Microsoft Windows: 30 Years of Evolution

It is very remarkable that in the past three decades, Microsoft Windows has evolved significantly. As per record, this is the list of Windows OS that was released by Microsoft:

Microsoft Windows


  1. Windows 1 – This Windows version was released on November 1985 and was the first true attempt by Microsoft to design a 16-bit GUI.


  1. Windows 2 – Released on December 1987, this version was the first one to introduce the control panel system. This is also the first one to have the minimize/maximize windows options.


  1. Windows 3.0 – Released on January 1990, this is the first Windows version to require a Hard Drive, enabled the MS-DOS and supported the 256-color resolution.


  1. Windows 95 – Becoming fully-operational in August 1995, this version had first introduced the start menu, start button, the 32-bit environment and the task bar. This one was especially designed for multi-tasking and MS-DOS still plays an important role, enabling it also to run legacy programs like Windows 3.0.


  1. Windows 98 – Released in June 1998, it is based primarily on Windows 95. Its ‘first’ features include Internet Explorer 4, Outlook Express, Windows Address Book, Microsoft Chat and NetShow Player, which was replaced by Windows Media Player 6.2 in its Second Edition in 1999.


  1. Windows ME – ME, which stands for Millennium Edition, was the last MS-DOS based Windows OS. It was released in September 2000 and included more recovery tools.


  1. Windows 2000 – Being regarded as the enterprise twin of Windows ME, it was released in February 2000, was based on Windows NT and became the basis for making Windows XP.


  1. Windows XP – Being one of the best Windows versions designed by Microsoft, it was released on 2001 and brought Microsoft’s enterprise and consumer line of operating systems in a single market. Like Windows 2000, it was based on NT but having the user-friendly components of Windows Millennium Edition. This was the longest-running operating system, having three major updates and support until April 2014.


  1. Windows Vista – Having replaced Windows XP in January 2007, this one is the worst OS ever made, being too buggy and more of a burden than a benefit to the user.


  1. Windows 7 – Released on October 2009, it was faster and more user-friendly than Vista, and was a good upgrade from XP.



  1. Windows 8 – Released in October 12, it completely ditched start button and replaced it with Start screen.


  1. Windows 10 – Announced on September 30, 2014 but was released a year after, it brought back the start menu and more balance to traditional Windows users.