Microsoft Windows: Its History & Future

2175 words - 9 pages

When we analyze the functionality of any computer, it is evident that the operating system is among its most important components. Today, the Windows operating system, in particular, has emerged as the top in its class in popularity among the general public. Windows has come a long way from its humble beginnings some eighteen years ago. In this paper, we will be discussing the evolutionary stages in the development of Windows from its beginning up to the present and then take a look at the direction that it is going. The importance of a computer's operating system cannot be over emphasized. It is the first piece of software that we view when we boot up and the last piece that we see when we log off. It has the complexity to empower the programs that we run and make them come to life for us. The operating system is the computer's central brain and directs every piece of hardware that we use, including such things as mouse and printer functionality. Yet, to most people, what the operating system does and how it works remains a complete enigma. As previously stated, all computers must have an operating system to control the external peripherals and act as an interface between the user, the software, and the hardware. When we take a look back in history, we see that the first operating systems were somewhat "simplistic" in nature, compared to what they are today."On November 10, 1983, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, Microsoft Corporation formally announced Microsoft Windows, a next-generation operating system that would provide a graphical user interface (GUI) and multitasking environment for IBM computers. Microsoft promised that the new program would be on the shelf by April 1984. It might have been released under the original name of Interface Manager if Microsoft's marketing whiz, Rowland Hanson, had not convinced Microsoft founder Bill Gates that Windows was the better name." (Bellis)Microsoft launched its first version of Windows version 1.0 in "November of 1985." (TACKtech Corp) With the slogan, "Windows will instantly deliver you a more productive present. And a leap into the future", it promised great things on the horizon. It would prove to be just the first of many milestones ahead. Among the features that the first version offered included an easy-to-use graphical interface, device-independent graphics, and multitasking support. There were several delays in its development, but version 1.0 finally made its way to the sales floors of computer stores in 1985. Beginning sales were rather modest and the applications to select from were few. Included in the Windows 1.0 package were MS-DOS Executive, Calendar, Cardfile, Calculator, Notepad, Clock, Control Panel, PIF (Program Information File) Editor, Print Spooler, Clipboard, RAMDrive, Windows Write, and Windows Paint.Two years later, Windows 2.0 was introduced to the world. It proved to offer significant improvements to Windows over its predecessor. Icons and overlapping windows were...

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