The Evolution of Microsoft Operating Systems Leading up to Windows 7

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Microsoft Operating Systems

Microsoft has over time changed the trend of computing all over the world. Its contributions in the world’s technology are going to be key in this paper. This paper intends to examine Microsoft advanced from its earliest Microsoft operating systems to the present day release of windows 7. It will also put into consideration important aspects like hardware and software improvements over time, business needs, cultural perspectives, security threats, and the industry trends too

Earliest Microsoft operating systems to the present-day release of Windows 7

            Microsoft windows is a series of Graphic User Interface based software operating systems produced by Microsoft. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment known as windows in November 1985, to be used as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Microsoft windows came to dominate the world’s personal computer market, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced previously (Paul & Rafael, 2009).

            The most recent client version of windows is windows 7; the most recent server version is windows server 2008 R2, the most recent mobile device version is windows mobile 6.5.

            Microsoft windows products have evolved from a single, one-size-fits-all desktop operating system into a diverse family of operating systems and mobile technologies. Presently, windows products help people worldwide achieve their potential at work, home, and just about any place in between .

 

History Of Microsoft Windows Announcements And Releases

Year

Microsoft windows released

November 10, 1983

Microsoft windows was announced

November  20, 1985

Microsoft windows 1.0 was introduced

December 9, 1987

Microsoft windows 2.0 was introduced on market.

December 9, 1987

Microsoft windows/386 or windows 386 was introduced.

June 1988

Microsoft windows /286 or windows 286 was introduced.

May 22, 1990

Microsoft windows 3.0 was brought on market.

1991

Following its decision not to develop operating systems cooperatively with IBM, Microsoft windows changed the name of OS/2 to windows NT.

October 1991

Microsoft windows 3.0 or windows 3.0a with multimedia was released.

April 1992

Microsoft windows 3.1 was released

October 1992

Microsoft Windows for work groups 3.1 was released

July 27, 1993

Microsoft windows NT 3.1 was released.

February 1994

Microsoft windows for work groups 3.11 was released

September 21, 1994

Microsoft windows NT3.5 was released

May 30, 1995

Microsoft windows 3.51 was released

August 24, 1995

Microsoft windows 95 was released

July 29, 1996

Microsoft NT 4.0 was released

November 1996

Microsoft  windows CE 1.0 was introduced

November 1997

Microsoft windows CE 2.0 was released

June 1998

Microsoft windows 98 was released

July 1998

Microsoft windows CE 2.1 was released

October 1998

Microsoft announced that future releases of windows NT would no longer have the initials of NT and that the next edition would be windows 2000.

May 5, 1999

Microsoft windows 98 SE (Second Edition) was released

1999

Microsoft windows CE 3.0 was released

January 4, 2000

CES Bill Gates announced that the new version of windows CE would be called Pocket PC.

February 17, 2000

Microsoft windows 2000 was released

June 19, 2000

Microsoft windows ME (Millennium) was released

October 25, 2001

 Microsoft windows XP was released

March 28, 2001

Microsoft windows XP 64-Bit Edition (Version 2002) for Itanium systems was released

March 28, 2003

Microsoft windows server 2003 was released

March 28, 2003

Microsoft windows XP 64- Bit Edition (version 2003) for Itanium 2 systems was released

December 18, 2003

Microsoft windows XP Media Center Edition 2003 was released

October 12, 2004

Microsoft windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 was released

April 24, 2005

Microsoft windows XP professional x64 Edition was released

July 23, 2005

Microsoft announced that its next operating system; codenamed “Longhorn” would be named Windows Vista

November 30, 2006

Microsoft released Microsoft Windows Vista and to corporations.

January 30, 2007

Microsoft released Microsoft Windows Vista and Office 2007 to the general public

October 22, 2009

Microsoft released Windows 7

2010

Microsoft released windows server 2008

Microsoft Windows and hardware improvements

Computer hardware has evolved from extremely big machines to the smallest machine of the state of art. As sizes of the machines kept reducing from big to small machine, the better, simple or in some cases complex, software also grew. Microsoft windows kept improving to better versions to be able to support the improved hardware that were being made.

Microsoft windows evolutions versus computer security

            In response to the common criticism of Microsoft’s security vulnerability, different versions of Microsoft windows were released to counter the criticism. Windows Vista in particular came to improve the state of security in windows operating system. It is worth noting that previous windows versions were usually susceptible to malware, viruses and buffer overflows. In his commitment to ensuring windows systems security, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced in 2002 a companywide trustworthy computing initiative which aimed to incorporate security into every aspect of software development at the company. Microsoft states that it prioritized improving the security of windows XP and windows Server 2003.

The inclusion of a number of new digital rights management technologies aimed at restricting the copying of protected digital media, lack of compatibility with some pre-Vista hardware and software, and the number of authorization prompts for User Account Control. As a result of these and other issues, Windows Vista had seen initial adoption and satisfaction rates lower than Windows XP .

Microsoft Windows Improvements versus Meeting Business Needs

With the launch of windows 7 businesses which were formerly using windows Vista, got better service. This is because they overcame the barriers they suffered with vista. Those barriers include poor application compatibility, poor device driver support, and of course, the infamous user account control (UAC) security feature, among others. This is because, Two years after Vista was released, more than 70 percent of business computers were still running XP.

Windows 7 is a somewhat slimmed-down "interim" OS release, Like Vista, Windows 7 shares the same code base for server and client, allowing simplified testing for Microsoft and much-improved maintenance for customers. A single service pack can be used to update both server and client.

While the core components of Vista and Windows 7 are the same, the improved performance of the new OS may alter perceptions that had turned negative with Vista. If that is the case with windows 7 and vista, it is therefore evident that it was the case with all the other versions of Microsoft windows that were released before. Microsoft is always in touch with the needs of its clients that is why it keeps altering and updating its products (Shelly et al 2009).

Microsoft windows products are easy to use for not only big multibillion dollar organizations but also easily used by small and medium size businesses. This is because Microsoft windows user interfaces are friendly to all kinds of its users/clients.

Industry trends .

            Computer software in which Microsoft deals, never started in 1985 like Microsoft did. There are some older operating systems that were used before the coming of Microsoft. But for Microsoft to be the world’s best Operating Systems provider, requires a lot.

It should be remembered that UNIX, Linux and other Operating systems existed before Microsoft did. However Microsoft has been able to beat their sales just because Microsoft is committed to offering the best for its clients. Microsoft has been consistent in producing new and most recent versions of its products not only impress its clients but also to be able to stage good competition against its competitors. As a way of competing fairly, Microsoft decided not to develop operating systems cooperatively with IBM, in 1991 and as a result, Microsoft windows changed the name of OS/2 to Windows NT .

 

Microsoft And Cultural Perspectives

From the cultural perspective Microsoft initiated the ‘Most Valuable Professional” award since the early 1990s. Microsoft has recognizes the inspiring activities of MVPs around the world with the MVP Award. MVPs freely share their deep knowledge, real-world experience, and impartial, objective feedback to help people enhance the way they use technology. Of more than 100 million users who participate in technology communities, around 4,000 are recognized as Microsoft MVPs.

MVPs make exceptional contributions to technical communities, sharing their passion, knowledge, and know-how. Meanwhile, because MVPs hear the opinions and needs of many others in the technical community, they are well-placed to share highly focused feedback with Microsoft.

MVPs are independent experts who are offered a close connection with people at Microsoft. To acknowledge MVPs’ leadership and provide a platform to help support their efforts, Microsoft often gives MVPs early access to Microsoft products, as well as the opportunity to pass on their highly targeted feedback and recommendations about product design, development, and support.

Awarded in over ninety technology areas, MVPs reflect Microsoft's global customer base and the breadth of Microsoft's technologies. A significant proportion of new MVPs represent emerging markets in China, Russia, and Korea, as well as smaller markets including Ghana, Nepal, and Kazakhstan.

In line with culture, it should be noted that some of the Microsoft windows  are released in specific languages other than English such languages include, Japanese, Chinese, Germany, French, Italian, and so many other languages. This is not a matter of accident but it is rather a deliberate action intended to cater for the diverse cultures in the world.

In conclusion, a nut shell, it is worth noting that Microsoft windows has gone through lots of evolutions. These evolutions are not merely for the sake but many were aimed at putting Microsoft as a company at a better competitive position with its competitors. However, through such health competition the world has not remained the same. Government agencies all over the world, Companies and individuals have always benefited from the changes Microsoft has always been doing onto its products.

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