requires MS-Dos to operate its operations

b) It offered limited multi-tasking

c) It had extremely limited graphic support, sometimes MS-DOS applications requires to go to the bare hardware or BIOS to get the work done

d) It does not allow overlapping windows

e) It was slow to use

Windows 2.0:

Microsoft developed Windows 1.0 to give competition to Apple's Lisa computer and Macintosh but it failed to do that, so Microsoft came up with an improved operating system in 1987 which proved slightly more popular than its predecessor i.e. Windows 1.0. The new operating system made windows based computers represent more like a Mac. It had icons to symbolize programs and files, better support for expandable-memory hardware and windows that could overlap.


System requirements for Windows 2.0 included:

a) MS-DOS version 3.0

b) 512 KB of memory or greater

c) Graphic adapter card

d) It requires two double sided disk drives or a hard disk


Windows 2.0 had various features to improve their previous operating system windows 1.0 :

a) It had a feature of overlapping windows instead of windows 1.0 tiled windows.

b) It had LIM version 4.0 expanded memory support

c) It made inter-application communication capabilities possible through Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) support

d) It included revised .FON format for screen fonts

e) It included NEWFON.EXE to change 1.x font format to 2.x font format

f) It had a Mouse Acceleration option added to Control Panel

g) Windows 2.0 included VGA graphics (although 16 colors only)

h) With the introduction to its run-time version with new graphical applications, MS-Word and MS-Excel

i) It included Intel 286/386 processor for better speed.

Windows 2.0 had two upgrades to 2.1 and 2.11 which were released on 1988 and 1989, both the upgrades included various features which includes:

a) Windows 2.1 supported 65 more printers than version 2.03, bringing the total approximately to 127

b) Windows 2.1 provided support for additional computers

c) Windows 2.1 provided support for additional devices

d) Windows 2.11 supported Apple Talk

e) Windows 2.11 gave faster printing options and updated printer drivers


a) Windows 2.0 user interface was still better than Mac

b) Improvement was needed in windows icon and applications

Windows 3.0:

Microsoft Corporation trying their best to compete with Apple's Mac came up with another improved version of windows operating system, Windows 3.0. In 1990, Microsoft made their 3rd major release with Windows 3.0 which offered better accomplishment, advanced graphics with 16 colors & support of Intel 386 processor. It was the first successful version of windows operating system.

System requirements:

a)8086/8088 processor or better

b)384K of free conventional memory (the only window which can run in three different modes which were : real mode, protected modes require more)

c)Hard disk with 6-7MB of free space

d)CGA/EGA/VGA/Hercules/8514/A graphics and an appropriate and compatible monitor

e)MS-DOS version 3.1 or higher

f) Microsoft compatible mouse was recommended


a) It had significantly revived user interface with technical improvements for the better use of memory management with Intel 80286 and 80386 processors.

b) The MS-DOS Executive file manager was replaced with the icon based program manager and the list base file manager.