|OS family||Windows NT|
|Source model||Closed source|
|Initial release||November 20, 1985|
|Latest release||10.0.16299.15 / October 17, 2017|
The first version of Windows, Windows 1.0, came out on November 20, 1985. Since then, new versions of Windows go on sale every three years. The newest version, Windows 10, came out July 29, 2015. Most new personal computers come with Windows 10. However, some older or cheaper personal computers may come with Windows 8.1 or Windows 7.
Windows makes it easier to run programs (applications) than MS-DOS did. DOS, required typed commands to make the computer do something. DOS required correct syntax of each command. Making mistakes caused the computer to usually give an error message and do nothing.
Users control their Windows computer by its graphical user interface (or GUI for short). It only needs a keyboard or a mouse to work. In later versions, a touch screen works as well. However, using both a keyboard and a mouse makes many tasks easier. By clicking a few buttons on the screen, Windows helps keep your files safe, and easier to change and move. Versions of Windows after 2005 make it even easier for some users with disabilities because these versions have touch screens. Because of the touch screen, Windows comes on some mobile devices. Tablet computers and smartphones such as Microsoft Surface and Microsoft Lumia use Windows.
The following programs are included with Windows:
- WordPad – to write simple documents, typically using words/text.
- Windows Photo Viewer – to look at pictures.
- Microsoft Paint – to make simple drawings or change pictures.
- Microsoft Edge web browser – to use the Internet to look at web pages and download files.
- Windows DVD Player to watch videos.
- Windows Groove to play and listen to music
Windows has several kinds of applications/programs available. Popular applications include games, word processors (to write words) or additional programs like Adobe Flash Player (to watch some videos and play many games on internet sites). Adding new applications to Windows is called "installing". Applications can be bought/purchased on a CD or DVD. Applications can also be downloaded from the Internet. Some internet applications can be downloaded for free, and others can be bought using the internet.
|Release date||Product name||Notes||Last IE|
|May 22, 1990||Windows 3.xxx||Unsupported (help for problems no longer given by Microsoft)||5.x|
|July 27, 1993||Windows NT||Unsupported||5.x|
|August 24, 1995||Windows 9x||Unsupported||6|
|November 17, 1996||Windows CE||Unsupported||6|
|February 17, 2000||Windows 2000||Unsupported||6|
|September 14, 2000||Windows Me||Unsupported||6|
|October 25, 2001||Windows XP||Unsupported||8|
|November 30, 2006 (volume licensing)
January 30, 2007 (retail)
Version Changed to NT 6.0.6001 with SP1 (4 February 2008)
|July 2007||Windows Home Server 20xx||Supported (Microsoft will help fix problems for this kind of Windows, including problems that make your computer less safe)||8|
|February 2008||Windows Server 2008||Supported||9|
|October 22, 2009||Windows 7||Supported||11|
|October 26, 2012||Windows 8.x||Supported||11|
|August 26, 2012||Windows RT 8.x||Supported||11|
|September 4, 2012||Windows Server 2012||Supported|
|July 29, 2015||Windows 10||Supported||11 or Edge|
Many users complain that Windows creates problems for them. Some users complain that Windows made their computers slower when they changed from DOS. Many people also complain about problems that make their computer less safe to use, even though Microsoft tries to fix these problems. Many computer viruses are created to infect computers running Windows since it is such a popular operating system. Windows was the most popular operating system until recently (today mobile operating systems such as Android are more popular).