Those of you who are reading this article via a computer, not a Mac or MacBook, will almost certainly have the Windows operating system running your machine. Net Applications, an analytical company that specialises in analysing computer users’ behaviours and patterns, released figures in July 2017 that showed computer operating different versions of the Windows operating system accounted for almost 90 percent of all computers in the world; the exact figure was 88.40 percent.

Although hugely popular in desktop and laptop computers, Windows has failed to break into the highly profitable mobile. The same Net Applications report in July 2017 showed only 0.12 percent of people who accessed the internet via a mobile device did so via a Windows operating system; this market is heavily dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

Windows Operating System Is Born

Microsoft began working on the first ever edition of Windows back in 1981 when it announced it was making a program called Interface Manager. The company made an official announcement in November 1983 but did not launch what would become Windows 1.0 until two years later. The older versions of Windows were MS-DOS based and while advanced for their time, were primitive compared to the Windows that we have come to know and love today.

Windows 95 launched on August 1995 was the first version of Microsoft’s operating system to support long file names of up to 255 characters. Until Windows 95 hit the market, users had to be creative with their file names as they were severely restricted in regard to the number of characters they could use. This version of Windows also supported plug and play and native 32-bit applications.

Perhaps the most popular version of Windows was Windows XP which was launched in October 2001 and designed to replace Windows 95. Many users considered Windows XP the most stable release and the most ground-breaking, too.

Windows Vista Met with Negativity

Windows XP was replaced by Windows Vista and this was not an operating system that was greeted with open arms by computer users. This is because users frequently complained Windows Vista was responsible for their computers taking longer to boot, with some claiming their machine had suffered significant reductions in performance.

Microsoft must have realised that Windows Vista was not up to their high standards and immediately started work on Windows 7. On July 22, 2009, two years and six months after releasing Windows Vista, Windows 7 was released into the public domain.

Windows 7 had plenty of new features and some performance improvements, but the good feeling of users was soon damaged again when Microsoft released Windows 8 and 8.1 in October 2012. This seemed to be optimized for touch-based devices, such as tablets and users hated the fact Microsoft had removed the Start menu. Windows 8.1 allowed users to make the interface look like a traditional version of Windows.

Windows 10 is the current version of Windows and it is widely used around the world. Users could upgrade from Windows 7 and 8.1 for free. So far, Windows 10 has been a major hit with computer users, thanks in part to frequent updates that always seem to bring useful additions to the operating system.