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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.
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 1.0Â is aÂ 16-bit graphicalÂ operating environment, developed byÂ Microsoft CorporationÂ and released on November 20, 1985.Â It was Microsoft's first attempt to implement aÂ multi-taskingÂ graphical user interface-based operating environment on theÂ PCÂ platform that runs on MS-DOS. Windows 1.0 was the first version ofÂ WindowsÂ 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-basedÂ virtual memoryÂ scheme allowing for applications larger than available RAM.
System requirements for Windows 1.0 included:
a) Hercules/CGA/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 a hard drive or two double sided disk drives
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
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 a hard disk or a two double sided disk drives
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
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.
a)8086/8088Â 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/AÂ graphics and an appropriate and compatible monitor
e)MS-DOSÂ 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 changed with icon based program manager and list base file manager.
c) Windows 3.0 includes protected/enhanced mode which allowed applications to use more memory
d) It was faster than any previous windows version
In 1991, Microsoft released Windows 3.0 with multimedia extension for which system requirements were:
a) 2 megabytes RAM
b) It requires CD-ROM with audio output support
c) It requires 30 Megabytes of hard drive
d) It was compatible with 80386 sx or dx IBM
With new Windows 3.0 with multimedia extension Microsoft made several changes in previous Windows 3.0, these features included:
a) It was only available in OEM hardware
b) To connect with specific MPC hardware new drivers were included
c) With introduction to media extension, Media Control Interface was included
d) Control panel was more enhanced, which now includes screen savers, joystick control, event based sound control, driver installer, video driver icon and MIDI mapping control
e) It introduced various accessories which includes MPC alarm clock, sound recorder, media player
In the era of fax/modems, emails, bright multimedia games, the new online world and educational software, Microsoft wanted such an operating system with which user can make use of each and every facilities available to them.
a) Intel 80386 DX CPU of any speed was needed to run Windows 95
b) minimum of 4Mb of RAM was required
c) Hard disk space of 50-55 MB was required
d) Windows 95 can support max of 480 MB of RAM
e) It did not required ms-dos to be installed beforehand
80% of computers of those time were running on previous windows versions or ms-dos and
windows 95 can easily be upgraded from them and upgraded versions were available both in floppy disks and CD-ROM formats
a) It is very user friendly
b) It included TCP/IP stack report
c) It included Dial up networking
d) It supported long file name support
e) It features new plug and play capabilities which makes easy to install hardware and software
f) It was a 32-bit operating system which offers better multimedia capabilities and more powerful features for mobile computing
g) provides better file and print support with faster printing and disk/file access
h) It was faster and provide better system stability
a) With File and printer sharing there is a security hole for NetWare networks which affected data security for users
b) It uses easily cracked 32-bit key to store passwords in PWL file
c) In compare to Windows NT and OS/2 warp system protection is considered weak against buggy applications
d) On most folders except Control panel, Dial-up networking folders or printers item dragging and dropping works
Microsoft's windows XP was criticized for the state of security, so the chairman of Microsoft Mr. Bill Gates primary objective was to make such an operating system which will improve the state of security. Windows vista was for use on personal computers, laptops, tablet PCs and media center PCs.
System requirements for using windows vista are:
a) Processor of 800MHz was needed for Vista Capable and 1Ghz for Vista Premium Ready
b) 512 MB minimum of RAM was needed for Vista Capable and minimum of 1 GB for Vista Premium Ready
c) DirectX 9,0 capable graphic processor was needed for Vista Capable and DirectX 9.0 with WDDM 1.0 driver support was needed for Vista Premium Ready
d) Minimum of 64 MB of graphic memory was needed for Vista Capable and 128 MB graphic memory for Vista Premium Ready
e) 40 GB of minimum HDD was required for Vista Capable and 80 GB for Vista Premium Ready
f) 15 GB of free space was needed for both Vista Capable and Vista Premium Ready
g) Windows Vista can only be installed from DVD-ROM media so DVD-ROM optical drive was required
Depending on 32-bit or 64-bit versions, there is a maximum physical memory (RAM) limit to which Windows Vista can be address:
Windows Vista Physical Memory limits (RAM)
Limit in 32-bit Windows
Limit in 64-bit Windows
Windows Vista Enterprise
Windows Vista Ultimate
Windows Vista Professional
Windows Vista Home Basic
Windows Vista Home Premium
Windows Vista Starter
Windows Vista also has certain processor limits. In windows 7 maximum no of logical processor used are 32 for 32-bit and 64 for 64-bit. The maximum limit for physical processor for Ultimate, Professional and Enterprise is 2 and Starter, Home Premium and Home Basic is 1.
a) Windows Vista uses a new graphical user interface which was named as Windows Aero. In which Aero stands for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open. Windows Vista user interface attracted with features as new transparencies, live thumbnails, animations and live icons.
b) Windows provided range of organization, search capabilities and navigation with Windows Shell
c) With Windows Search, Windows Vista provides instant search results
d) Vista features parental control options which allow user to administrators to monitor and restrict user activity
e) With Vista file sharing and syncing was made easy
f) Vista gives us better notebook support with windows mobility centre which keeps all tools including wireless adaptor off or on, change your battery settings and many others in a single location
g) Vista provides us with better wireless networking
h) Vista gives us better security options with Windows Defender
i) Vista features sidebar where one can place all their desktop gadgets
j) Vista also features Windows DVD maker, Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Media Centre, Windows Mail, Windows Calendar and others
Vista was the subject of criticism because of privacy, performance, security, product activation and driver support. Limitations in Vista include:
a) Hardware requirements were too high for vista and some of the premium features of it which made difficult for many to upgrade
b) For security reasons, only signed drivers can be installed in kernel mode in Vista which was not possible for small developers and was expensive or out of reach
c) Vista with its new features drained battery life very quickly
d) Early drop in games frame rate was seen in compared to Windows XP
e) System performance was slow in compared to previous operating systems
f) File operation performance was slow in compare to previous operating system
Windows 7 is an operating system developed by Microsoft for laptops, personal computers including business and home desktops, tablet pc's, notebooks and media centre pc's. Windows 7 was built to cater the needs of wireless world which made its existence in late 2000's. By the time Windows 7 was released, laptops overtook desktops and it was common to connect and use public wireless hotspots in private networks in home or coffee shop.
Windows 7 included new methods to work with windows which were- Snap, Shake and Peek. These methods improved functionality of windows and even made interface easy and fun to use. With Windows 7 Microsoft made the starting of Windows touch, which made touch screen users to browse and do work more easily, better and fun.
Windows 7 was released in two versions which were 32-bit and 64-bit. The minimum hardware requirements for windows 7 are:
a) To use windows 7 in 32-bit, 1GHz IA-32 processor was needed while for 64-bit, 1Ghz X-86-64 processor
b) For 32-bit version minimum 1GB RAM was required and for 64-bit it was 2GB
c) DirectX 9 graphic processor with WDDM model 1.0 was needed for graphic cards
d) In 32-bit version 16 GB free hard disk drive space is required and for 64-bit it is 20 GB HDD
e) Windows 7 can only be installed from DVD-ROM media so DVD-ROM drive was required
Windows 7 Physical Memory limits (RAM)
Limit in 32-bit Windows
Limit in 64-bit Windows
Windows 7 Enterprise
Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 Starter
Depending on 32-bit or 64-bit versions, there is a maximum physical memory (RAM) limit to which Windows 7 can address.
Windows 7 also has certain processor limits. In windows 7 maximum no of logical processor used are 32 for 32-bit and 256 for 64-bit. The maximum limit for physical processor for Ultimate, Professional and Enterprise is 2 and Starter, Home Premium and Home Basic is 1.
a) It is faster than any other version of windows operating system
b) It is fully compatible with XP SP3 and Vista SP2
c) It provided remote desktop connection provided along with the operating system
d) It used Internet Explorer ( IE) 8 which was good and faster
e)It provided support for virtual hard disk
f) It gives us improved performance on multi-core processor and improvement in boot performance
g) In windows 7 control panel many new features were added which include: Gadgets, trouble shooting, ClearType Text Tuner, Recovery, locations and other sensors, System Icons
h) Windows Security Centre was renamed to Action centre which gives security and maintenance both to the computers
i) Windows 7 allow us to burn ISO file images to a DVD without any third party software through its Native ISO Burner
j) It has improved touch navigation. This feature makes it easy to navigate with our fingers
k) Windows 7 has a small preview player one can preview their music files very easily
l) Windows 7 has a new magnifier tool
m) Windows 7 gives us a better option of previewing each file or folder which is open with Win+T to scroll all the previews in the task bar
n) Windows 7 also have a feature of adjusting with multiple displays easily and quickly with Win+P
o) Windows 7 provides easier home networking which was not available before which makes it safe from hackers
a) It cannot be easily upgraded from Windows XP
b) User Account Control default's setting in Windows 7 allows untrusted software to launch without any prompt
c) Features included in Vista as Start menu interface, InkBall, Windows Ultimate Extras, Windows calendar were removed from windows 7
d) Drawback of windows 7 hardware configuration is that Windows 7 needs RAM of atleast 1 GB
e) There were various old software's which were still in existence but were not supported by windows 7 operating system
f) Many users faced the problems of BSOD with windows 7
Using operating system is no more limited to laptops and desktops, now an operating system is used in personal computers both home and business desktops, laptops, home theater pc's and tablets and with the growing popularity of apple's IOS and android, Microsoft introduced windows 8 which makes an aggressive, bold statement and forward thinking for the future of pc's. It marks the biggest change in Windows operating system since the launch of Windows 95.
Windows 8 was not just made for pc and laptops it caters the need of mobiles and tablets too, so it had different hardware requirements for pc's and mobiles or tablets.
Windows 8 hardware requirements are:
a) In terms of processor minimum hardware requirements for using Windows 8 are:
1Ghz clock rate, IA-32 or x64 architecture and support for PAE, NX and SSE2
whereas, the recommended requirement in terms of processor are:
X64 and support for Second level Address Translation(SLAT)
b) The minimum memory(RAM) required for using Windows 8 for IA-32 edition is 1 GB and X64 edition is 2GB while recommended is 4GB
c) Minimum requirements for usage of graphic card are DirectX 9 graphics device or WDDM 1.0 or higher device while recommended settings are DirectX 10 graphics device
d) Windows 8 requires a screen resolution of 1024 X 768 pixels for windows store apps, whereas 1366X768 pixels screen resolution or higher is recommended
e) Hard disk space needed for Windows IA-32 edition is 16 GB and for x64 edition is 20 GB
f) It is also recommended that system should have UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B in its database with Microsoft Windows Certification Authority, USB 3.0 port, Trusted platform module(TPM) and internet connectivity.
Hardware requirements for windows tablets are:
a) It needs graphics device Direct10 x along WDDM 1.2 or higher driver for graphic card
b) After the out of box experience completes, it needs 10 GB of free space
c) The device should have standard buttons such as volume-up, volume-down, power, windows key and rotation lock
d) The device should have a touch screen support with at least 5- point digitizers and minimum screen resolution of 1366X768 and native color depth of 32-bits.
e) The device should have a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support to connect
f) Device should have a USB 2.0 port with one connector and one exposed port
a) Windows 8 is the first edition of windows operating system that will operate on both ARM-based tablets and x86 based on ARM processor form AMD and Intel
b) Windows 8 features entirely new user experience, It has a new animation-enabled user interface(UI) which is touch centric and tiled base
c) It features snap multi-tasking with which it is easy to run two windows app side by side.
d) Windows 8 has a redesigned control panel which features new options like Personalize, Wireless, Users, Notifications, Search, General, Share and privacy
e) Windows 8 has a built in Internet explorer (IE) 10 browser which is designed for faster browsing via greater hardware acceleration, with gesture-based zoom, Web site navigation and pan
f) It contains two touch keyboards, one is better traditional keyboard plus a new thumb keyboard, by doing this Microsoft made effort to make typing on virtual keyboard faster and more accurate
g) Windows 8 brings increased support for multiple keyboards
h) Windows 8 has a native USB 3.0 port which speeds up 10 times faster than USB 2.0 port
i) Windows 8 provides better copy experience with which one can perform all current copy operations in a single box
j) It offers easier recovery from system problems
k) It provides better integration with cloud i.e. Microsoft's cloud services as SkyDrive and Windows live mesh
l) Windows 8 also has a built in PDF reader which is called Modern Reader
m) There is a huge improvement in Windows 8 security features which is done by replacing Microsoft windows essential by Windows Defender. Windows defender runs in background and notifies us whenever an action is required. It also features Windows smart screen which protects from phishing scams and malware which are not detected by the antivirus.
a) It's difficult for someone to get use to new layout
b) It's a bit difficult to move between the screens
c) There is no alternative for changing tiles into icons
d) The main disadvantage is when we work on which system reboots many times
e) Some programmes such as hardware drivers and some games are not compatible with it
f) Occupying the full face of the monitor, apps work in full monitor
After Windows 8:
With the great step of windows 8, Microsoft has made clear that they are targeting mobile or tablet market. It can be said that Microsoft will be launching an enhanced version of Windows 8 which will feature more advanced user interface which will make using tablets easier and programmers can easily write apps for windows with it.