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Windows from it's "Beginning" till it's end

History Of Windows

The first version of Microsoft Windows, version 1.0, released in November 1985, lacked a degree of functionality, achieved little popularity and was to compete with Apple's own operating system. Windows 1.0 is not a complete operating system; rather, it extendsMS-DOS. Microsoft Windows version 2.0 was released in November 1987 and was slightly more popular than its predecessor. Windows 2.03 (release date January 1988) had changed the OS from tiled windows to overlapping windows. The result of this change led to Apple Computer filing a suit against Microsoft alleging infringement on Apple's copyrights.



Microsoft Windows version 3.0, released in 1990, was the first Microsoft Windows version to achieve broad commercial success, selling 2 million copies in the first six months.It featured improvements to the user interface and to multitasking capabilities. It received a facelift in Windows 3.1, made generally available on March 1, 1992. In August 1993, a special version with integrated peer-to-peer networking was released with version number 3.11. It was sold parallelly with the basic version under name Windows for Workgroups. Windows 3.1 support ended on December 31, 2001.
In July 1993, Microsoft released Windows NT based on a new kernel. Windows NT 3.1 was the first release of Windows NT. NT was considered to be the professional OS and was the first Windows version to utilize preemptive multitasking. Windows NT would later be retooled to also function as a home operating system, with Windows XP.
On August 24, 1995, Microsoft released Windows 95, a new, and major, consumer version that made further changes to the user interface, and also used preemptive multitasking. Windows 95 was designed to replace not only Windows 3.1, but also Windows for Work groups, and MS-DOS. It was also the first Windows operating system to include object oriented document management and use Plug and Play capabilities. The changes Windows 95 brought to the desktop were revolutionary, as opposed to evolutionary, such as those in Windows 98 and Windows Me. Mainstream support for Windows 95 ended on December 31, 2000 and extended support for Windows 95 ended on December 31, 2001.
Next in the consumer line was Microsoft Windows 98 released on June 25, 1998. It was followed with the release of Windows 98 Second Edition (Windows 98 SE) in 1999. Mainstream support for Windows 98 ended on June 30, 2002 and extended support for Windows 98 ended on July 11, 2006.
As part of its "professional" line, Microsoft released Windows 2000 in February 2000. During 2004 part of the Source Code for Windows 2000 was leaked onto the Internet. This was bad for Microsoft as the same kernel used in Windows 2000 was used in Windows XP. The consumer version following Windows 98 was Windows Me (Windows Millennium Edition). Released in September 2000, Windows Me implemented a number of new technologies for Microsoft: most notably publicized was "Universal Plug and Play". Windows Me was heavily criticized due to slowness, freezes and hardware problems.
In October 2001, Microsoft released Windows XP, a version built on the Windows NT kernel that also retained the consumer-oriented usability of Windows 95 and its successors. This new version was widely praised in computer magazines.It shipped in two distinct editions, "Home" and "Professional", the former lacking many of the superior security and networking features of the Professional edition. Additionally, the first "Media Center" edition was released in 2002, with an emphasis on support for DVD and TV functionality including program recording and a remote control. Mainstream support for Windows XP ended on April 14, 2009. Extended support will continue until April 8, 2014.
In April 2003, Windows Server 2003 was introduced, replacing the Windows 2000 line of server products with a number of new features and a strong focus on security; this was followed in December 2005 by Windows Server 2003 R2.
On January 30, 2007, Microsoft released Windows Vista. It contains a number of new features, from a redesigned shell and user interface to significant technical changes, with a particular focus on security features. It is available in a number of different editions, and has been subject to some criticism.
On October 22, 2009, Microsoft released Windows 7. Unlike its predecessor, Windows Vista, which introduced a large number of new features, Windows 7 was intended to be a more focused, incremental upgrade to the Windows line, with the goal of being compatible with applications and hardware which Windows Vista was not at the time. Windows 7 has multi-touch support, a re designed Windows shell with a new task bar, referred to as the Super bar, a home networking system called Home Group,and performance improvements.
On February 29, 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the beta version of Windows 8, build 8250. For the first time since Windows 95, the Start button is no longer available on the task bar, though the Start screen is still triggered by clicking the bottom-left corner of the screen and by clicking Start in the Charm. Windows president Steven Sin of sky said more than 100,000 changes had been made since the developer version went public. In the first day of its release, Windows 8 Consumer Preview was downloaded over one million times. Microsoft released the Windows 8 Release Preview, Build 8400 on June 1, 2012. Like the Developer Preview, the Consumer Preview and the Release Preview are both set to expire on January 15, 2013.

Microsoft Windows is a series of graphical interface operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Microsoft.
Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUI's). Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced in 1984.
The most recent client version of Windows is Windows 7; the most recent server version is Windows Server 2012; the most recent mobile version is Windows Phone 7.5.

Versions of Windows
The term Windows collectively describes any or all of several generations of Microsoft operating system products. These products are generally categorized as follows:

Early versions















"The classic Windows logo, used from 1992 until the release of Windows XP in 2001"

The history of Windows dates back to September 1981, when Chase Bishop, a computer scientist, designed the first model of an electronic device and project "Interface Manager" was started. It was announced in November 1983 (after the Apple Lisa, but before the Macintosh) under the name "Windows", but Windows 1.0 was not released until November 1985. The shell of Windows 1.0 was a program known as the MS-DOS Executive. Other supplied programs were Calculator, Calendar, Card file, Clipboard viewer, Clock, Control Panel,Notepad, Paint, Reversi, Terminal, and Write. Windows 1.0 did not allow overlapping windows. Instead all windows were tiled. Only dialog boxes could appear over other windows.
Windows 2.0 was released in October 1987 and featured several improvements to the user interface and memory management.Windows 2.0 allowed application windows to overlap each other and also introduced more sophisticated keyboard shortcuts. It could also make use of expanded memory.
Windows 2.1 was released in two different versions: Windows/386 employed the 386 virtual 8086 mode to multitask several DOS programs, and the paged memory model to emulate expanded memory using available extended memory. Windows/286 (which, despite its name, would run on the 8086) still ran in real mode, but could make use of the high memory area.
In addition to full Windows-packages, there were runtime only versions that shipped with early Windows software from third parties and made it possible to run their Windows software under MS-DOS and without the full Windows feature set.
The early versions of Windows were often thought of as simply graphical user interfaces, mostly because they ran on top of MS-DOS and used it for file system services. However, even the earliest 16-bit Windows versions already assumed many typical operating system functions; notably, having their own executable file format and providing their own device drivers (timer, graphics, printer, mouse, keyboard and sound) for applications. Unlike MS-DOS, Windows allowed users to execute multiple graphical applications at the same time, through cooperative multitasking. Windows implemented an elaborate, segment-based, software virtual memory scheme, which allowed it to run applications larger than available memory: code segments and resources were swapped in and thrown away when memory became scarce, and data segments moved in memory when a given application had relinquished processor control.

Windows 3.0 and 3.1

















Windows 3.0 (1990) and Windows 3.1 (1992) improved the design, mostly because of virtual memory and loadable virtual device drivers (VxDs) that allowed them to share arbitrary devices between multitasked DOS windows. Also, Windows applications could now run in protected mode (when Windows was running in Standard or 386 Enhanced Mode), which gave them access to several megabytes of memory and removed the obligation to participate in the software virtual memory scheme. They still ran inside the same address space, where the segmented memory provided a degree of protection, and multi-tasked cooperatively. For Windows 3.0, Microsoft also rewrote critical operations from C into assembly.

Windows 95, 98, and Me

















Windows 95 was released in August 1995, featuring a new object oriented user interface, support for long file names of up to 255 characters, and the ability to automatically detect and configure installed hardware (plug and play). It could natively run 32-bit applications, and featured several technological improvements that increased its stability over Windows 3.1. There were several OEM Service Releases (OSR) of Windows 95, each of which was roughly equivalent to a service pack.
Microsoft's next release was Windows 98 in June 1998. Microsoft released a second version of Windows 98 in May 1999, named Windows 98 Second Edition (often shortened to Windows 98 SE).
In February 2000, Windows 2000 (in the NT family) was released, followed by Windows Me in September 2000 (Me standing for Millennium Edition). Windows Me updated the core from Windows 98, but adopted some aspects of Windows 2000 and removed the "boot in DOS mode" option. It also added a new feature called System Restore, allowing the user to set the computer's settings back to an earlier date.
Windows Millennium Edition is often confused with Windows 2000 (because of its name), and has been said to be one of the worst operating systems Microsoft ever released.

Windows NT family

The NT family of Windows systems was fashioned and marketed for higher reliability business use. The first release was NT 3.1 (1993), numbered "3.1" to match the consumer Windows version, which was followed by NT 3.5 (1994), NT 3.51 (1995), NT 4.0 (1996), and Windows 2000, which is the last NT-based Windows release that does not include Microsoft Product Activation. Windows NT 4.0 was the first in this line to implement the "Windows 95" user interface (and the first to include Windows 95's built-in 32-bit runtimes).
Microsoft then moved to combine their consumer and business operating systems with Windows XP that was released on October 25, 2001. It came both in home and professional versions (and later niche market versions for tablet PCs and media centers); they also diverged release schedules for server operating systems. Windows Server 2003, released a year and a half after Windows XP, brought Windows Server up to date with Windows XP. After a lengthy development process, Windows Vista was released on November 30, 2006 for volume licensing and January 30, 2007 for consumers. Its server counterpart,Windows Server 2008 was released in early 2008. On July 22, 2009, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 were released as RTM (release to manufacturing) while the former was released to the public 3 months later on October 22, 2009.

64-bit operating systems

Windows NT included support for several different platforms before the x86-based personal computerbecame dominant in the professional world. Versions of NT from 3.1 to 4.0 variously supported PowerPC,DEC Alpha and MIPS R4000, some of which were 64-bit processors, although the operating system treated them as 32-bit processors.
With the introduction of the Intel Itanium architecture (also known as IA-64), Microsoft released new versions of Windows to support it. Itanium versions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 were released at the same time as their mainstream x86 (32-bit) counterparts. On April 25, 2005, Microsoft released Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions to support the x86-64 (or x64 in Microsoft terminology) architecture. Microsoft dropped support for the Itanium version of Windows XP in 2005. Windows Vista was the first end-user version of Windows that Microsoft released simultaneously in x86 and x64 editions. Windows Vista does not support the Itanium architecture. The modern 64-bit Windows family comprises AMD64/Intel64 versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, in both Itanium and x64 editions. Windows Server 2008 R2 drops the 32-bit version, although Windows 7 does not.

Windows CE

Windows CE (officially known as Windows Embedded Compact), is an edition of Windows that runs on minimalistic computers, like satellite navigation systems and some mobile phones. Windows Embedded Compact is based on its own dedicated kernel, dubbed Windows CE kernel. Microsoft licenses Windows CE to OEMs and device makers. The OEMs and device makers can modify and create their own user interfaces and experiences, while Windows CE provides the technical foundation to do so.
Windows CE was used in the Dream cast along with Sega's own proprietary OS for the console. Windows CE is the core from which Windows Mobile is derived. Microsoft's latest mobile OS, Windows Phone, is based on components from both Windows CE 6.0 R3 and the current Windows CE 7.0.
Windows Embedded Compact is not to be confused with Windows XP Embedded orWindows NT 4.0 Embedded, modular editions of Windows based on Windows NT kernel.

Windows 8
















"The Start Screen of Windows 8 RTM (Build 9200)."

Windows 8, the successor to Windows 7, has finished its development, and will be released to the market on 26 October 2012. Windows 8 has been designed to be used on both tablets and the conventional PC. The Microsoft Surface tablet is to be released alongside Windows 8, as a competitor to the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab. It has been announced by Microsoft that Windows Surface will be available in two editions - one for the typical end user, and a Professional edition aimed at designers and other work-based users. Windows 8 was released to manufacturing on 1 August 2012, with a build of 6.2.9200.

IS WINDOWS 8 THE LAST VERSION OF WINDOWS?

There's a rumor going around that, with Windows 8, Microsoft is doing away with the full version of Windows sold at retail.
In Microsoft parlance, a full product typically means a non-upgrade, fully licensed version of Windows sold in a box via brick-and-mortar and/or online retailers. With Windows, full product tends to be quite expensive -- and not very popular, as most users get their Windows either preloaded on new PCs, via volume-licensing deals, or as an upgrade to an existing version of Windows. Very few users want or need a complete, new copy of Windows for a machine on which Windows has not been previously installed.
With Windows 8, Microsoft is being aggressive with upgrade pricing. Anyone with a copy of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or the Windows 8 Release Preview (with some caveats for Windows 8) will be able to buy up to five copies of Windows 8 Professional for $39.99 apiece through January 31, 2013. (And maybe longer, if Microsoft extends this promotional price.)



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