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Microsoft Windows; a history

Microsoft Windows; a history

With the launch of Windows 11, we thought we would take a trip down memory lane of previous versions of Windows.

Windows debuted as version 1.01 on 20th November 1985 as a graphical interface for MS-Dos applications. While called ‘Windows’, it wasn’t possible to overlap Windows until the release of 2.0 in 1987.

Windows 3.0 introduced the icon to Windows. Still acting as an interface to Dos, Microsoft also released Windows 3.1 NT, the first Microsoft operating system not based on Dos. NT stands for ‘New Technology’.

Released in August 1985, almost ten years after Window 1.0, Windows 95 is the first version of Windows to include a start menu and taskbar. It was a runaway success.

Windows 98 was released as an updated version of 95, but those as old as we are will remember that it was particularly flakey and led to users staying on Windows 95 until Windows 98 Second edition was released.

In 2000 Microsoft released Windows 2000, which was considerably more reliable than Windows 98. To make up for that, Microsoft also released Windows ME, officially the worst operating system of all time!

2001 saw the introduction of Windows XP, a highly popular operating system that is still used in some parts of the NHS today (did anyone say ‘Wannacry virus?’) despite being officially retired in 2014.

There were then six whole years to the next Windows release; Windows Vista, a particularly buggy program which, like Windows 98, saw users sticking with the previous version.

Then finally, in 2009 came Windows 7, still the favourite operating system of many. In December 2019, one month before its official end of life, an estimated 200 million people were still using Windows 7.

Windows 8 was released in 2012 with an almost universally disliked interface that saw the removal of the start menu and taskbar first introduced in Windows 95. This omission led to Windows 8.1, released a year later, which reintroduced these features and some much-needed stability fixes. Even with these fixes, it was not enough to move users from their favoured Windows 7.

And then finally, in July 2015, Microsoft released Windows 10, the ‘last version of Windows, ever’. Hmmm!

And here we are the new Windows 11 is now launched. If you want to discover more about Windows 11, check out Microsoft’s official blog post.

Click here to find out more about how and where to download Windows 11.

If you have any questions about Windows 11, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Don’t let bad technology ruin your day. HB Tech provides IT support in Portsmouth and across Hampshire to ensure your business stays online when it matters.