Windows Operating Systems

1493 words [ 46 Versions ] - Last update: 2016-10-16 Page created: 2004-04-03 [SB]

Windows® Family

Windows Betriebssystem Familie Microsoft has began at 1981 with MSDOS 1.0 to develop operating systems for computers. One year ahead Microsoft has worked in cooperation on the Unix derivative operating system XENIX OS for different computer platforms, this OS field however was transferred to SCO in 1984. With Windows 1.0 were added in 1985 beside DOS a second OS line, which was meant first for single workplaces for Consumer (Home edition) and later with added network support.

The third product line was started with MS OS/2 1.0 in 1987. The professional edition was for server applications and network clients designed. In February 1989 the development of Windows NT started (NT = New Technology), the first version was published with Windows NT 3.1 in July 1993. Up to 200 developers had programmed at the same time on the approx. 6 million code lines. While MS-DOS was programmed nearly completely in assembler, Windows NT also consists of source code of the programming language C. Up to 450 developers were involved at the operating system Windows NT 3.51 which was released in May 1995. To record times up to 800 developers worked on the successor Windows NT 4.0 for the release in July 1996. Windows 2000 was the ambitious project following on this, up to 1.400 developer worked on the 29 million code lines. The development costs amounted to about 1 billion dollar. Altogether 5.000 developers worked on the 50 million code lines of assemblers, C and C++, for the Windows Server 2003 operating system with release in April 2003. The development of operating system versions for the MIPS, PowerPC and alpha architecture became gradually cancelled up to the market release of Windows 2000. This was also involved by the lacking driver and software support for these platforms.

With Windows CE 1.0 a new product line for small devices (PDAs) was created in 1996.

The former splitting into Consumer and Business Windows Edition is to be united with Windows XP (alias Whistler) again and continued in this product line. Thus is void for the first time the condition of MSDOS, which need even Windows 95 to ME for the system start. Directly with all Windows versions so far the drive assembly marking with the letters A to Z whereby the maximally managable number on 26 is limited, exluded mounted network directorys.

Driver models

MSDOS contains simplest hardware drivers for the access to harddisks, floppy disk drives, file system, serial and parallel interfaces, which do not correspond to todays modern hardware. As example color printers can be used to print text by commandline instruction but aren`t controllable in print quality or color. Hardware drivers can be loaded only statically and are active also without use loaded up to the restart.

- only 16-bit material mode driver
- only direct hardware access possible (caused by the single tasking system)

With Windows 3.x uniform interfaces were made available for the first time for applications and drivers. Driver formats of Windows 3.x are 386, drv and dll files.
Under Windows 95 to ME are a large amount of drivers from Windows 3.11 applicable, however that slows down the 16-bit driver by the frequent access changes between real mode into the protected mode for 32-bit driver.
In addition the new driver format vxd, which runs completely in the protect mode, cames with the ability to be loaded dynamic at requirement, depending on the driver type. New function for Windows is the Plug&Play support of hardware devices, standard drivers are attached to the operating system. The WDM driver model is provided for the standardization of drivers for Windows 98 and following operating systems, so far only for devices at the USB or Firewire channel.
Windows NT makes the setup of device services possible, alternatively with manual or automatic start or the complete deactivation of the service. The driver format vdd (Virtual Device Drivers) is available since Windows NT. The drivers are depending upon type separated in the user mode, in the Kernel mode with direct hardware access or also as virtual device drivers (VDD) of the operating system core.

IDC published the figures of the market shares of operating systems for the year 2001. The Microsoft Windows operating systems reached a share of 93.2%, Mac OS 2.2% and Linux 2.1% in the desktop market. In the server market Microsoft reached 49%, Linux 22.4%, NetWare 11.7% and UNIX 11.6%. One year ago the numbers for the market share for the desktop market were 92% for Windows systems, Mac OS 4% and Linux with almost 2%. Within the server market for Microsoft with 42% and Linux with 27%.

heise online published a report on 8th of October 2003 about the topic "Microsoft operating systems are further dominating" with the following informations. In the year 2002, 121 million licences were sold in the desktop market. These are divided into Windows with an estimated share of 93.8%, Mac OS with 2.9%, Linux with 2.8% and other operating systems with 0.5%. 5.7 million server operating systems have been sold. 55.1% are gained by Windows operating systems, Linux 23.1%, Unix with 11% and Novell Netware 9.9%.

2006 should be the next Windows Version Vista with the code name "Longhorn" avaiable. All Windows Editions should be based on the same core and were extended by specific modules depending on the field of application, language and hardware.


Date - Version
1981 Sept. - Interface Manager
1983 - Windows was announced
1985 Nov. - Windows 1.0 for 8088 CPUs released
1987 Dec. - Windows 2.0 for 386 CPUs, up to 16 mbyte RAM adressable
1988/89 - Windows 2.1 for 286/386
1990 - Windows 3.0
1992 April - 3.1 (janus) includes MS-DOS 5.0
1993 Nov. - Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (snowball) rudimentarily networkable
1995 Aug. - Windows 95 4.0 Codename "Chicago" was released
1996 Feb. - Windows 95 Version A (OSR1)
1996 Aug. - Windows 95 (detroit) Version B (OSR2) first time with FAT-32 support
1997 April - Windows 95 Version B (OSR2.1)
1997 Nov. - Windows 95 Version C (OSR2.5)
1998 June - Windows 98 (memphis) about 5,000 bugs fixed
1999 May - Windows 98 SE (Second Edition)
2000 Sept. - Windows Me (Millenium)
1980 Aug. - XENIX OS cooperation with SCO
1982 Feb. - XENIX 2.3 cooperation with SCO
1983 April - XENIX 3.0 cooperation with SCO
1987 - MS OS/2 1.0 cooperation with IBM
1988 - OS/2 1.1 cooperation with IBM
1991 - OS/2 1.3 cooperation with IBM
1992 - OS/2 2.0 cooperation with IBM
1993 July - Windows NT 3.1 & Advanced Server; 3.1 million lines of source code, supports HPFS
1994 Sept. - Windows NT 3.5 (daytona), Workstation and Server, with opengl and Netware client; 9 million lines of source code
1995 May - Windows NT 3.51, updae, transparent compression with NTFS file system, PCMCIA support, for Power-PCs available too
1996 Aug. - Windows NT 4.0 (cairo) 16 million lines of source code, no support for HPFS anymore
1996 - Windows NT Terminal Server Edition (hydra)
1997 - Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
1998 - Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition
2000 Feb. - Windows 2000, Windows version 5.0; 30 million lines of source code, about 10,000 bugs fixed
2000 Sept. - 2000 Datacenter Server
2001 Oct. - Windows XP (whistler), Windows version 5.1
2002 - Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
2003 April - Windows Server 2003 version 5.2 (whistler server)
2006 - Windows Vista, Windows version 6.0, Codename Longhorn (Client)
2006 June - Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 (Windows CCS 2003)
2008 Feb. - Windows Server 2008 (Codename Longhorn)
2007 July - Windows Home Server 1.0
2009 Oct. - Windows 7 (Codename Vienna)
2012 Oct. 26 - Windows 8
2012 Sept. - Windows Server 2012 released
2013 Oct. - Windows Server 2012 R2 released
2013 Oct. 18 - Windows 8.1 (Codename Blue)
2015 July 29 - Windows 10 final release, version 10.0.10240
2016 Oct. - Windows Server 2016, final release