Windows Operating System [Definition, Evolution & Features]

Larissa updated on Jan 11, 2024 | Home > Knowledge Center

Generally, the Operating System, like Windows Operating System, manages all sources of a computer system internally. An Operating System manages all the processes and also fulfills the request of application software. You can say Operating systems facilitate communication between the user and the computer. All in all, your computer can't work without it.

🖥️What is the Windows Operating System

introduction to windows operating system

Just like what we have mentioned above, an Operating System is the program that manages all of the application programs in a computer. All the working of a computer system depends on it. Further, it performs all the functions as follows:

  • Storage Management
  • Memory Management
  • Processor Management 
  • Device Management
  • File Management

Windows is a graphical Operating System developed by Microsoft that offers users a user-friendly interface for tasks such as file management, program execution, gaming, video playback, and internet access. 

The advent of the Windows Operating System has had a far-reaching impact on the technology industry. Its introduction marked a shift toward a more visually-oriented interface, which brings great simplicity for ordinary people or novice computer users to operate the computer. Born in 1985, its first version soon dominated the PC market, for it was introduced as the first graphical user interface for IBM-compatible PCs. Since then, the Windows Operating System has undergone ongoing development, and subsequent versions with greater functionality have secured its supremacy.

🧬Evolution & Types of Windows

types of windows system

The first version of the Windows Operating System, Windows 1.0, was released in November 1985. It was the first graphical Operating System designed for business purposes. It could be used on PCs using Intel 8086 or 8088 processors. It had a simple interface and offered support for several applications, such as Paintbrush, Write, and Calculator.

Let us understand the key versions of the Windows Operating System one by one: 

  • Windows 95 

Windows 95, released in 1995, was a milestone for modern Operating Systems. Windows 95 offered a completely new interface, including the Start button, file explorer, Taskbar, and support for plug-and-play hardware. Windows 95 also added support for 32-bit programs and introduced features such as Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft. 

  • Windows XP

Windows XP is deemed the best edition of the Windows Operating System. Launched on 25 October 2001, it provided some great features, such as the replacement of the start button and Taskbar with the green start button, blue Taskbar, and a Vista wallpaper.

  • Windows 7

Windows 7 was released on 22 October 2009. With its faster speed, it provides more stability and ease to users compared to the older versions. 

  • Windows 8

Windows 8 was introduced by Microsoft on 26 October 2012. Some new features like a fast Operating System, support for USB 3.0 devices, along with Web Store were added in this version.

  • Windows 10

Windows 10 was established on 29 July 2015 with some fantastic new features like tablet mode. It was designed for every device, like Phones and Windows tablets.

Different versions have their own features, and the latest version must be improved in terms of running speed, user experiences, and so on. Check out their own advantages in the following table.

Windows 95

  • First complete Operating System
  • Merging MS-DOS and Windows products
  • Simplified plug-and-play features
  • Introduction of Taskbar and Start menu
  • Advanced from 16-bit GUI to 32-bit GUI
  • Long file names could be saved

Windows XP

  • Advanced portable PC support
  • Automatic wireless connection support
  • Fast start-up
  • Better Graphical User Interface
  • Help and support center

Windows 7

  • Redesigned Windows shell
  • Incremental upgrade
  • Adding libraries to the file management system
  • Extended hardware

Windows 8

  • Installing new devices like Laptops, Mobile phones, tablets, etc.
  • Increasing integration with cloud services
  • Improved Windows Store service
  • New security features were introduced
  • Directly downloading Online Applications

Windows 10

  • A virtual desktop system
  • Ability to run Windows store apps within Windows on the desktop rather than in the full-screen mode
  • new icons
  • Automatically compresses the file size

🛠️Features and Functionalities of the Windows Operating System

Since we already have a full understanding of key versions of the Window Operating System, it's time for us to dig into the Features and functionalities of it.

A graphical user interface is an interface where a user can interact with devices such as computers and smartphones just using icons, menus, and other visual indicators or representations.

  • File management and organization

File management means the process of organizing information in an easily retrievable fashion. It involves creating an organized file storage structure or using computer storage devices to hold information. Businesses can reduce clutter, improve organization, and enhance productivity by implementing an effective file management system,

  • Software compatibility

Software compatibility refers to how well different software programs can operate together without any problems. This encompasses both compatibility between various versions of the same software and compatibility between software programs created by different developers. 

  • Security and privacy protection

Security and privacy protection refers to something that Windows Operating System applies to guard your system and information from the moment it starts up, providing fundamental chip-to-cloud protection.

  • Networking capabilities and Internet connectivity

It refers to the ability to interface with a communication network that aims to communicate data to or from an IoT device. The network capability and internet connectivity allow a device to be connected to and use a communication network.

  • Microsoft Store and the application ecosystem

The Microsoft Store is an online shop for users to buy and download various items. And the Microsoft ecosystem is aimed at corporate customers to a greater extent compared to individual users.

Sum Up

In conclusion, the evolution of Windows paints us a grand picture of its development. This post walks us through the history and background of the Windows Operating System so that we get to know more about the features and functionalities of its different versions.

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Updated by Larissa

Larissa has rich experience in writing technical articles and is now a professional editor at EaseUS. She is good at writing articles about data recovery, disk cloning, disk partitioning, data backup, and other related knowledge. Her detailed and ultimate guides help users find effective solutions to their problems. She is fond of traveling, reading, and riding in her spare time.

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