Friday, April 05, 2024

Windows, an Introduction to the Operating System That Forever Changed Humanity

Can you imagine a world without the Windows operating system? I think the answer to this question depends on the generation. However, there was a time before the advent of the Windows operating system, more precisely before November 20, 1985. Computers were in their infancy and far from being as powerful as they are today. Back then, only a few could afford a computer. Users relied on operating systems based on the command line, devoid of any graphical interface. They had to input text commands to run programs or perform computing tasks.

These operating systems were quite complex and required users to have some programming knowledge. Among them, MS-DOS - Microsoft Disk Operating System stood out. It reigned over the computer world from August 12, 1981, until the late ‘90s. MS-DOS was a text-based operating system with a command-line interface, providing better file and program management. But it wasn’t just an operating system; it was the first commercially widespread OS for personal computers. The very first commercial operating system was GM-NAA I/O, produced in 1956 by General Motors’ research division for their IBM 704.

MS-DOS played a crucial role in popularizing computers during the 1980s and early 1990s. Its widespread use was partly due to the fact that it came bundled with many early IBM and IBM-PC compatible computers. Additionally, numerous software packages and games of that era were written specifically for MS-DOS. Although MS-DOS is no longer the dominant OS, it left a lasting impact on the history of computing and paved the way for broader adoption of personal computers.

Microsoft Windows Wallpaper

Microsoft Windows Wallpaper

Although in 1973, Xerox PARC developed the Alto personal computer, which had a bitmap display and was the first computer to demonstrate the metaphor of a desktop and a GUI - Graphical User Interface. However, the first personal computer with a GUI is considered to be the Apple Lisa, introduced by Apple in 1983. Unfortunately, despite its technological advancements, the Apple Lisa did not achieve commercial success due to its high price. Its initial cost was around $10,000, even though it was a pioneer in applying a graphical user interface.

Nevertheless, its key concepts and technologies paved the way for later successful Apple products, such as the Macintosh computer, which became an icon in the world of computing and technology. Then, on November 20, 1985, Microsoft Corporation introduced the first Windows operating system, which served as the foundation for today’s more modern Windows versions. Windows 1.0 introduced a graphical interface with a mouse, allowing users to interact with the computer through icons and windows by clicking the mouse, rather than typing on the keyboard. This made working on computers much more intuitive and easier for the average user.

Since then, the Windows operating system has continuously evolved, improving its functionalities and user experience. Today, Windows exists in various versions and has become one of the most popular operating systems worldwide, used across different devices, from desktop computers and laptops to tablets and smartphones. To understand how these developments unfolded, We recommend watching the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999), which portrays true events related to the rise of personal 

An Overview of Windows Operating System Development

For Windows today, we say that it is the popular operating system of Microsoft Corporation. Besides the operating system, there are also servers. Microsoft operating systems can be categorized based on specific user needs:

  • Windows Home Edition: Designed for home users.
  • Windows Professional Edition: Intended for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Windows Enterprise Edition: Targeted at large organizations and enterprises.
  • Windows Education Edition: Geared toward educational institutions.
Of course, there are various types of licenses and restrictions, which affect the pricing of licenses. For example, if you are involved in programming, you would likely prefer the Windows Professional Edition over the Windows Home Edition due to certain limitations in the latter. As Windows operating systems are used on various devices today, if you want to install Windows on a workstation - a computer with powerful hardware components designed for intensive tasks involving large amounts of data, there is a specific edition called Windows Professional Edition for Workstation.

But what exactly is Windows Server?

Microsoft Windows Server

Microsoft Windows Server

In short, while the Windows operating system is tailored for personal use and provides an excellent user experience, Windows Server is optimized for business environments, offering infrastructure for business services, network management, and resource allocation. In the field of informatics, servers act as hosts, providing functionality to other devices and programs known as clients. A single server can serve multiple clients, and conversely, a single client can utilize multiple servers.

Let me illustrate with an example: Suppose you want to host your website with an ISP - Internet service, and your website is built using the Django framework. Such a project requires that your web space has Django installed for your website to function. In this case, you’re not just renting shared hosting space; you’re seeking to rent your own server. Having your own server allows you to install various programs that wouldn’t be possible with shared hosting. Of course, server rental is significantly more expensive than merely leasing empty space.

Furthermore, Windows operating systems come with many pre-installed programs, whereas a server can be thought of as a Windows OS with highly restricted installations and programs. The installation process and device compatibility differ as well. Licensing also varies: Windows OS licensing typically targets individual users and can be based on the number of devices or users, whereas Windows Server 
licensing is usually tied to physical hardware, the number of processors, or user access. Windows Server editions include Standard, Datacenter, Essentials, and others, each offering different levels of functionality and licensing.

Windows Operating System Versions:

  • November 20, 1985: Windows 1.0
  • December 9, 1987: Windows 2.0
  • May 22, 1990: Windows 3.0
  • July 27, 1993: Windows NT 3.0
  • August 24, 1995: Windows 95
  • August 24, 1996: Windows NT 4.0
  • June 25, 1998: Windows 98
  • February 17, 2000: Windows 2000
  • September 14, 2000: Windows Me
  • October 25, 2001: Windows XP
  • January 30, 2007: Windows Vista
  • October 22, 2009: Windows 7
  • October 26, 2012: Windows 8
  • July 29, 2015: Windows 10
  • October 5, 2021: Windows 11
  • And so on.

Built-in Windows Applications:

  • Windows Explorer: For file and directory management.
  • Command Prompt: For executing computer commands and administrative tasks.
  • Notepad: For plain text editing.
  • Wordpad: For formatted text editing.
  • Paint: For drawing and image editing.
  • Calculator: A basic calculator application.
  • Windows Media Player: For multimedia playback.
  • Windows Defender: For virus protection and system security.
  • Microsoft Edge: A web browser.
  • Various Windows tools: Disk Cleanup, Disk Manager, Defragment and Optimize Drives, etc.

After purchasing a computer, selecting an operating system, and configuring it to your needs, you can install additional applications based on your requirements. We recommend keeping your Windows operating system up to date if your computer meets the hardware requirements. If you prefer not to pay for an operating system or want to explore other options, you can consider installing one of the free Linux distributions, although their usage may require a different learning curve.

Windows - 27. How to install Windows 11 Pro on new Laptop?

Windows - 28. What to do after installing Windows Pro 11 ?

No comments:

Post a Comment