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30 years of windows

Do you remember the first Windows operating system you worked on?

Believe it or not, Microsoft launched its first version of Windows on November 20, 1985. Windows 1.0 looked a bit different than it does now.

An article in The Verge depicts each operating system launched by Microsoft. Take a look back through the years.

Windows 1.0 – 1985. Windows 1.0 introduced a GUI, mouse support, and important apps. Image from The Verge.


Windows 2.0 – 1987. 16-bit computing with VGA graphics and the first versions of Word and Excel. Image from The Verge.


Windows 3.0 – 1990. Better UI with new Program and File managers. Minesweeper also arrived with the 3.1 update. Image from The Verge.


Windows NT 3.5 – 1994. Marked Microsoft’s push into business computing with important security and file sharing features. Image from The Verge.


Windows 95 – 1995. Microsoft moved to a 32-bit architecture and introduced the Start menu. Image from The Verge.


Windows 98 – 1998. Improved hardware support and performance. Microsoft was also focused on the web at its launch. Image from The Verge.


Windows ME – 2000. Windows ME focused on multimedia and home users. Windows Movie Maker first appeared in ME, alongside improved versions of Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. Image from The Verge.


Windows 2000 – 2000. Designed for client and server computers within businesses. Based on Windows NT, it was designed to be secure with new file protection, a DLL cache, and hardware plug and play. Image from The Verge.


Windows XP – 2001. Combined Microsoft’s home and business efforts. Windows XP was designed for client and server computers within businesses. Image from The Verge.


Windows Vista – 2007. This version was heavily criticized. While Vista introduced a new Aero UI and improved security features, Microsoft took around six years to develop Windows Vista and it only worked well on new hardware. Image from The Verge.


Windows 7 – 2009. Good performance and an improved user interface. Image from The Verge.


Windows 8 – 2012. Drastic redesign. New “metro-style” apps focused on performance for touch screens and tablets. Image from The Verge.


Windows 10 – 2015. Brings back the familiar Start menu, and introduces some new features like Cortana, Microsoft Edge, and the Xbox One streaming to PCs. Image from The Verge.



Read the full article: Windows turns 30: a visual history

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