The concept of Windows began in 1981 and was first officially released as Windows 1.0 in November 1985.
Since then we have had many versions released by Microsoft and each one has become more and more feature rich.
Windows Operating Systems list
In order of release from oldest to newest, the windows operating systems list is as follows:
- Windows 1.x – The very first releases of the windows operating system. Released around the same time as Macintosh as a direct competitor.
- Windows 2.0, 2.1 – The second major release of the windows operating system.
- Windows 3, 3.1 – Released in 1990 as the third major release.
- Windows 95 – A major release of the windows operating system, introducing such features as plug and play, 32bit application support and many other revolutionary features.
- Windows 98 – Another ground breaking release when the GUI (graphical user interface) really came to life. With the release of windows 98 users could really customize the look and feel of windows and in our opinion this was a really big step for the windows operating system.
- Windows ME – A less well known release that did not take off in the same way as some of the later releases.
- Windows XP – Another major release and one that is still in use today, although it has reached its end of life in most cases (although it is still used by lots of home users and is still used in certain sectors including government). Windows XP to date is probably the biggest leap taken in any release.
- Windows Vista – The pre-cursor to the next big release and almost more of an experiment – whilst it was very rich in features compared to Windows XP, it was very slow and suffered from lots of usability problems.
- Windows 7 – The Windows that vista never was, Windows 7 had all of the features and more compared to Vista but was also an extremely stable release.
- Windows 8 – Windows 8 saw another great leap in design and functionality from Microsoft. Whilst many people hate this release because of its drastic design changes – such as the near eradication of the windows start menu, you have to respect Microsoft for staying at the cutting edge of functional design and technology.
Windows server operating systems list
Along side many domestic user releases of windows there were also the equivalent server releases:
- Windows NT and variants – all came out round the time of Windows 1,2,3.
- Windows 2000 – came out along with Windows 98, another major development for windows, this time on the server side.
- Windows server 2003 – released around the same time as windows vista and introducing lots of new features to the server environment.
- server 2008, 2008 R2 – Coming out along side Windows 7.
- Server 2012 – Released around the same time as, and based on the same structure as, Windows 8. Once again a great leap in design interface, but slightly more controlled than the Windows 8 equivalent.
What next? Windows 10
The next operating system to be released will be Windows 10, for which you can currently download and install the technical preview, but it has not yet been officially released onto the market.