Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems are developed by Microsoft Corporation since 1983. The latest version as of 2020-10 is Windows 10 October 2020 Update, It currently uses the Windows Explorer shell.
The first versions of Windows were an operating environment for DOS. Later versions (9x) used DOS as a bootstrapper. Any version of Windows that uses the NT Kernel does not rely on MS-DOS.
Windows for DOS (Classic Windows)
Microsoft Windows debuted to the world on the Fall COMDEX 1983 computer expo as an operating environment running on top MS-DOS. The final version of the product with the version number of 1.01 was later released on 1985-11-20 and did not gain much popularity. Windows 1.0 was a cooperative multitasking desktop environment with a tiling window manager. Applications included in the first version of Windows included Calculator, Cardfile, Clipboard Viewer, Clock, Control Panel, MS-DOS Executive, Notepad, Reversi, Spooler, Terminal, and Microsoft Write. Three minor updates were released in the two following years adding support for more hardware.
A major update called Windows 2.0 was released in 1987 adding features such as overlapping windows. This version also introduced support for the Video Graphics Array and PS/2 mouse. A separate edition called Windows/386 was introduced taking advantage of the new abilities of the 386 processor. In later revisions of the Windows 2.0 environment the original edition was renamed Windows/286.
Windows 3.0 was released in 1990 and it became the first widely successful version of Windows. The new features included a completely reworked Setup program, and a new 3D user interface centered around a new shell called the Program Manager. The previously separate 286 and 386 editions of Windows were unified into one. This version of Windows was able to operate in three modes: Real mode intended for computers with the original 8088/8086 processor, Standard mode using the protected mode feature of the 286 processor, and 386 Enhanced mode combining the improved protected mode of the 386 with its ability to create and manage virtual 8086 machines for MS-DOS applications.
A major update dubbed Windows 3.1 followed in 1992 with the brand new red-green-blue-yellow Windows logo resembling a flag. The user interface was refreshed in this release, including new colorful icons. This version of Windows removed the real mode of operation and the MS-DOS Executive application. It was accompanied with a variant called Windows for Workgroups (WfW) 3.1 with an integrated networking capability, which later received a larger update bringing its version number up to 3.11, introducing 32-bit disk access and also removing the Standard mode of operation. The regular variant of Windows also received the 3.11 update, however it only contained small bug fixes.
A 32-bit TCP/IP stack was ported from an early version of Windows 95 and released in 1994 as a downloadable plugin for WfW 3.11, providing early testing for the 16/32-bit compability features of the next version of Windows.
On 1995-08-24 Microsoft released Windows 95 also known under its codename "Chicago" with a brand new user interface with a Start menu, taskbar and the desktop. Its hybrid 16/32-bit architecture made it possible to make and run 32-bit Windows applications and drivers while keeping a great degree of compatibility with already existing 16-bit ones. Among other improvements in this version was the support for long filenames through an extension to the FAT16 file system.
Windows 95 was the first release of Windows to be packed together with a specific MS-DOS version, however, the old operating system was used only as a boot loader and a compatibility layer for ancient device drivers. Most MS-DOS user applications were either extended with Windows code or entirely replaced with a Windows version, keeping only the ones that were required to run without Windows, e.g. during the OS installation, such as
During its lifetime Windows 95 saw several larger updates dubbed the OEM Service Releases (OSR) that were released only to computer manufacturers, specifically OSR 1.0, OSR 2.0, OSR 2.1, and OSR 2.5. A Service Pack was also released that updated a RTM copy of Windows 95 to the OSR 1.0 level. In 1997 a USB Supplement was released for OSR 2.x that added support for the then new Universal Serial Bus interface.
The classic Windows line received a major update on 1998-06-25 with the release of Windows 98 codenamed "Memphis". It was the first version to integrate Internet Explorer deeply to the operating system's user interface as a part of the Windows Desktop Update. Many parts of the UI started using HTML and Internet Explorer's rendering engine to present a web-like user interface. A feature called Active Desktop made it even possible to set a webpage as the desktop background. Under the hood Windows 98 introduced the Windows Driver Model, which enabled the use of the same drivers on Windows 9x as well as on the radically different Windows NT based operating systems.
A year later, Windows 98 received an update which was called the Second Edition, which included a new version of Internet Explorer, added Internet Connection Sharing and improved USB support.
In 2000 Windows Millenium Edition, the last release of the classic Windows line saw the light of the world. It included the improvements to the user interface from Windows 2000. Windows Me is based on Windows 98, however, access to the real mode MS-DOS was restricted in order to decrease boot time among other changes to the kernel. It was infamously known for its stability problems partially caused by the rushing of its release following the cancellation of the Neptune project. It was replaced by the NT-based Windows XP a year later.
Windows NT (New Technology) is the current iteration of Windows. It is built on the NT hybrid kernel (hence the name), which was originally intended for use in OS/2 3.0 but was rewritten after the Microsoft - IBM split. The first release based on the new kernel was Windows NT 3.1, the version number of which was chosen to not be 1.0 to ensure eventual customers wouldn't consider it inferior to Windows 3.1, its DOS-based counterpart. All NT-based releases up until Windows 2000 were intended primarily for business use. With Windows XP, the NT series merged with Windows 9x, creating a single operating system for consumers and businesses. Windows Phone 8 is the first Windows Phone release to be based on the NT kernel. The most recent version of Windows based on the NT kernel is Windows 10. Following the release of Windows 10, Microsoft have switched to a periodical release system.
The Timeline shows that included while if is Released in future, There are many Unreleased timeline that has been already cancelled.
|"Classic" Windows family|
|Windows 1.0||1.0x||Interface Manager||First version of Windows, Released in 1985|
|Windows 2.0||2.x||None||Released in 1987|
|Windows 3.0||3.0||None||Introduced Program Manager; released in 1990|
|Windows 3.1x||3.1x||Janus, Sparta, Snowball||Released in 1991|
|Windows 9x family|
|Windows 95||4.0||Chicago||Introduced Start Menu and Taskbar; released in 1995|
|Windows 'Nashville'||4.1||Nashville||Never released|
|Windows 98||4.1||Memphis||Released in 1998|
|Windows Me||4.9||Millennium||Released in 2000|
|Windows NT family|
|Windows NT 3.1||NT 3.1||NT OS/2||Released in 1993|
|Windows NT 3.5x||NT 3.5x||Daytona||Released in 1994|
|Windows Cairo||NT 4.0||Cairo||Never released|
|Windows NT 4||NT 4.0||Cairo, Hydra||Released in 1996|
|Windows 2000||NT 5.0||Memphis NT, NT 5||Released in 2000, Also known as Memphis NT.|
|Windows Neptune||NT 5.5||Neptune||1 build leaked, Never released; merged to form Whistler.|
|Windows XP||NT 5.1||Whistler||First NT for home users; released in 2001|
|Windows Embedded 2009||Quebec||Released in 2008|
|Windows Server 2003||NT 5.2||Whistler Server, .NET Server||Released in 2003, Previous Codenames : "Whistler Server"|
|Windows Small Business Server 2003||Bobcat||Released in 2003|
|Windows Home Server||Quattro||Released in 2007|
|Windows FLP||NT 5.1||Eiger, Monch||Released in 2006|
|Windows Longhorn||NT 6.0||Longhorn||Reset as Vista|
|Windows Vista||Longhorn Omega-13||Code Reset, .NET Server RC1 > 2003 SP1 RC, Released in 2006|
|Windows Server 2008||Longhorn Server||Released in 2008|
|Windows 7||NT 6.1||Blackcomb, Vienna, '7'||Released in 2009|
|Windows Server 2008 R2||Server '7'||Released in 2009|
|Windows Home Server 2011||Vail||Released in 2011|
|Windows Thin PC||Thin PC||Released in 2011|
|Windows Multipoint Server 2010||Solution Server||Released in 2010|
|Windows 8||NT 6.2||'8'||Released in 2012-10, Start menu removed, replaced with start screen|
|Windows Server 2012||Server '8'||Released in 2012|
|Windows 8.1||NT 6.3||Blue||Released in 2013|
|Windows Server 2012 R2||Server Blue||Released in 2013|
|Windows 10|| NT 6.4|
|Threshold||Released in 2015-07|
|Windows Server 2016||Redstone Server||Released in 2016, Previous Codenames: Threshold Server, vNext Server.|
|Windows 10 v1511||Threshold 2||Released in 2015-11|
|Windows 10 v1607||Redstone 1||Released in 2016-07|
|Windows 10 v1703||Redstone 2/RS2 (Feature Update)||Released in 2017-03|
|Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (v1709)||Redstone 3||Released|
|Windows 10 April 2018 Update (v1803)||Redstone 4||Released|
|Windows 10 October 2018 Update (v1809)||Redstone 5||Released|
The Following for Unreleased Timeline, Which sometime it included Windows Odyssey.
- Windows Odyssey - The Unreleased Build which it was skipped, despite it uses Windows Neptune.
- Windows Triton - There is a Calendar for Planning Service pack, however it skipped this build.
- Windows Cairo - The Windows Cairo was known as Windows NT 4.0, it is a Codenamed by Cairo, There is One Leaked Build is 1175, presumably, it was Never Released.
Every some Projects has been started, only the Reason for Windows Longhorn has been Ported to Windows Shorthorn.
- Windows Shorthorn - A Project made by Samuka, which is why creating Project to working Windows XP Build 3790 x86.
- It is similar as Windows XP x64 Edition.
Microsoft also includes Updates that has served to get Protecting PC, enabling Automatic Updates. it also uses Knowledge Base (KB) to fix Major Bugs and improvements.
In Windows 2000, the Update string uses "Windows 2000 Hotfix", some lot Updates string other websites is "Security Update" or "Update".
In Windows XP, the String has changed similar as Windows 2000 Hotfix, as it called "Security Update for Windows XP", "Hotfix for Windows XP" and "Update for Windows XP".
In Windows Server 2003, it is Same as Windows XP, so there are nothing changed String.
In Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1, and 10, The String has changed since It no longer uses "Vista or 7 or 8/8.1 or 10" it uses String has using "Hotfix for Microsoft Windows", "Security Update for Microsoft Windows" and "Update for Microsoft Windows".
Depending Newer OS has included by string Operating System, Despite, some Updates are included for Betas, and can be founded on Microsoft Update Catalog.