History of Microsoft Windows

In 31 years… yes, 31 years, we have came so far. From Windows 1.0 to Windows 10, here is a history of Microsoft Windows.

Windows 1.0 – it is older than the world wide web


Windows 1.0. Image: Wikipedia

Windows 1.0 wasn’t a huge success. It was built on top of MS-DOS.

Windows 2.0: Overlapping Windows

Windows 2.0.png

Windows 2.0. Image: Wikipedia

Windows 2.0 added overlapping Windows support, as well as other new features, but it didn’t attract much attention.

Windows 3.0: First successful version of Windows

Windows 3.0 workspace.png

Windows 3.0 was the first version of Windows with the program manager. Image: Wikipedia

Windows 3.0 was a rival to Apple Macintosh (now Mac) and the Commodore Amiga. It added the program manager and was the first version of Windows that was successful.

Windows 3.1: A few tweaks to 3.0

Windows 3.11 workspace.png

Windows 3.1. Image: Wikipedia

Windows 95: Internet time!

Windows 95 at first run.png

Windows 95 with the new Taskbar and Start Button. Image: Wikipedia

Windows 95 was really successful: It introduced the Start Menu and Taskbar. Wow! It was also the first version of Windows with Internet Explorer. It was, as it’s name tells us, released in 1995.

Windows NT 4.0: A few tweaks to Windows 95.

Windows NT 4.0.png

Windows NT 4.0. Image: Wikipedia

Windows 98: It just gets better


Windows 98’s desktop. Image: Wikipedia

Windows 98 added lots of new features. However, it is still the same Windows desktop as in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 95. Critical Update was also available in Windows 98.

Windows ME: Millennium Edition


Windows ME’s desktop: only a small tweak. Image: Wikipedia

Windows ME was one to skip, even though updates to Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player 7 were tempting. Windows ME was really buggy.

Windows 2000

Windows 2000 Server.png

Windows 2000 Server Edition setup. Image: Wikipedia

Windows 2000 introduced lots of new features, was supported until 2010 and much more. It came in several editions, like Server Edition.

Windows XP: The OS that we know today

Windows XP Luna.png

Windows XP gives Windows a makeover. Image: Wikipedia

Windows XP was a great version of Microsoft Windows. It was released in 2001 and was supported all the way up to 2014. Wow! It added lots of new features. Despite now being unsupported, lots of people still use it today.

Windows Vista: Another Makeover

Windows Vista.png

Windows Vista with the transparent Start Menu and transparent Windows. Image: Wikipedia

Windows Vista gave Windows a makeover again. Transparent Window borders, transparent start menu and more. It, however, required a pretty fast computer.

Windows 7: Better and faster than Vista

Windows 7.png

Windows 7 was more “blue” than Windows Vista. Image: Wikipedia

Windows 7 was much faster than Vista, and had lots of new features. People still use it today. Many businesses skipped Vista and went on straight to 7.

Windows 8(.0): A new app store and more

Windows 8 Start Screen.png

The start menu was replaced with a start screen in Windows 8. Image: Wikipedia

Windows 8 was more optimised for touch than for PCs, but it still worked awesomely on PCs. Support ended on January 12th 2016: Windows 8 users must update to Windows 8.1 to continue to receive support.

Windows 8.1: Windows 8 users: Update!

Windows 8 Start Screen.png

Start screen on Windows 8.1. Image: Wikipedia

It fixed security issues found in 8 and added a few new features. Windows 8(.0) support ended on 12th January 2016: Users must update to Windows 8.1 to continue to receive support.

Windows 10: Return of the Start Menu

Windows 10 build 14393 (Redstone).png

Windows 10 with the start menu. Image: Wikipedia

In July 2015, Microsoft released Windows 10, which changed loads. It added Cortana, a new start menu, the Edge Browser and more. It was available as a free upgrade offer from July 29th 2015 to July 29th 2016. Now you have to pay for it if you don’t have it.

Hope you like this post!

Epic Chas Gamer šŸ˜€


3 thoughts on “History of Microsoft Windows

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for this … your screen shots of Window 3.1 onwards bring back a lot of memories. šŸ˜€

    An additional interesting point is that all the earlier Windows versions aimed at the home market including Windows 95, 98, and ME were still built on top of MS-DOS and Windows with all the restrictions that meant. However the enterprise-aimed Windows NT (followed by Windows 2000) released in parallel with some of those other versions was it’s own “NT-based” operating system with no need for DOS.

    Windows XP was the first Windows version that unified both enterprise and home versions under the same NT-based operating system. So it wasn’t until as late as 2001 that home users finally dispensed with requiring DOS on their PCs.

    Liked by 1 person

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