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Technology of the 20th and 21st century has in many ways changed and shaped our modern existence. The objective of this paper is to choose a certain technology and discuss its history, what currently uses this technology, how it compares to similar technologies, as well as why it was chosen, what is in store for its future and whether or not it has reached its end.
The technology chosen is the operating system Microsoft Windows. An operating system is a software that executes on a computer. It controls the computer and tells it what to do (maintains hardware, executes applications, presents an interface for users and stores, fetches and manages files). A computer without an operating system is like a pen without ink. Basically, without an operating system a computer would be useless. Windows is an operating system used worldwide, developed by Microsoft (created by Bill Gates and Paul Allen).
There has been many generations of the Windows operating system (1.0, 2.0, 2.11, 3.0, 3.1, 3.11, NT, NT 3.1, NT 4.0, 95, 98, Me, 2000 Professional, XP, Vista, 7 and 8). Bill Gates first announced Windows 1.0 to the public in 1983, but only by 1985 was it finally released. Windows 1.0 was the first operating system of Microsoft to have a graphical user interface. With the graphical user interface it was much simpler to use the computer because it allowed the user to control the computer through virtual images, instead of entering commands on the command line. In 1991, seventy-five million personal computers around the world had already installed Windows 3.1. It is increasing its usage at work and in homes. In 1994, Windows NT 3.5 won the annual PC Magazine awards for technical excellence in the categories of applications and system software. Windows 95 was the biggest hype of all, as it had the first appearance of the "Start" menu, taskbar, as well as minimizing/maximizing and closing buttons on each window.
Retail stores from coast to coast, their shelves stocked with boxes of Windows 95, had decided to open their doors at midnight to the hordes of customers who had bought into the marketing hype and couldn't wait to be among the first to buy what was billed as the greatest software product in the history of the universe. (Wallace 5)
Windows 98 had the first appearance of the "Quick Launch Bar" and Windows Me had the first appearance of the "System Restore", where a user can restore the system to when it was properly working. Windows 2000 was later on designed with the intentions to replace Windows 95, 98 and NT on business desktops and laptops. With the enhanced features, Windows Vista users were able to use their personal computers for more of a digital media usage. In the fall of 2009, Windows 7 was released and by the fall of 2010, seven copies of it were being sold each second. This marks the fastest selling operating system in history. Windows 7 was considered an improvement from Vista, introducing many features, such as changes on the taskbar (thumbnail previews when mouse is over icon, "Aero Peek" at desktop when clicking on bottom right corner of the screen), snap and shake windows (when dragging the windows), action center (alerts the user of any problems) and home groups (users can share resources from one computer to another, on a local network that belongs to the home group). Along with Windows 7 comes the antivirus Windows Firewall already on it by default. The most recent release is Windows 8. It is a completely redesigned operating system; a fundamental change from previous versions. It was developed with the idea of being used on touch screens in mind. Rather than clicking on icons on the desktop, there are colorful arrays of tiles on its new start screen.
Desktops, laptops, tablets, phones and servers are currently running on Windows as an operating system. Most personal computers being sold come standard with a version of windows
already installed. Windows presently holds the title for dominating over 91.77% of the world's operating system market share. Many tablets from the manufactures Asus, Acer, HP, Dell, etc., are running on either Windows 7 or 8. The latest tablet from Microsoft is the "Surface", which runs on Windows 8 Pro. On this tablet, there is a new feature, "snap screen", that allows the user to have two active applications being displayed at the same time. Just two years ago, Microsoft released Windows Phones (a mobile operating system). The manufacturers HTC and Nokia have recently released five phones running on Windows 8. There is a series of Windows Server, such as Windows Server 2003, 2008 and the most recent one, 2012. These servers are more "powerful versions of their desktop operating system counterparts and are designed to more efficiently handle corporatenetworking, Internet/intranet hosting, databases, enterprise-scale messaging and similar functions." Many of the world's largest datacenter are powered by Windows Server.
Similar operating system to Windows that are used on personal computers as well, are Linux and Mac Operating System. The aspect that they all have in common is that they all have a graphical user interface. Mac Operating System and Windows both are proprietary operating systems, but Windows is more widely used and software and hardware is more accessible than the Mac Operating System. Linux only holds 1.10% and Mac only holds 7.13% of the world's operating system market share. Moving onto the tablet and mobile world, Android Operating System and Apple iOperating System (the famous iPad) are the two operating systems that are also being used. Android Operating System and Apple iOperating System are more application centric, while Microsoft tries to look beyond an application centric world for Windows. What Windows and Apple iOperating System have in common is that they are both not open source. The perk about having tablet running on Windows 8 rather than a tablet running on Android Operating System or the iPad, is that Windows can run Microsoft Office. The other two cannot.
The reason I have chosen Microsoft Windows for the topic to be discussed throughout this research paper, is because I wanted to find out more about this operating system. I wanted to have a broader knowledge of what I basically use during my everyday life. That it is developed by Microsoft Corporation will most definitely grab the attention of millions worldwide, being as it was founded by the most richest man in the United States of America, Bill gates. My family's first household computer was a desktop and it had Windows 95. We then moved onto Windows XP and Vista. Now that I have my own laptop, it runs on Windows 7. The computers at Dawson College run on Windows 7 as well. I wanted to know more about the technology that I use on an everyday basis. I have come to find Windows to be tremendously fascinating, with all the innovative versions.
Microsoft Windows is nowhere remotely close to reaching the end of its line. Microsoft Corporation sales in Windows phones have improved by four times since last year. There is a high demand for tablets and touch-screen personal computers featuring Windows 8. Tami Reller, Windows business chief, announced on November 27th that Microsoft has sold 40 million copies of Windows 8. Due to the inability for Windows Phones 7 and 7.5 to update to Windows Phone 8, Microsoft will be releasing a 7.8 update for those users to update to next year. The analysts' team from iSuppli predicts that by 2015, Windows Phone will reach second place in the smartphone operating system market. It is most definite that Windows will continue to keep growing.
To conclude, the operating system Microsoft Windows is what makes users able to properly use a computer. Over a span of twenty-seven years, there have been many versions of Windows operating system for personal computers. Improving every year and bringing along new features for better usage. Many electronic devices run on this operating system, from
desktops to laptops to tablets to phones to servers. It is remarkable of how many advancements it has gone through. Window has and will continue to satisfy users all around the world.
"Name a Microsoft product that's successful and isn't a top-rated product. We don't have one."
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