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Microsoft witch is famous for their operating systems known as Windows ,is one of the biggest company in operating system design. I will introduce you the history of Microsoft Windows step by step. In 1983 Microsoft announced the development of Windows, a graphical user interface (GUI) for its own operating system (MS-DOS) ,witch firstly design for IBM Personal Computers and all other computers how was compatible .
In 1985 Microsoft came out with the first Windows MS-DOS the Windows 1.0(codename: Utopia) , this version of Windows provided a new software environment for running applications an developing that use a display and a mouse. Before windows, PC users needed to type commands to run an application ,now with Windows 1.0 you can move the mouse and click on the icon . In addition the product included a desktop applications such as MS-DOS file management program, a calendar, card file, notepad, calculator, clock, and telecommunications programs .
Second Windows was in 1987 the Windows 2.0 , in the first release Microsoft archived to improve the processing speed of the Intel 286 processor , and expand memory . Windows 2.0 also has improved graphics support ,users now can overlap windows ,control screen layout ,and use keyboard shortcuts to move through Windows operations. At this point many developing company's wrote their first Windows based applications . In the second release Windows 2.03 Microsoft continued to improve the speed , reliability ,and usability of the Personal Computer as interface design and capabilities.
Microsoft Windows it reach pick with the Windows 3.0 ,released in 1990 . In addition to improved capabilities given to native applications, Windows also allowed users to better multitask older MS-DOS based software compared to Windows/386 processor, thanks to the introduction of virtual memory. Windows 3.0 also has improved performance , advanced graphics with 16 colors and full support of the more powerful Intel 386 processor, also a wide range of useful features and capabilities ,including a program manager ,file manager ,print manager , a completely rewritten application development environment and an improved set of Windows icons. The success of Windows 3.0 grew with the release of a new Windows software development kit known as SDK, witch made software developers to focus on the applications production and less on device drivers production.
Few years later , in 1993 Microsoft developed the Windows NT 3.1(codename: Janus) ,at its release Bill Gates said that "Windows NT represents nothing less than a fundamental change in the way that companies can address their business computing requirements" .The products name "NT" stands for new technology." Windows NT was the first Windows operating system to combine support for high-end, client/server business applications with the industry's leading personal productivity applications. It was initially available in both a desktop (workstation) version and a server version called Windows NT Advanced Server. The desktop version was well received by developers because of its security, stability, and Microsoft Win32Â® application programming interface (API)."( http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/40295). Additionally the operating system broke a new dimension in security , operating system power, performance ,desktop scalability and reliability. Also new features added included multitasking for Windows based applications , integrated networking ,domain server security , support for multiple processor ,and NTFS file system.
In 1994 Microsoft release the Windows NT Workstation 3.5(codename: Daytona).Windows NT 3.5 provided the highest protection yet for business applications and data.Windows NT 3.5 support OpenGL graphics , this operating system helped power high-end applications for software development, engineering, financial analysis, scientific, and business-critical tasks. Windows NT 3.5 also offered 32-bit performance improvements and better application support, including support for NetWare file and print servers. Other improved productivity features included the capability to use friendlier, long file names of up to 255 characters.
In 1995 Microsoft design the Windows 95(codename: Chicago) ,the new Windows was the successor of the three purpose desktop operating system from Microsoft Windows 3.1 ,Windows for workgroups , and MS-DOS .Windows 95 has 32-bit TCP/IP(Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) it used for built-in Internet support, dial-up networking ,and new Plug and Play capabilities that made it easy for users to install hardware and software. The 32-bit operating system also offered enhanced multimedia capabilities, more powerful features for mobile computing, and integrated networking.
Windows NT 4.0 (codename:Cairo) was released in 1996 by Microsoft, this upgrade to the Microsoft business desktop operating system was ease to use and simplified management,higher network output, and tools for developing and managing intranets. Windows NT Workstation 4.0 included the popular Windows 95 user interface yet provided improved networking support for easier and more secure access to the Internet and corporate intranets.
Next is the Windows 98(codename: Memphis) in 1998 ,basically Windows 98 was the upgrade from Windows 95. Windows 98 was the first version of Windows designed specifically for consumers , with Windows 98 users could find information more easily on their Personal Computers as well as the Internet. Also Windows 98 support for reading DVD discs, and support for universal serial bus (USB) devices.
Windows Millennium Edition(codename: Odyssey) in 2000 was the last Microsoft operating system to be based on the Windows 95 code base . Windows Millennium was designed for home computer users , it offered numerous music, video, and home networking enhancements and reliability improvements. Also with Microsoft Windows MediaÂ® Player 7 technologies, users could find, organize, and play digital media easily.
Windows 2000 Professional (codename: Odyssey) the aim was to replace the Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 on all business desktops and laptops .Windows 2000 was built on top of Windows NT Workstation 4.0 code base, the major improvements was in reliability , ease of use , Internet compatibility ,and support for mobile computing. Also Windows 2000 Professional simplified hardware installation by adding support for a wide variety of new Plug and Play hardware , including advanced networking and wireless products, USB devices, , and infrared devices.
In 2001 Microsoft put on production the new Windows XP(codename: Whistler) . Microsoft Windows XP stands for Windows Experienced and is the convergence of the two major Microsoft operating systems into one. Windows XP is designed more for users who may not be familiar with all of Windows features and has several new abilities to make the Windows experience easier for the users. Windows XP includes various new features not found in previous versions of Microsoft Windows such as new interface with a completely new look and ability to change that look, and updates with new feature that automatically obtains updates from the Internet.
The next step of Microsoft in 2002 was the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition ,the main idea was to made a pen-based computers," The logical evolution of notebook computers, Tablet PCs include a digital pen for handwriting recognition capabilities, yet can be used with a keyboard or mouse, too. In addition, users can run their existing Windows XP applications. The result is a computer that is more versatile and mobile than traditional notebook PCs."( http://abcinnovations.com/w.aspx)
One of the latest Windows of Microsoft was Windows Vista(codename: Longhorn) in 2006 , Windows Vista intended to have enhanced security by introducing a new restricted user mode called User Account Control, replacing the "administrator-by-default" philosophy of Windows XP. Vista also features new graphics features, the Windows Aero GUI, new applications such as Windows Calendar, Windows DVD Maker and some new games including (Chess and Purble Place),Internet Explorer 7, Windows Media Player 11, and a large number of underlying architectural changes.
In 2009 Microsoft came out with the Windows 7(codename:Vienna), Windows 7 is the last release of Microsoft , Windows 7 was developing for 3 years .Windows 7 have some new features such as faster booting than any other windows before ,Device stage , Windows Powershell ,multi-touch , and improved windows management.
Windows 8 is still under developing ,"Microsoft Windows 8 development is already under way, according to a Jan. 31 blog posting on the Microsoft Developer Network, and will apparently be "something completely different from what folks usually expect of Windows." Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reportedly suggested in the past that Windows 8 is currently under development, although the tech industry's gravitation toward the cloud and the rise of browser-based operating systems such as Google Chrome could potentially have a sizable influence on how the next Windows version operates."( http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Windows/Microsofts-Windows-8-Will-Be-Completely-Different-Says-Manager-250056/)
Reference: 1) http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/c/codename.htm