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Windows Turns 30: A Look At The Operating System Through The Ages

Microsoft's poster child Windows is 30 years old today. On 20 November 1985, the first version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system was launched

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Microsoft's poster child Windows is 30 years old today. On 20 November 1985, the first version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system was launched. Over the years it had transformed from 1 to 10 platform (Total 11 platforms till now) on which Windows is currently operating, but, today also, almost 90 per cent of computers run on it.

Windows 1.0 was launched on 20 November 1985 with a graphic interface providing access to various practical software options like word processing, drawing, an address book, a calculator,and so on.

On 9 December 1987, Microsoft took a big step forward with Windows 2.0. The system could handle multitasking, with windows able to overlap, and icons displayed on the desktop. It was also the first version to have a control panel.

On 18 March 1992, Windows 3.1 came with the screensaver feature, the Windows Registry and audio and video capability that made Windows popular. It also saw the arrival of the Solitaire and Minesweeper games and various preinstalled fonts, offering new word processing possibilities.

On 24 August 1995, Windows 95, Microsoft redesigned graphic environment and brings Start button, a taskbar, minimise-maximize and close buttons on each window. Connection to devices was simplified with the Plug-and-Play system. This was the first time that the Internet Explorer browser was integrated into Windows.

On 25 June 1998, Windows 98 brought two innovations, reading DVDs and USB devices. The Quick Launch bar also made its debut.

On 14 September 2000, Windows Me introduced two new features, such as, Media 7 and Movie Maker enabling users to edit videos and also included System Restore for the first time.

On 25 October 2001, Windows XP, was the new operating system that put greater emphasis on Help services and the delivery of a steady flow of security updates. It also introduced the remote desktop feature enabling users to connect to the computer to use the printer or other devices and handle various types of connection to the internet.

On 30 January 2007, Windows Vista, turned out to be a failure for Microsoft, due to a bloated system and a lack of innovation but, Windows Media became a true multimedia center enabling users to watch TV, edit videos and look at photos.

On 22 October 2009, Windows 7, launched a new taskbar and the option of customizing desktop. This new operating system also introduced Windows Touch for touch-screen users and was a first step towards a multi-device system.

On 26 October 2012, Windows 8 was the first operating system compatible with PCs and tablets, resulting in a complete overhaul of its ergonomics based on touch-screen use. Its many innovations included a brand new visual interface and horizontal scrolling.

On 29 July 2015, Windows 10 became compatible with devices, such as PCs, Xbox consoles, smartphones, tablets and even internet-connected objects. It has a digital personal assistant (Cortana), a new web browser (Edge) and for the first time, facial recognition and a digital fingerprint reader to increase security. Currently, it is offered as a free update to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for one year.


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windows microsoft technology operating system