The Microsoft Windows Operating System

Using the Windows Operating System

Microsoft forever changed the way people use computers by introducing the Windows Operating System. After years of development, the first commercially available Windows was released as an add-on to MS-DOS. Since then, Windows has added many features, making it the most popular operating system on the planet.

The Modern Age

Windows began evolving into its modern form with the release of Windows NT in 1993. Originally part of the failed OS/2 product that involved IBM, the Windows NT kernel became the foundation of future Windows versions, by freeing it from its MS-DOS foundation.

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Windows 95 became the first version of Windows that looks and feels like the Windows we now use. Although Windows 95 had its pros and cons, it was one of the most popular versions of Windows up to that time. Its successor, Windows 98 became even more popular, eclipsing the unpopular Windows Millennium version.

Microsoft unveiled Windows XP in 2001, an operating system still widely in use, despite Microsoft's decision to stop providing support for it. Business and consumer computer users continued using Windows XP until Windows 7, and Windows 8 became widely adopted. Everything in the world of Windows was calm for several years until Windows 10 changed everything.

Introducing Windows 10

Rather than again releasing another update to Windows, Microsoft chose to rebuild Windows from the ground up, embedding major security and usability features that promise to neutralize online threats. Windows 10 comes with its set of pros and cons. Features such as Windows Hello improve safety, but rely on hardware not commonly available to consumers and businesses.

Cortana, the new Microsoft Virtual Assistant, automates many tasks in Windows, including search, tasks, appointments and more. Many applications that integrate with Cortana might enter the market, giving Windows users an opportunity to do more computing by voice than previously thought possible.

As the pros and cons of Cortana play out in the marketplace, Windows 10 users have the use of Edge, the new Microsoft browser that resists malware and allows users to write on Web pages. Though hardened against threats, the new browser update has yet to gain wide acceptance among users.