Microsoft Windows Evolution: Chronological History from 1981 to 2024

Microsoft Windows is a group of operating systems. We take a gander at the historical backdrop of Microsoft’s Windows operating systems (Windows OS) and Windows versions from 1985 to the present day. Windows Evolution was started way back in 1981.

As Microsoft Windows Evolution, here we discussed different versions of Windows operating systems with the launch year.

History of Microsoft Windows Evolution

The Microsoft Windows operating systems (Windows OS) are more popular and are a group of operating systems for personal computers.

Microsoft Windows Evolution 2021

Microsoft’s complete term is “microcomputer software,” which was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4th, 1975. the CEO of Microsoft Corporation is Satya Nadella

What is the brief history of the Windows version? Microsoft Windows is the best operating system for personal computers and mobile phones.

It commands the lion’s share of the OS market worldwide. Linux and Mac operating systems are replacing Microsoft Windows.

Windows provides a graphical user interface (GUI), virtual memory management, multitasking, and support for some peripheral devices.

Microsoft also provides operating systems for servers and mobile phones.

The evolution of Windows computers has been taking place for some decades. Along with disk defragmenter and other system tools, system restore was a useful feature that was kept in later versions of Windows.

Subsequent versions have become increasingly sophisticated as they incorporate features of minicomputer operating systems.

history of Windows operating system

Microsoft Windows Evolution of PC OS

The following Windows Evolution details, along with the details of the history of MS-DOS and Windows operating systems, are intended for personal computers (PCs).

You will find a detailed chronology of Windows’ evolution (the evolution of the Windows operating system) here.

History of Windows operating system

Let us see the history of Microsoft windows below.

The first version of Microsoft Windows, released in 1985, was a primitive operating system with a graphical user interface (GUI) that was inspired by the Apple Macintosh.

Despite its limitations, Windows quickly became popular, due in part to its competitive pricing. Microsoft released several subsequent versions of Windows over the next two decades, each with increasingly more advanced features.

The release of Windows NT in 1993 marked a major milestone, as it was the first version of Windows designed to be a true multi-user operating system. Windows NT was also the first version of Windows to be based on a protected, 32-bit microkernel.

Windows 2000, released in 2000, was a significant upgrade from previous versions, with improved security features, Active Directory support, and better performance. Windows XP, released in 2001, built on these improvements and became the most widely used version of Windows ever.

In 2009, Microsoft released Windows 7, which made further improvements to performance, security, and stability. Windows 8, released in 2012, introduced a new user interface and was designed to be used on touchscreen devices.

Windows 10, released in 2015, is the most recent version of Windows and includes a number of significant improvements, such as the new Edge web browser and the Cortana digital assistant.

What was Before Windows 95?

1. MS-DOS – Microsoft Disk Operating System (1981)

When did Microsoft release its first version of Windows? MS-DOS was the standard operating system for IBM-compatible personal computers when it was first made by Microsoft for IBM. This is the first Windows operating system.

The underlying forms of DOS were exceptionally straightforward and looked like another operating framework called CP/M. The resultant structures have turned out to be progressively more advanced as they consolidated the highlights of minicomputer operating systems.

2. Windows 1.0 (1985)

Microsoft Windows 1.0 version
Microsoft Windows 1.0

In which year was the first edition of Windows launched?  What year was the first version of Windows introduced? Presented in 1985, Microsoft Windows 1.0 was named because of the processing boxes, or “windows,” that spoke to a major part of the operating framework. This is the first Windows version.

Rather than composing MS-DOS charges, Windows 1.0 enabled clients to point and snap to get to the windows.

Microsoft released the first graphical user interface in Windows 1.0, but it was not released until November 1985, nearly two years after Apple introduced the Mac OS.

3. Windows 2.0 (1987)

In 1987, Microsoft launched Windows 2.0, which was intended for the Intel 286 processor. This adaptation included work area symbols, console alternate ways, and enhanced design bolsters.

Windows 2.0 was released in November 1987. It offered a cogent advance over Windows 1.0. It has several appearances, like the overlapping of Windows, new keyboard shortcuts, and a bigger GUI. It also featured a plethora of new applications.

After some time windows, 2.1 was released, which could multi-task several applications and had bigger anamnesis administration schemes. Visually, it was identical to Windows 2.0.

4. Windows 3 (1990)

windows 3.0 version

Windows 3.0 was launched in May 1990, offering better symbols, execution, and propelled illustrations with 16 hues intended for Intel 386 processors.

This adaptation is the first launch that gives the standard “look and feel” of Microsoft Windows for a long time to come. MS Windows 3.0 included a Program Manager, File Manager, and Print Manager, and diversions (Hearts, Minesweeper, and Solitaire).

Microsoft released Windows 3.1 in 1992. Windows NT 3.1 came out in 1993. It was the first version of the new Windows NT operating system.

The first version of the Windows media player was introduced in 1991 with Windows 3 by including a Multimedia extension.

Windows 3.0 and 3.1 brought an advance in the computer industry. They were broadly adopted by several pc manufacturers. Apple’s Mac OS was accustomed to being installed on Apple computers.

Windows 3.0 brought an abundance of new features into the Windows realm. It actually improved multitasking and gave users access to more anamnesis modules than previous versions.

Because the majority of the coding was done in accumulation language, this Windows was faster and more reliable. Windows 3.1 was the first released 16-bit operating system.

5. Microsoft Bob

microsoft bob OS

Microsoft Bob was a GUI experiment by Microsoft that was innovative, but it failed. It presented a cartoon view of an office, where users could easily access their programs. Microsoft Bob is usually mentioned as one of the worst products from Microsoft.

6. Windows 95 (August 1995)

windows 95 version

Windows 95 came out in 1995, and it was a big step forward for the Windows operating system. This OS was a critical progression over its forerunner, Windows 3.1.

In addition to a new user interface, Windows 95 includes several important interior improvements.

Maybe most significantly, it supports 32-bit applications, which implies that applications composed particularly for this operating framework should run substantially faster.

Even though Windows 95 can run both old Windows and DOS programs, it has mostly replaced DOS as the main platform.

This has implied the expulsion of a significant number of the old DOS impediments, for example, 640K of the first memory and 8-character filenames.

It was released on August 24th, 1995, and sold more than one million copies within four days.

Other vital highlights of this operating framework are the capacity to consequently recognize and design equipment (attachment and play).

7 Windows NT 3.1 – 4.0 (1993-1996)

Microsoft windowsNT version

Microsoft Windows NT (New Technology) is a 32-bit operating framework that backs preemptive multitasking.

Windows NT comes in two versions: Windows NT Server, intended to go about as a server in systems, and Windows NT Workstation, for remaining solitary or customer workstations.

The desktop interface is also present for running Windows-based applications, but it will not run any desktop applications not included in the system.

the 1995 consumer release Windows 95 fully integrated Windows and dos and offered built-in internet support including the world wide web browser internet explorer

What was after 1995?

8. Windows 98 (June 1998)

windows 98 version

Windows 98 offers bolster for various new advancements, including FAT32, AGP, MMX, USB, DVD, and ACPI.

The most noticeable element, however, is the Active Desktop, which coordinates the Web program (Internet Explorer) with the operating framework.

Windows 98 was the last great DOS-based window. From the client’s perspective, there is no distinction between getting to an archive living locally on the client’s hard drive or on a Web server most of the way around the globe.

It is a hybrid 16bit and 32bit monolithic product with a boot stage based on MS-DOS.  

The Windows 98 start menu introduced an attractive button.  In 1999, Microsoft released Windows 98 Second Edition. The user control panel is an added feature to see the installed programs.

Windows 98 introduced the address bar and front-back navigation buttons in Windows Explorer, along with useful options for easy browsing.

9. Windows 2000 (February 2000)

windows 2000 version

Windows 2000 is an operating framework for business work areas and PC systems to run programming applications, interface with Internet and intranet destinations, and access records, printers, and system assets.

Microsoft launched four versions of Windows 2000: Professional (for business work areas and workstation systems), Server (both a Web server and an office server), Advanced Server (for line-of-business applications), and Data-centre Server (for high-activity PC systems). Microsoft Windows 2000 was released on February 17, 2000.

10. Windows ME – Millennium Edition (September 2000)

Windows ME - Millennium Edition

The Windows Millennium Edition, called “Windows Me” was a refresh to the Microsoft Windows 98 center and incorporated a few highlights of the Windows 2000 operating framework. This adaptation likewise evacuated the “boot in DOS” choice. It was released on 14 September 2000.

11. Windows XP (October 2001)

windows XP
Windows XP version

Windows XP was released on August  24th, 2001. Alongside an overhauled look and feel to the user interface, the new operating framework is based on the Windows 2000 portion, giving the client a more steady and solid condition than past forms of Windows.

Windows XP comes in two adaptations, Windows XP Home and Professional. Microsoft concentrated on portability for the two releases, including attachment and playback highlights for interfacing with remote systems. The operating framework likewise uses the 802.11x remote security standard. Windows XP is one of Microsoft’s top-of-the-line items.

The users gave Microsoft XP Service Pack 2 great popularity. Microsoft Windows XP media center edition 2005 was released on October 12, 2004

Microsoft introduced a series of Windows XP products between 2001 and 2006

VersionsReleased Dates
MS Windows XP 64 Bit Edition V92202)   October 2001
Windows XP Media Centre Edition  October 2002
MS Windows XP 64 Bit Edition V(2003)  March 2003
Windows Server 2003    April 2003
MS Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2004  September 2003
Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005  October 2004
MS Windows XP Professional X64 Edition April 2005
Windows Server 2003 R2  December 2005
MS Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs  July 2006

12. Windows Vista (November 2006)

windows vista version

In 2005, Microsoft announced its next operating system code-named “Longhorn”. After a few days, it was named “Windows Vista” and released on July 23, 2005.

Windows Vista was an improvement over Windows XP in terms of quality, security, ease of sending, performance, and sense. It was released in November 2006.

This version added the ability to detect equipment issues before they occur, security features to protect against the most recent dangers, a faster start-up time, and low power utilization of the new rest state.

Most of the time, Windows Vista works better than Windows XP on the same hardware. Microsoft Windows Vista simplifies and unifies how work areas are designed and managed, which lowers the cost of keeping systems up to date.

13. MS Windows 7 (October 2009)

Microsoft Windows 7 version
Microsoft Windows 7 version

Microsoft Corporation launched Windows 7 on July 22, 2009, as the most recent in the 25-year-old line of Windows operating systems and as the successor to Windows Vista (which itself had taken after Windows XP). This product came out at the same time as Windows Server 2008 R2, which is a server that works with Windows 7.

Multi-touch support; Internet Explorer 8, improved execution and startup time; Aero Snap, Aero Shake, support for virtual hard drives, a better-than-ever Windows Media Center, and enhanced security are among the upgrades and new features in Microsoft Windows 7.

Microsoft introduced Windows Home Server on April 7th, 2008, and Windows Server 2008 on February 27th, 2008.  The desktop was still included, which resembled Windows 7.

Microsoft Windows Movie Maker and Windows DVD Maker were introduced in this version. It is not available with the Windows 10 version.

14. MS Windows 8

windows 8 version

Microsoft Corporation launched MS Windows 8, released on October 17, 2013. This is an upgraded operating framework. Microsoft produced this product from the beginning on account of touchscreen use. This product is also a close moment in the capabilities that empower MS Windows 8 PCs to load and start-up in a matter of seconds as opposed to minutes.

Microsoft Windows 8 will replace the traditional look and feel of the Microsoft Windows OS with the “Metro” design system interface that was first used in the Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system.

The main part of the Metro UI is the “Begin screen,” which is made up of “Live Tiles,” which are links to apps and features that change and update as you use them. Windows 8 underpins both x86 PCs and ARM processors.

After the introduction of Microsoft Windows 8, Microsoft introduced Windows Server 2008 R2 in 2009, MS Windows Home Server 2001 in 2011, Windows Thin PC in 2011, and MS Windows Server 2012 in September 2012. The desktop was still included, which resembled Windows 7 after the last update. Windows 8 features a newly designed user interface.

It was designed to make it easier for touchscreen users to use Windows. The new interface came with a new full-screen application platform and a new version of the start menu called the “start screen.”

The Microsoft Windows store was introduced in this version. Most of the applications or software are available in the Windows store.

15. Windows 10

windows 10 version
Microsoft Windows 10 version

What is the latest version of Microsoft Windows called? Windows 10 is Microsoft’s Windows successor to Windows 8. Windows 10 is the last version of Windows released traditionally.

After a “specialized see” beta of the new operating framework in the fall of 2014 and a “shopper see” beta in the middle of 2015, Windows 10 came out on July 29, 2015.

Microsoft says that Windows 10 will start up and run quickly, improve security, and bring back the Start button Menu in a longer form. This adaptation of Windows will likewise highlight Microsoft Edge, Microsoft’s new program.

Any device that can run Windows 10, like tablets, PCs, cell phones, and Xboxes, can upgrade to Windows 10. This includes pirated copies of Windows. This is a powerful version of personal computing.

Cortana is a special feature in this version. It is a specially designed virtual assistant. Tablet mode is another added feature with improved performance.

Windows 10 is the latest development in Windows Evolution history. Memory management, maximum hardware support, and Internet Explorer for Microsoft Edge, a new browser built on the Google Chrome platform, are all important features that come with this version.

Windows provides a graphical user interface (GUI), virtual memory management, multitasking, and support for many peripheral devices.

16. Window 11

Windows 11 is not another operating system. There is no upcoming version from Microsoft. This is confirmed by the Microsoft community. So beware of the pirated versions before buying the original version. A few of the sites are promoting this version. Here is the confirmation of the Windows 11 version. In 2020, Microsoft is planning to release two important Windows updates for the Windows 10 version.

Windows 11 is the next operating system after Windows 10. It is likely to be released in 2018. But the features of Windows 11 haven’t been revealed yet. However, it is expected to have some great features. It is likely to come up with quantum paper and a new browser. Windows 11 will be more secure than Windows 10.

Microsoft Operating Systems for Servers and Mobile Devices

Microsoft has made operating systems for government agencies, handheld devices, and cell phones, as well as operating systems for personal computers (PCs).

  • Released Windows Server (March 2003)
  • MS Windows CE (November 2006)
  • Windows Mobile (April 2000)
  • MS Windows Phone (November 2010)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the order of Windows operating systems?

    The first Windows operating system is released in 1985 officially. Till now 15 versions from DoS mode to Windows 10.

  2. Will there be a Windows 11?

    Microsoft team officially announced their latest Windows version as “Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we are still working on Windows 10”. this is the message from Jerry Nixion (Microsoft Employee)

  3. Is Windows 10 the last OS?

    Yes, Windows 10 is the last version of Windows and was officially announced by the Microsoft team.

  4. How long will Windows 10 be supported?

    We will receive a minimum of 10 years of updating support from the Windows team. The mainstream support is scheduled to end on October 13, 2020, and extended support will end on October 14, 2025.

  5. What is the latest Windows version 2024 ?

    Windows 11 latest updated version, which is released on September 24, 2021. Maybe the new update released within six months.


The above Microsoft Windows Evolution is one of the top trending programming technologies in the world. Every time Microsoft releases a new feature as part of a security update,

Bill Gates announced that the new version of Windows CE will be called Pocket PC.

Over the last thirty years, the advancement of technology has progressed at a rapid pace and given a chance for a better life for human beings.

Before releasing the complete version, Microsoft is releasing a technical preview (consumer version) that includes support. After testing those versions with users and developers, they are finally released into the enterprise market at attractive prices.  

Windows 10 is the current release of the Microsoft Windows operating system. 

This technology may even be more advanced in the coming decades.

Satish Ithamsetty
Satish Ithamsetty

Satish Ithamsetty is a versatile professional with expertise in blogging, teaching, and digital marketing. He is also a tech enthusiast who keeps himself updated with the latest trends and advancements in the field. With a passion for sharing knowledge and insights, Satish is committed to helping others succeed in the online world.