What is Windows? What is this Microsoft Windows about?

What is Windows? Microsoft Windows is a group of several proprietary graphical operating system families developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. For example, Windows NT for consumers, Windows Server for servers, and Windows IoT for embedded systems. Defunct Windows families include Windows 9x, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone.

The first version of Windows was released on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

Windows is the most popular desktop operating system in the world, with a 70% market share as of March 2023, according to StatCounter. However, Windows is not the most used operating system when including both mobile and desktop OSes, due to Android’s massive growth.

As of September 2022, the most recent version of Windows is Windows 11 for consumer PCs and tablets, Windows 11 Enterprise for corporations, and Windows Server 2022 for servers.


What is Windows?

The Windows operating system from Microsoft is a graphical operating system. Users can use it to read and store files, run apps, play games, and watch videos, as well as connect to the internet. It was made available for both personal and professional use.

Microsoft Windows, usually known as Windows or Windows OS, is a personal computer operating system (OS) developed by Microsoft Corporation (PCs). The Windows operating system, which included the first graphical user interface (GUI) for IBM-compatible PCs, quickly dominated the PC market. Windows is install on around 90% of personal computers.

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The first version of Windows, introduced in 1985, was merely a graphical user interface (GUI) added to Microsoft’s existing disc operating system, MS-DOS.

What is Windows Operating System?

By definition, an Operating System is a group of several GUIs (Graphical User Interface) families, all of which are developed, sold and marketed by Microsoft.

The latest version of Microsoft Operating System which is being widely used across the world is Windows 10.

For conceptual clarity and understanding the context well, candidates are advised to check out the video given below:

History and Development of Windows

It was 1983 when work on “Interface Manager” was started by Microsoft but it was in November 1995, when the first Windows 1.0 was introduced. Later on, with developments in technology, the requirement of the people and increased demand for Graphical User Interface, Microsoft kept releasing revised versions of Operating Systems.

The image given below shows the different Microsoft Operating Systems along with the year in which they were introduced:


Versions of Windows Operating System

Let us understand the different versions of Windows Operating System along with the features of each of them individually.

Windows 1.0

  • It was released on November 20, 1985
  • Pure Operating Environment
  • Used Graphical User Interface
  • Simple Graphics
  • Offered limited multi-tasking was expected to have a better future potential

Windows 2.0

  • It was released on December 9, 1987
  • 16-bit Graphic User Interface (GUI) based operating environment
  • Introduced Control Panel, and the first version of MS Word and Excel
  • Unlike Windows 1.0, it had the capacity to allow applications to overlap each other
  • It was also the last Windows OS which did not require a hard disk
  • Hardware played an important role
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Windows 3.0

  • It was released in 1990
  • It was better at multitasking
  • Used 8086 microprocessors
  • It has both, conventional and extendable memory
  • First version of Windows to gather critical appreciation
  • Better memory/ storage

Note* – None of the above mentioned Windows was Operating Systems. They all came under the category of Windows, working based on a graphical operating environment. It was Windows 95, which was the first Operating System released by Microsoft.

Window 95

  • It was the first complete Operating System
  • It was released on August 15, 1995
  • It merged MS-DOS and Windows products
  • It simplified plug and play features
  • Taskbar and Start menu was introduced with this Windows OS
  • Advanced from 16 bit GUI to 32 bit GUI
  • Long file names could be saved
  • Initially, computers with Windows 95 did not have Internet Explorer installed but by the release date of Windows 95, the first version of Internet Explorer was installed in the software
  • On December 31, 2001, Windows declared this version of OS outdated and ended its support for the same

Windows 98

  • It was released to manufacturing on May 15, 1998
  • It was a 16 bit and 32 bit product based on MS DOS
  • It was not an entirely new version but just a tuned-up version to Windows 95
  • Internet Explorer 4.01 was released along with this Windows version
  • It did not support USB printers or mass storage devices
  • An update to this version “Windows SE” was released in 1999

Windows 2000

  • It was officially released on February 17, 2000. However, its manufacturing had begun in late 1999
  • A core set of features was followed for manufacturing Windows 2000 but 4 different editions, targeting different sectors of the market were released. These included: Server, Professional, Advanced Server and Datacenter Server
  • It was considered as one of the most secure OS ever
  • A local disk manager was introduced with these Windows
  • Multilingual User Interface – it supported many different languages
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Windows XP

  • While the manufacturing started on August 24, 2001, the official product was released on October 25, 2001
  • Advanced portable PC support
  • Automatic wireless connection support
  • Fast start-up
  • Better Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Help and support centre

Windows Vista

  • It was released on January 30, 2007
  • It had an upgraded version of Graphical User Interface
  • It was the first operating system to use DVD-ROM for installation

Windows 7

  • It was released on October 22, 2009
  • A large number of new features were introduced
  • Redesigned Windows shell with an updated taskbar
  • Incremental upgrade to the Windows line
  • Libraries were added in the file management system
  • A few features from the past Windows were removed
  • Extended hardware support

Windows 8

  • It was released for retail on October 26, 2012
  • Optimisations for touch-based
  • Installed in new devices like Laptops, Mobile phones, tablets, etc.
  • Increased integration with cloud services
  • Windows Store service for software distribution
  • Task manager had been redesigned
  • New security features were introduced
  • Online Applications could be directly downloaded

Windows 10

  • It was released on July 29, 2015
  • Addresses shortcomings in the user interface first introduced with Windows 8
  • A virtual desktop system
  • It had the ability to run windows store apps within windows on the desktop rather than in the full-screen mode
  • Included new icons
  • To reduce storage shortcomings, Windows 10 automatically compresses the file size


Above is information about What is Windows? What is this Microsoft Windows about? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of Windows. Thank you for reading our post.

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