In November of 1985, Microsoft Corporation introduced a new operating system named Windows as an extension of their previous system software called MS-DOS. The development of Windows came about with a rising interest in graphical user interfaces (GUI) by the average computer user.
Windows has come to dominate the operating system market overtaking Mac OS and Mac OS X. It was reported in 2004 that Windows was loaded on approximately ninety percent of the computers in the world.
Even though Windows took the operating system market by storm, it wasn’t without its share of bugs and problems. This caused many people to lose faith in Windows, but Microsoft was quick to come up with fixes to the problems and newer versions of Windows ran smoothly with few problems.
The biggest advantage to Windows as a solid operating system is the GUI technology that Windows offers. This means that besides being visually pleasing, even the most inexperienced computer users are able to easily adapt to Windows and make it possible for anyone to use a personal computer.
Early versions of Windows showed some problems with security. In fact, even the Microsoft computers were subject to security breaches. Microsoft took this issue very seriously, and newer
The latest operating system to be released by the Microsoft Corporation in their Windows line is Windows Vista. This new operating system has been hailed as the next great wave of operating systems with new, improved features and a user interface like no other. What can you expect to see new in Windows Vista?
Most significant in Windows Vista is the way it looks. It has brighter colors, more graphics, and capabilities for keeping multiple windows open on the same screen. Think of it as a computer version of picture in picture. This is referred to as Windows Aero and is a completely new graphical user interface.
Here are some other highlights you can find with Windows Vista:
* Basic file backup and restore.
* Improved DVD support with the ability to easily create custom DVD movies.
* Easy transfer, a feature that allows you to easily transfer files from an older computer to the new computer.
* File encryption.
* Instant search available through all Explorer windows.
* Support for DirectX 10.
* Self-healing, the ability to automatically detect and correct problems that may be encountered on the computer.
* Shadow copy, a feature that allows you to recover deleted
Windows NT was released by Microsoft Corporation in 1993 as a successor to the previous versions of Windows. It was designed to be a powerful, high-level language based processor independent operating system with features compatible to Unix systems. This version of Windows complemented work station versions running on MS-DOS.
A main design goal of Windows NT was hardware and software portability. Versions of this operating system were available for a variety of processor architectures. Broad software compatibility was achieved for various platforms.
Windows NT was the first fully 32-bit version of Windows where its consumer-oriented counterparts Windows 3x and 9x were hybrids of 16-bit and 32-bit technology. Windows NT utilized 32-bit “flat” virtual memory addressing on 32-bit processors. Its companion product, Windows 3.1, used segmented addressing and switches from 16-bit to 32-bit addressing in pages.
Notably in Windows NT were several input/output driver subsystems such as video and printing which were user-mode subsystems. The video, server, and printer spooler subsystems were integrated into the kernel as never before. The first graphical user interface n Windows NT was influenced by and compatible with that from Windows 3.1.
The interface of Windows NT was redesigned to match that of Windows 95. What that means is
On September 14, 2000, programming software giant Microsoft Corporation released their latest version of Windows they called Windows ME. Originally, because of the year of release, it was codenamed Windows Millennium and is sometimes known by that name even today. Windows ME was a hybrid operating system combining both 16-bit and 32-bit technologies.
It was marketed as a home edition version of Windows as the other operating system released in 2000 – Windows 2000 – was generally thought of as a business application. Windows ME gave personal computer users many new features that made their computer experience easier and more convenient.
It provided Internet Explorer 5.5, Windows Media Player 7, and the new Windows Movie Maker software, which provided basic video editing and was designed to be easy for home users. Microsoft also updated the graphical user interface in Windows Me with some of the features that were first introduced in Windows 2000.
Windows ME was an MS-DOS based version like its predecessors but with access to real mode MD-DOS restricted for faster system boot time. This was one of the most publicized changes in Windows ME because applications that needed real mode DOS to run such as with older disk utilities.
In February of 2000, Microsoft Corporation released its newest update to the popular Windows operating system. Windows 2000 was made available in four editions: Professional, Server, Advanced Server, and Data Center Server. Windows 2000 was marketed as “the most secure Windows ever shipped.”
Despite claims that Windows 2000 had advanced security measures, it did become the target of a number of profile virus attacks like Code Red and Nimda. More than seven years after its release, Windows 2000 continues to receive patches for security vulnerabilities on a near-monthly basis.
Even though security is an issue with Windows 2000, many computers still use this version as their main operating system. Even though there have been updates to the Windows product, it still remains a favorite especially with businesses because of its advanced file sharing capabilities.
All editions of Windows 2000 have common functionality including many system utilities such as the Microsoft Management Console and standard system management applications like disk defragmentation utility. Support for people with disabilities was improved with a number of new assistive technologies. Microsoft also included increased support for different languages with Windows 2000.
Windows 2000 also saw the advent of file encryption which could protect sensitive data. It offered personalized
In 1998, Microsoft Corporation released their latest update of the popular Windows operating system – Windows 98. It was a successor to the previous version of Windows 95 and was an improvement on technology contained in its predecessor.
One of the great advantages to Windows 98 was that it required relatively low system requirements making it easier to gain its full potential even on older machines. This version of Windows gave full support to DOS applications because it could be switched between DOS mode and Windows mode. Being able to do this allowed the user to fix certain system errors manually.
Windows 98 was never as stable as regular computer users needed. This was due to many reasons. Often the software developers of drivers and applications had insufficient experience with the creation of programs for the new system. This caused many errors generally described as system errors by the user even if the error was not cause by parts of Windows or DOS.
Microsoft realized these problems and released many patches that allowed the operating system to gain extreme stability comparable with higher versions of Windows through the use of the most current device drivers and careful installation of the operating system.
Windows 3x Operating System
When Microsoft first released their Windows operating system, it was named Windows 3.0. Subsequent versions were named after this original version as in Windows 3.1, Windows 3.2, etc. The entire family of the Windows operating system based on that original version is referred to as Windows 3x.
Windows 3.0 was released in 1990 and was hailed as the next big version of the operating system. It would soon take the computer world by storm and be hailed as what every computer user needed to effectively and easily operate a computer system. The Windows 3x family of operating systems would be the basis for many new and exciting developments in the world of operating systems.
With the release of Windows 3.0, virtual memory and loadable virtual device drivers were present in the operating system which allowed the system to share arbitrary devices between multi-tasked DOS Windows. Because of this, Windows applications could then run in 16-bit protected mode and gave them access to several megabytes of memory. It also removed the obligation to participate in the software virtual memory scheme.
The applications still ran inside the same address space where the segmented memory provided a degree of protection and multi-tasked cooperatively.