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Operating System History - Windows 2000

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Windows 2000 was released on February 17, 2000 and replaces Windows NT 4.0 introducing a line of new features. Windows 2000 shipped in four different editions: Professional, Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server.

This new edition of Windows includes Microsoft Management Console as well as many administrative tools. All version support the Windows NT File System and the Encrypting File System.

Windows 2000 is the first NT edition of Windows to include Active Desktop, allowing an Internet Explorer web page to be embedded on the desktop. Windows 2000 also included a preview area for media files within Internet Explorer. This edition of Windows also introduces Disk Quotas so one user cannot fill up the entire disk.

A new line of accessibility features were included and those that were already existing in previous editions were made easier to access, including the On-Screen Keyboard, Magnifier, Narrator, StickyKeys, and ToggleKeys.

Security updates will be provided for Windows 2000 until July 13, 2010 under its Extended Support Period. Internet

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You are here: Home > Microsoft > Windows > A Brief History of Microsoft Windows

A Brief History of Microsoft Windows

Posted by Brian Yang on October 22, 2009 in Windows *14 Comments

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Windows Logo in 1985Are you a PC? Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system in the world with over 90% of the market share. How long have you been using Windows?

With Windows 7 just released, its nice to look back at the long history of Microsoft Windows. This is a timeline of Microsoft Windows starting from Windows 1.0 in 1985 all the way to 2009 with Windows 7.

Windows originated from MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) in 1982. While MS-DOS is not currently in development anymore, files and commands are still present in modern Windows OS such as the commands in Windows Command Prompt (cmd.exe).

Note: Additional screenshots of these operating systems can be found on GUIdebook.

Click these links to quickly jump to the respective operating system.

Windows 1.0 | Windows 2.0 | Windows 3.0 | Windows 3.1 | Windows 95 | Windows 98 | Windows 2000 | Windows ME | Windows XP | Windows Vista | Windows 7

Windows 1.0

The first independent edition of Microsoft Windows, known as Windows 1.0 was released on November 20, 1985 as an expansion of the original MS-DOS system. It was sold only on floppy disks and required that MS-DOS was installed first.

Windows are tiled across the screen rather than overlapping like in modern Windows. Dialogue windows were the only ones that could go on top. A list of available programs are available from the MS-DOS Executive. Early programs include a calculator, an analog clock, reversi game, MS Paint, Write (modern day WordPad), Notepad, Control Panel, and more. MS-DOS Executive programs are all listed as .EXE files. Files and applications were all bunched up within the executive.

Microsoft Windows had the ability to display color as long as your hardware was compatible, unlike Macs at the time, which were only black and white.

The snapping of applications into place for the "jigsaw puzzle" reminds me of Windows 7 Aero Snap and the "Show Windows Stacked" and "Show Windows Side by Side" features. I guess they might have taken the idea from here. To move Windows in 1.0, users drag the title bar which causes the app's icon to be under the mouse pointer and then drag it to the a side or corner of the screen and it will automatically snap into place including automatically fitting the space.

Windows 1.0

A screenshot of Windows 1.0 showing Paint, MS-DOS Executive, and the Clock with the command prompt "iconized" or minimized.

Windows 1.0 had an interesting commercial with Steve Ballmer showing some features for just $99. In today's dollars, that's around $180.

Windows 2.0

Windows 2.0 was released on December 9, 1987. Its features are similiar to Windows 1.0 except that the Windows can now overlap each other rather than titled. The "Minimize" and "Maximize" we all know today was also introduced.

The first non-Microsoft application for Microsoft Windows was introduced to this time. Aldus Pagemaker, an application previously only available to Macs, was now available to Windows. Aldus PageMaker is now know as Adobe PageMaker. This is often considered a major event in the history of Microsoft Windows.

Windows 2.0 applications such as the clock and calculator.

Windows 2.0 applications such as the clock and calculator.

Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0 was released on May 22, 1990 and was very successful with improved multi-tasking abilities. The MS-DOS Executive was replaced with an icon based Program Manager and list based File Manager. Windows 3.0 also supported 256 colors rather than just the previous 16 colors.

Windows 3.0 includes a Protected/Enhanced mode which allows Windows applications to use more memory in a more painless manner than their DOS counterparts could.

It introduced the Solitaire card game and a macro recorder as well as a greatly improved Paint known as Paintbrush as the time.

Windows 3.0 applications including Reversi and the new Program

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