Window 1.0 (1985) | Version 1.04 – This was the first released version of Windows by Microsoft, though they did start building a program called “Interface Manager” in 1983. Windows 1.0 was released in November 1985. The product did not gain much popularity then. In Windows 1.0, users could not overlap multiple windows.
Windows 2.0 (1987) | Version 2.11 – 2 Years after the release of Windows 1.0, in December 1987 Microsoft launched Windows 2.0. Compared with its predecessor, Windows 2.0 had several improvements, especially to the User Interface and Memory Management. One of the major feature improvement was that users could overlap windows one over the other. Windows 2.0 gained more popularity than Windows 1.0
Windows 3.0 (1990) |Version 3 – This was the first version of Windows which gained much popularity. Released on the 22nd of May 1990, Windows 3.0 went on to great success – selling approximately 2 Million copies between May 1990 & November 1990. When compared to Windows 2.0, this version boasted of an improved design, which mainly was because of Virtual Memory and loadable Virtual Device Drivers (VxDs). Windows 3.0a, which released the next year, came with support for Multimedia Extensions.
Windows 3.1 (1992) – Win 3.1 was first sold from April 1992 as a successor to Windows 3.0. This was the first version of Windows which made it a great tool for Desktop Publishing. True Type fonts were introduced to the general public in Win 3.1. Minesweeper was included in the standard installation of this version for the first time (Though it was also available in 3.0 as an addon “Microsoft Entertainment Pack 1”) , replacing Reversi from Win 3.0. Official support for Windows 3.1 ended on the 31st of December 2001.
Windows NT 3.1 (1993) – The NT in Windows NT stands for New Technology. The first version of Windows NT was the Windows NT 3.1 launched on the 27th of July 1993. Microsoft advertised that this was a re-engineered version of Windows. The NTFS file system was introduced in this version. Unlike Windows 3.1, Windows NT 3.1 was a 32-bit operating system written from the ground up.
Windows 95 (1995) – Windows 95, the successor to the Windows 3.x series is the first Windows Operating System of the 9.x series. It was released in August 1995, and introduced many features like the Start Button and the Task Bar, which are still in use in recent releases. 95 was the first Windows version which removed certain DOS limitations like 8-letter filename & 640 K of main memory. Windows 95 was also able to automatically detect & configure plug and play hardware.
Windows NT 4.0 (1996) – This version of Windows was mainly a business oriented operating system. Win NT 4.0 was made available to the general public since the 24th of August 1996.
Windows 98 (1998) – This release of Windows was made available to public in June 1998, and boasted of many features over Windows 95, the main ones being –
Internet connection sharing
Integrated Internet Explorer (4.0) / Active Desktop
A troubleshooter program that helps identify any issues with the system
Multiple display (monitors) support
Many new drivers were introduced in Win 98
Windows ME (2000) – Also called the Millenium Edition, Windows ME had some additional features on top of Windows 98, and it removed the famous “Boot in Dos” option.