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Comparison of Microsoft Windows versions

From Wikipedia, in a visual modern way

Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of computer software operating systems created by Microsoft. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows in November 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

All versions of Microsoft Windows are commercial proprietary software.

Discover more about Comparison of Microsoft Windows versions related topics

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows

Windows is a group of several proprietary graphical operating system families developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. For example, Windows NT for consumers, Windows Server for servers, and Windows IoT for embedded systems. Defunct Windows families include Windows 9x, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone.

Microsoft

Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology corporation producing computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Headquartered at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft's best-known software products are the Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers. Microsoft ranked No. 21 in the 2020 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue; it was the world's largest software maker by revenue as of 2019. It is one of the Big Five American information technology companies, alongside Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, and Meta (Facebook).

MS-DOS

MS-DOS

MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft. Collectively, MS-DOS, its rebranding as IBM PC DOS, and a few operating systems attempting to be compatible with MS-DOS, are sometimes referred to as "DOS". MS-DOS was the main operating system for IBM PC compatibles during the 1980s, from which point it was gradually superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface (GUI), in various generations of the graphical Microsoft Windows operating system.

Graphical user interface

Graphical user interface

The GUI, graphical user interface, is a form of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and audio indicator such as primary notation, instead of text-based UIs, typed command labels or text navigation. GUIs were introduced in reaction to the perceived steep learning curve of CLIs, which require commands to be typed on a computer keyboard.

Commercial software

Commercial software

Commercial software, or seldom payware, is a computer software that is produced for sale or that serves commercial purposes. Commercial software can be proprietary software or free and open-source software.

Proprietary software

Proprietary software

Proprietary software is software that is deemed within the free and open-source software community to be non-free because its creator, publisher, or other rightsholder or rightsholder partner exercises a legal monopoly afforded by modern copyright and intellectual property law to exclude the recipient from freely sharing the software or modifying it, and—in some cases, as is the case with some patent-encumbered and EULA-bound software—from making use of the software on their own, thereby restricting his or her freedoms. It is often contrasted with open-source or free software. For this reason, it is also known as non-free software or closed-source software.

General information

Basic general information about Windows.

DOS shells

Name Release date Latest version Status support Codename OS required Architecture Editions Target market
Windows 1.0 1985-11-20 1.04 (1987-04-08) Unsupported
(2001-12-31)
Interface Manager DOS 2.0 or higher 16-bit Desktops
Windows 2.0 1987-09-08 2.03 (1987-12-09) Unsupported
(2001-12-31)
DOS 3.0 or higher 16-bit Desktops
Windows 2.1x 1988-05-27 2.11 (1989-03-13) Unsupported
(2001-12-31)
DOS 3.0 or higher 16-bit Desktops
Windows 3.0 1990-05-22 3.0a with
Multimedia Extensions
(1991-10-20)
Unsupported
(2001-12-31)
DOS 3.1 or higher 16-bit Windows 3.0
Windows 3.0a
Windows 3.0a with Multimedia Extensions
Desktops
Windows 3.1x 1992-04-06 3.11 (1993-12-31) Unsupported
(2001-12-31)
Janus
  • 3.1 for Workgroups:Kato
  • 3.11:Snowball (LB)
  • 3.11 for Workgroups:Sparta
DOS 3.3 or higher 16-bit* Windows 3.1
Windows for Workgroups 3.1
Windows 3.11
Windows for Workgroups 3.11
Windows 3.2 (Simplified Chinese only)
Desktops
* Has partial 32-bit compatibility with Win32s

Windows 9x

Name Release date RTM build Latest version Status support Codename MS-DOS version Kernel type Architecture Editions Target market
Windows 95 1995-07-14 950 4.00.950C OSR2.5 (1997-11-26) Unsupported
(2001-12-31)
Chicago MS-DOS 7.0, MS-DOS 7.1 (OSR2.x) Monolithic Hybrid 16/32-bit Retail, OSR1, OSR2, OSR2.1, OSR2.5 Desktops
Windows 98 1998-05-15 1998 4.10.1998 Unsupported
(2006-07-11)
Memphis MS-DOS 7.1 Monolithic Hybrid 16/32-bit Desktops
Windows 98 SE 1999-05-05 2222 4.10.2222A (2000-02-25) Unsupported
(2006-07-11)
MS-DOS 7.1 Monolithic Hybrid 16/32-bit Desktops
Windows Me 2000-06-19 3000 4.90.3000 (2000-09-14) Unsupported
(2006-07-11)
Millennium MS-DOS 8.0 Monolithic Hybrid 16/32-bit Desktops

Windows NT

Name Release date Version RTM build Latest build Status support Codename, working name Supported architectures Editions OS type
Windows NT 3.1 1993-07-27 3.1 528 528 (SP3)
(1994-11-10)
Unsupported
(2000-12-31)[1]
New Technology OS/2 IA-32, DEC Alpha,
MIPS
Workstation,
Advanced Server
Workstation,
Server
Windows NT 3.5 1994-09-21 3.5 807 807 (SP3)
(1995-06-21)
Unsupported
(2001-12-31)
Daytona IA-32, DEC Alpha,
MIPS, PowerPC[2]
Workstation,
Server
Workstation,
Server
Windows NT 3.51 1995-05-30 3.51 1057 1057 (SP5)
(1996-09-19)
Unsupported
(2001-12-31)
IA-32, DEC Alpha,
MIPS, PowerPC
Workstation,
Server
Workstation,
Server
Windows NT 4.0 1996-07-31 4.0 1381 1381 (SP6a)
(1999-11-30)
Unsupported
(2004-06-30)
Cairo/Shell Update Release
Hydra (Terminal Server)
Impala (Embedded)
IA-32, DEC Alpha,
MIPS, PowerPC
Workstation,
Server,
Server Enterprise Edition,
Terminal Server,
Embedded
Workstation,
Server,
Embedded PCs
Windows 2000 1999-12-15 5.0 2195 SP4 Rollup 1 v2
(2005-09-13)
Unsupported
(2010-07-13)
N/A IA-32 Professional,
Server,
Advanced Server,
Datacenter Server,
Powered (Embedded)
Desktop,
Workstation,
Server,
Embedded PCs
Windows XP 2001-08-24 5.1 2600 2600 (SP3)
(2008-04-21)
Unsupported
(2014-04-08)
Whistler IA-32, IA-64, x86-64 HomeK,
ProfessionalKx64,
Media Center,
Tablet PC,
Starter,
Embedded
Desktop,
Workstation,
Embedded PCs
Windows Server 2003 2003-04-24 5.2 3790 3790 (SP2)
(2007-03-13)
Unsupported
(2015-07-14)
Whistler Server, Windows.NET Server IA-32, IA-64, x86-64 Standard,
Enterprise,
Datacenter,
Web,
Storage,
Small Business Server,
Compute Cluster
Server,
Network Appliance,
Embedded PCs,
HPC
Windows Server 2003 R2 2005 5.2 3790 ? Unsupported
(2015-07-14)
? IA-32, x86-64 Server,
Network Appliance,
Embedded PCs,
HPC
Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs 2006-07-08 5.1 2600 Unsupported
(2014-04-08)
Eiger, Mönch IA-32 Fundamentals for Legacy PCs Desktop
Windows Vista 2006-11-30 6.0 6000 6002 (SP2)
(2009-04-28)
Unsupported
(2017-04-11)
Longhorn IA-32, x86-64 Starter,
Home BasicK,
Home PremiumK,
BusinessK,
EnterpriseK,
UltimateK
Desktop,
Workstation
Windows Home Server 2007-11-04 5.2 3790 Unsupported
(2013-01-08)
Q, Quattro IA-32, x86-64 Home Server Server
Windows Server 2008 2008-02-04 6.0 6001 6002 (SP2)
(2009-04-28)
Unsupported
(2020-01-14)
Longhorn Server IA-32, IA-64, x86-64 WebCore,
StandardCorewHVCwHV,
EnterpriseCorewHVCwHV,
Small Business Server,
DatacenterCorewHVCwHV,
HPC,
HyperV Core,
Foundation,
Storage
Server
Windows 7 2009-07-22 6.1 7600 7601 (SP1)
(2011-02-22)
Unsupported
(2020-01-14)
7 IA-32, x86-64 StarterK,
Home BasicK,
Home PremiumK,
ProfessionalK,
UltimateK,
EnterpriseK
Desktop, Workstation, Multi-touch
Windows Server 2008 R2 2009-07-22 6.1 7600 7601 (SP1)
(2011-02-22)
Unsupported
(2020-01-14)
7 Server IA-64, x86-64 StandardCore,
EnterpriseCore,
DatacenterCore,
WebCore
Server
Windows Home Server 2011 2011-04-06 6.1 8400 Unsupported
(2016-04-12)
Vail x86-64 Home Server Server
Windows Server 2012 2012-08-01 6.2 9200 Supported
(2023-10-10)
8 Server x86-64 Foundation, Essentials,
Standard, Datacenter,
Storage Standard,
Storage Workgroup
Server
Windows 8 2012-08-01 6.2 9200 (RTM only) Unsupported
(2016-01-12)
8 IA-32, x86-64, ARMv7 Windows 8, Pro,
EnterpriseK, Windows RT
Desktop,
Workstation,
Multi-touch
Windows 8.1 2013-08-27 6.3 9600 Unsupported
(2023-01-10)
Blue IA-32, x86-64, ARMv7 Windows 8.1, Pro,
EnterpriseK,
Windows RT 8.1
Desktop,
Workstation,
Multi-touch
Windows Server 2012 R2 2013-10-18 6.3 9600 Supported
(2023-10-10)
Blue Server x86-64 Foundation, Essentials,
Standard, Datacenter,
Storage Essentials,
Storage Standard,
Storage Workgroup
Server
Windows 10 Original Release 2015-07-29 10.0 10240 Unsupported
(2017-05-09)
Threshold IA-32, x86-64, ARMv7 Home, Pro,
Education, Enterprise
Desktop,
Workstation,
Multi-touch
Supported
(2025-10-14)
Enterprise LTSB
November Update 2015-11-12 10586 Unsupported
(2017-10-10)
Threshold 2 Home, Pro
Unsupported
(2018-04-10)
Education, Enterprise
Anniversary Update 2016-08-02 14393 Unsupported
(2018-04-10)
Redstone Home, Pro,
Pro Education
Unsupported
(2019-04-09)
Education, Enterprise
Supported
(2026-10-13)
Enterprise LTSB
Creators Update 2017-04-11 15063 Unsupported
(2018-10-09)
Redstone 2 Home, Pro,
Pro Education
Unsupported
(2019-10-08)
Education, Enterprise
Fall Creators Update 2017-10-17 16299 Unsupported
(2019-04-09)
Redstone 3 IA-32, x86-64, ARMv7, ARM64 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education
Unsupported
(2020-10-13)
Education, Enterprise
April 2018 Update 2018-04-30 17134 Unsupported
(2019-11-12)
Redstone 4 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education
Unsupported
(2021-05-11)
Education, Enterprise
October 2018 Update 2018-10-02 17763 Unsupported
(2020-11-10)
Redstone 5 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education
Unsupported
(2021-05-11)
Education, Enterprise
Supported
(2029-01-09)
Enterprise LTSC
May 2019 Update 2019-05-21 18362 Unsupported
(2020-12-08)
19H1 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education,
Education, Enterprise
November 2019 Update 2019-11-12 18363 Unsupported
(2021-05-11)
19H2 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education
Unsupported
(2022-05-10)
Education, Enterprise
May 2020 Update 2020-05-27 19041 Unsupported
(2021-12-14)
20H1 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education,
Education, Enterprise
October 2020 Update 2020-10-20 19042 Unsupported
(2022-05-10)
20H2 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education
Supported
(2023-05-09)
Education, Enterprise
May 2021 Update 2021-05-18 19043 Unsupported
(2022-12-13)
21H1 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education,
Education, Enterprise
November 2021 Update 2021-10-16 19044 Supported
(2023-06-13)
21H2 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education
Supported
(2024-06-11)
Education, Enterprise
Supported
(2027-01-12)
Enterprise LTSC
2022 Update 2022-10-18 19045 Supported
(2024-05-14)
22H2 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education
Supported
(2025-05-13)
Education, Enterprise
Windows Server 2016 2016-09-26 10.0 14393 Supported
(2027-01-12)
Redstone Server x86-64 Essentials, Standard,
Datacenter,
MultiPoint Premium,
Storage Standard,
Storage Workgroup
Server
Windows Server 2019 2018-10-02 10.0 17763 Supported
(2029-01-09)
Redstone 5 Server x86-64 Essentials, Standard,
Datacenter
Server
Windows Server 2022 2021-08-18 10.0 20348 Supported
(2031-10-14)
21H2 Server x86-64 Essentials, Standard,
Datacenter,
Datacenter for Azure
Server
Windows 11 Original Release 2021-10-05 10.0 22000 Supported
(2023-10-10)
Sunvalley (21H2) x86-64, ARM64 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education, SE
Desktop,
Workstation,
Multi-touch
Supported
(2024-10-08)
Education, Enterprise
2022 Update 2022-09-20 22621 Supported
(2024-10-14)
22H2 Home, Pro,
Pro for Workstations,
Pro Education, SE
Supported
(2025-10-14)
Education, Enterprise
Name Release date Version RTM build Latest build Status support Codename, working name Supported architectures Editions OS type
^N has also an N-edition
^K has also an N-edition
^KN has also an N-edition
^x64 has a separate x64-edition
^Core has also a Core-edition
^wHV has also an edition without HyperV
^CwHV has also a Core-edition without HyperV

Windows Embedded Compact

Windows Embedded Compact (Windows CE) is a variation of Microsoft's Windows operating system for minimalistic computers and embedded systems. Windows CE is a distinctly different kernel, rather than a trimmed-down version of desktop Windows. It is supported on Intel x86 and compatibles, MIPS, ARM, and Hitachi SuperH processors.

Name Release date RTM build Current version Status support Codename Based on (kernel) Kernel type Operating environments Editions Purpose Short description
Windows CE 1.0 1996-11-16 Unsupported Pegasus, Alder CE 1.0 Embedded First release of Microsoft's Windows CE line for minimalistic computers and embedded systems
Windows CE 2.0 1997-11-29 Unsupported Mercury, Apollo CE 2.0 2.1, 2.11 Embedded
Windows CE 3.0 2000-06-15 Unsupported
(2007-10-09)
Cedar, Galileo, Rapier, Merlin, Stinger CE 3.0 Embedded kernel Embedded
Windows CE 4.0 2002-01-07 Unsupported Talisker CE 4.0 4.1, 4.2 Embedded
Windows CE 5.0 2004-07-09 5.0
(2004-07-09)
Unsupported
(2014-10-14)
Macallan CE 5.0 Embedded kernel Embedded
Windows Embedded CE 6.0 2006-11-01 Unsupported
(2018-04-10)
Yamazaki CE 6.0 Hybrid kernel
Windows Embedded Compact 7 2011-03-01 ? ? Unsupported
(2021-04-13)
Chelan CE 7.0 Hybrid ?
Standard, POSReady
Windows Embedded Compact 2013 2013-08-11 Update 17
(2017-11-15)
Supported
(2023-10-10)
CE 8.0 Standard
Industry (8.0, 8.1)
Handheld
Embedded

Windows IoT

The Windows IoT family is the successor to the now-discontinued Windows Embedded family.

Name Release date Version RTM build Editions License OS type Status support
Windows 10 IoT Anniversary Update 2016-08-02 NT 10.0 14393 Core OEM IoT Unsupported
(2018-04-10)[3]
Enterprise Unsupported
(2019-04-09)[4]
Enterprise LTSB Supported
(2026-10-13)[5]
Creators Update 2017-04-11 15063 Core Unsupported
(2018-10-09)[3]
Enterprise Unsupported
(2019-10-08)[4]
Fall Creators Update 2017-10-17 16299 Core Unsupported
(2019-04-09)[3]
Enterprise Unsupported
(2020-10-13)[4]
April 2018 Update 2018-04-30 17134 Core Unsupported
(2019-11-12)[3]
Enterprise Unsupported
(2021-05-11)[4]
October 2018 Update 2018-10-02 17763 Core Unsupported
(2020-11-10)[3]
Enterprise Unsupported
(2021-05-11)[4]
Core LTSC, Enterprise LTSC Supported
(2029-01-09)[6][7]
May 2019 Update 2019-08-29 18362 Enterprise Unsupported
(2020-12-08)[4]
November 2019 Update 2019-11-12 18363 Unsupported
(2022-05-10)[4]
May 2020 Update 2020-05-27 19041 Unsupported
(2021-12-14)[4]
October 2020 Update 2020-10-20 19042 Supported
(2023-05-09)[4]
May 2021 Update 2021-05-18 19043 Unsupported
(2022-12-13)[4]
November 2021 Update 2021-11-16 19044 Enterprise Supported
(2024-06-11)[4]
Enterprise LTSC Supported
(2032-01-13)[8]
2022 Update 2022-10-18 19045 Enterprise Supported
(2025-05-13)[4]
Windows Server IoT 2019 2019-02-26[9] NT 10.0 17763 Essentials, Standard, Datacenter,
Storage Standard,
Storage Workgroup,
Telecommunications
OEM IoT, Server Supported
(2029-01-09)[10][11]
Windows Server IoT 2022 2021-08-18[12] NT 10.0 20348 Standard, Datacenter,
Storage Standard,
Storage Workgroup,
Telecommunications
OEM IoT, Server Supported
(2031-10-14)[13]
Windows 11 IoT Original Release 2021-10-04 NT 10.0 22000 Enterprise OEM IoT Supported
(2024-10-08)[14]
2022 Update 2022-09-20 22621 Supported
(2025-10-14)[15]
Name Release date Version RTM build Editions License OS type Status support

Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile is Microsoft's discontinued line of operating systems for smartphones.

Name Release date RTM build Current version Status support Codename Based on (kernel) Supported architectures
Windows Pocket PC 2000 2000-04-19 Unsupported
(2007-10-09)
Raiper CE 3.0
Windows Pocket PC 2002 2001-10-04 Unsupported
(2008-10-14)
Merlin CE 3.0
Windows Mobile 2003 2003-06-23 Unsupported
(2014-07-08)
Ozone CE 4.20
Windows Mobile 5.0 2005-05-9/12 Unsupported
(2015-10-13)
Magneto CE 5.0
Windows Mobile 6.0 2007-02-12 Unsupported
(2013-01-08)
Crossbow CE 5.2
Windows Mobile 6.1 2008-04-01
Windows Mobile 6.5 2009-05-11

Windows Phone

Windows Phone is Microsoft's discontinued line of operating systems for smartphones.

Name Release date RTM build Current version Status support Codename Based on (kernel) Supported architectures
Windows Phone 7 2010-11-08 7004 7.10.8862 Unsupported Photon CE 6.0 ARM
Windows Phone 7.5 2011-09-27 7720 Unsupported Mango CE 6.1 ARM
Windows Phone 7.8 2013-02-01 8858 Unsupported
(2014-10-14)
Tango CE 6.1 ARM
Windows Phone 8 2012-10-29 10211 10.0.10586 Unsupported
(2014-07-08)
Apollo, Portico NT 6.2 ARM
Windows Phone 8.1 2014-04-14 12359 Unsupported
(2017-07-11)
Blue NT 6.3 ARM
Windows 10 Mobile 2015-11-08 10586–16299 Unsupported Threshold, Redstone NT 10.0 ARM

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Operating system

Operating system

An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs.

DOS

DOS

DOS is a family of disk-based operating systems for IBM PC compatible computers. The DOS family primarily consists of Microsoft's MS-DOS and a rebranded version, IBM PC DOS, both of which were introduced in 1981. Later compatible systems from other manufacturers include DR DOS (1988), ROM-DOS (1989), PTS-DOS (1993), and FreeDOS (1998). MS-DOS dominated the IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995.

Desktop computer

Desktop computer

A desktop computer is a personal computer designed for regular use at a single location on or near a desk due to its size and power requirements. The most common configuration has a case that houses the power supply, motherboard, disk storage ; a keyboard and mouse for input; and a computer monitor, speakers, and, often, a printer for output. The case may be oriented horizontally or vertically and placed either underneath, beside, or on top of a desk.

Windows 2.1x

Windows 2.1x

Windows 2.1 is a major release of Microsoft Windows. It was released to manufacturing on May 27, 1988, as a successor to Windows 2.0.

Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0 is the third major release of Microsoft Windows, launched in 1990. It features a new graphical user interface (GUI) where applications are represented as clickable icons, as opposed to the list of file names seen in its predecessors. Later updates would expand the software's capabilities, one of which added multimedia support for sound recording and playback, as well as support for CD-ROMs.

Windows 3.1x

Windows 3.1x

Windows 3.1 is a major release of Microsoft Windows. It was released to manufacturing on April 6, 1992, as a successor to Windows 3.0.

Win32s

Win32s

Win32s is a 32-bit application runtime environment for the Microsoft Windows 3.1 and 3.11 operating systems. It allowed some 32-bit applications to run on the 16-bit operating system using call thunks. A beta version of Win32s was available in October 1992. Version 1.10 was released in July 1993 simultaneously with Windows NT 3.1.

Windows 95

Windows 95

Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems. The first operating system in the 9x family, it is the successor to Windows 3.1x, and was released to manufacturing on July 14, 1995, and generally to retail on August 24, 1995, almost three months after the release of Windows NT 3.51. Windows 95 merged Microsoft's formerly separate MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows products, and featured significant improvements over its predecessor, most notably in the graphical user interface (GUI) and in its simplified "plug-and-play" features. There were also major changes made to the core components of the operating system, such as moving from a mainly cooperatively multitasked 16-bit architecture to a 32-bit preemptive multitasking architecture, at least when running only 32-bit protected mode applications.

Monolithic kernel

Monolithic kernel

A monolithic kernel is an operating system architecture where the entire operating system is working in kernel space. The monolithic model differs from other operating system architectures in that it alone defines a high-level virtual interface over computer hardware. A set of primitives or system calls implement all operating system services such as process management, concurrency, and memory management. Device drivers can be added to the kernel as modules.

Windows 98

Windows 98

Windows 98 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of Microsoft Windows operating systems. The second operating system in the 9x line, it is the successor to Windows 95, and was released to manufacturing on May 15, 1998, and generally to retail on June 25, 1998. Like its predecessor, it is a hybrid 16-bit and 32-bit monolithic product with the boot stage based on MS-DOS.

Technical information

DOS shells

Name Architecture Integrated firewall SMP support USB support UDMA support LFN support Update management APIs Safe Mode
Windows 1.0 x86 16-bit No No No No No No Win16 No
Windows 2.0 x86 16-bit No No No No No No Win16 No
Windows 2.1x x86 16-bit No No No No No No Win16 No
Windows 3.0 x86 16-bit No No No No No No Win16 No
Windows 3.1x x86 16-bit (partial 32-bit compatibility through Win32s) No No No No No No Win16, Win32s No

Windows 9x

Name Kernel Kernel type Architecture Integrated firewall SMP support USB support UDMA support LFN support Update management APIs DDIs Safe Mode DirectX
Windows 95 MS-DOS 7.0 (Win95, Win95A), MS-DOS 7.1 (Win95B, Win95C) Monolithic kernel x86, hybrid 16/32-bit No No Partial (OSR 2.1/2.5 only)[16] No Yes Windows Update Win16, Win32 DOS, DLL, VxD, WDM (USB-only), direct-access Yes N/A (RTM/OSR1)
2.0a (OSR2/2.1)
5.0 (OSR2.5)
8.0a (optional)
Windows 98 MS-DOS 7.1 Monolithic kernel x86, hybrid 16/32-bit No No Yes Yes Yes Windows Update Win16, Win32 DOS, DLL, VxD, WDM (partial), direct-access Yes 5.2
9.0c (Oct 2006) (optional)
Windows 98 Second Edition MS-DOS 7.1 Monolithic kernel x86, hybrid 16/32-bit No No Yes Yes Yes Windows Update Win16, Win32 DOS, DLL, VxD, WDM (partial), direct-access Yes 6.1a
9.0c (Oct 2006) (optional)
Windows Me MS-DOS 8.0 Monolithic kernel x86, hybrid 16/32-bit No No Yes Yes Yes Windows Update Win16, Win32 DLL, VxD, WDM (partial), direct-access Yes 7.1
9.0c (Oct 2006) (optional)

It is possible to install the MS-DOS variants 7.0 and 7.1 without the graphics user interface of Windows. If an independent installation of both, DOS and Windows is desired, DOS ought to be installed prior to Windows, at the start of a small partition. The system must be transferred by the (dangerous) "SYSTEM" DOS-command, while the other files constituting DOS can simply be copied (the files located in the DOS-root and the entire COMMAND directory). Such a stand-alone installation of MS-DOS 8 is not possible, as it is designed to work as real mode for Windows Me and nothing else.

Windows NT

The Windows NT kernel powers all recent Windows operating systems. It has run on IA-32, x64, DEC Alpha, MIPS architecture, PowerPC, Itanium, ARMv7, and ARM64 processors, but currently supported versions run on IA-32, x64, ARMv7, and ARM64.

Name Architecture Store Integrated firewall SMP support USB support UDMA support Long filename support Package management Update management APIs DDIs Safe Mode Data Execution Prevention DirectX
Windows NT 3.1 IA-32, DEC Alpha, MIPS No Yes No ? Yes (NTFS and HPFS volumes only) Win32, OS/2, POSIX DLL, KMD No No No
Windows NT 3.5 IA-32, DEC Alpha, MIPS No Yes No ? Yes (except on CDFS volumes) Win32, OS/2, POSIX DLL, KMD No No No
Windows NT 3.51 IA-32, DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC No Yes No ? Yes (except on CDFS volumes) Win32, OS/2, POSIX DLL, KMD No No No
Windows NT 4.0 IA-32, DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC No Yes Yes (if the Ion USB update is installed) Yes Yes Windows Update (if Internet Explorer 5 or later is installed) Win32, OS/2, POSIX DLL, KMD No No Yes
3.0a,
5.0 (unofficial)
Windows 2000 IA-32 No Yes Yes (USB 2.0 with update or SP4)[17] Yes Yes Windows Update, WSUS Win32, OS/2, POSIX DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF Yes No Yes
7.0,
9.0c (Feb 2010) (optional)
Windows XP IA-32 (NT5.1), Itanium (NT5.1/5.2), x64 (NT5.2) Yes Yes (Professional Edition only) Yes (USB 2.0 with update or SP1+)[18] Yes Yes Windows Update, WSUS Win32, .NET DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 Yes Yes (in SP2) Yes
9.0c
Windows Server 2003 IA-32, Itanium, x64 Yes Yes Yes (USB 2.0)[19] Yes Yes Windows Update, WSUS Win32 DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 Yes Yes (with SP1) Yes
9.0c
Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs IA-32 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Windows Update, WSUS Win32 DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 Yes Yes Yes
9.0c
Windows Vista IA-32, x64 Windows Marketplace Yes Yes Yes (USB 2.0) Yes Yes Windows Update, WSUS Win32, .NET, POSIX (only Enterprise and Ultimate) DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 Yes Yes Yes
10.1
11.0 (optional)
Windows Server 2008 IA-32, Itanium, x64 Yes Yes Yes (USB 2.0) Yes Yes Windows Update, WSUS Win32 DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 Yes Yes Yes
10.1
11.0 (optional)
Windows Home Server IA-32 ? Yes Yes (USB 2.0) ? Yes Windows Update Win32 DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 ? ? Yes
9.0c
Windows 7 IA-32, x64 Yes Yes Yes (USB 3.0) Yes Yes Windows Update, WSUS Win32, .NET DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 Yes Yes Yes
11.0
11.1 (optional)
Windows Server 2008 R2 Itanium, x64 Yes Yes Yes (USB 3.0) Yes Yes Windows Update, WSUS Win32, .NET DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 Yes Yes Yes
11.0
11.1 (optional)
Windows Home Server 2011 x64 ? Yes Yes (USB 3.0) ? Yes Windows Update Win32 DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 ? ? Yes
11.0
11.1 (optional)
Windows Server 2012 x64 Windows Store Yes Yes Yes (USB 3.0) Yes Yes Windows Store Windows Update, WSUS Win32, .NET, WinRT DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 Yes Yes Yes
11.1
Windows 8 IA-32, x64 Windows Store Yes Yes Yes (USB 3.0) Yes Yes Windows Store Windows Update, WSUS Win32, .NET, WinRT DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1 Yes Yes Yes
11.1
Windows 8.1 IA-32, x64 Windows Store Yes Yes Yes (USB 3.0) Yes Yes Windows Store, PowerShell Windows Update, WSUS, Windows Store Win32, .NET, WinRT DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1, UMDFv2 Yes Yes Yes
11.2
Windows Server 2012 R2 x64 Windows Store Yes Yes Yes (USB 3.0) Yes Yes Windows Store Windows Update, WSUS, Windows Store Win32, .NET, WinRT DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1, UMDFv2 Yes Yes Yes
11.2
Windows 10 IA-32, x64 Windows Store Yes Yes Yes (USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3) Yes Yes Windows Store, PowerShell Windows Update, WSUS, Windows Store Win32, .NET, WinRT, Linux DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1, UMDFv2 Yes Yes Yes
12
Windows Server 2016 x64 Windows Store Yes Yes Yes (USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3) Yes Yes Windows Store Windows Update, WSUS, Windows Store Win32, .NET, WinRT DLL, KMD, WDM, KMDF, UMDFv1, UMDFv2 Yes Yes Yes
12

Windows Phone

Name Architecture Integrated firewall SMP support USB support UDMA support Package management APIs
Windows Phone 8 ARMv7 Yes Yes Yes (USB 2.0) Yes Windows Phone Store Silverlight
Windows Phone 8.1 ARMv7 Yes Yes Yes Yes Windows Phone Store Silverlight
WinRT
Windows 10 Mobile ARMv7 Yes Yes Yes Yes Microsoft Store

Discover more about Technical information related topics

Windows 2.1x

Windows 2.1x

Windows 2.1 is a major release of Microsoft Windows. It was released to manufacturing on May 27, 1988, as a successor to Windows 2.0.

Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0 is the third major release of Microsoft Windows, launched in 1990. It features a new graphical user interface (GUI) where applications are represented as clickable icons, as opposed to the list of file names seen in its predecessors. Later updates would expand the software's capabilities, one of which added multimedia support for sound recording and playback, as well as support for CD-ROMs.

Windows 3.1x

Windows 3.1x

Windows 3.1 is a major release of Microsoft Windows. It was released to manufacturing on April 6, 1992, as a successor to Windows 3.0.

Windows 95

Windows 95

Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems. The first operating system in the 9x family, it is the successor to Windows 3.1x, and was released to manufacturing on July 14, 1995, and generally to retail on August 24, 1995, almost three months after the release of Windows NT 3.51. Windows 95 merged Microsoft's formerly separate MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows products, and featured significant improvements over its predecessor, most notably in the graphical user interface (GUI) and in its simplified "plug-and-play" features. There were also major changes made to the core components of the operating system, such as moving from a mainly cooperatively multitasked 16-bit architecture to a 32-bit preemptive multitasking architecture, at least when running only 32-bit protected mode applications.

MS-DOS

MS-DOS

MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft. Collectively, MS-DOS, its rebranding as IBM PC DOS, and a few operating systems attempting to be compatible with MS-DOS, are sometimes referred to as "DOS". MS-DOS was the main operating system for IBM PC compatibles during the 1980s, from which point it was gradually superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface (GUI), in various generations of the graphical Microsoft Windows operating system.

Windows Update

Windows Update

Windows Update is a Microsoft service for the Windows 9x and Windows NT families of operating system, which automates downloading and installing Microsoft Windows software updates over the Internet. The service delivers software updates for Windows, as well as the various Microsoft antivirus products, including Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials. Since its inception, Microsoft has introduced two extensions of the service: Microsoft Update and Windows Update for Business. The former expands the core service to include other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office and Microsoft Expression Studio. The latter is available to business editions of Windows 10 and permits postponing updates or receiving updates only after they have undergone rigorous testing.

VxD

VxD

VxD is the device driver model used in Microsoft Windows/386 2.x, the 386 enhanced mode of Windows 3.x, Windows 9x, and to some extent also by the Novell DOS 7, OpenDOS 7.01, and DR-DOS 7.02 multitasker (TASKMGR). VxDs have access to the memory of the kernel and all running processes, as well as raw access to the hardware. Starting with Windows 98, Windows Driver Model was the recommended driver model to write drivers for, with the VxD driver model still being supported for backward compatibility, until Windows Me.

Windows 98

Windows 98

Windows 98 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of Microsoft Windows operating systems. The second operating system in the 9x line, it is the successor to Windows 95, and was released to manufacturing on May 15, 1998, and generally to retail on June 25, 1998. Like its predecessor, it is a hybrid 16-bit and 32-bit monolithic product with the boot stage based on MS-DOS.

Windows Me

Windows Me

Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me, is an operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is written in C. It is the successor to Windows 98, and was released to manufacturing on June 19, 2000, and then to retail on September 14, 2000. It was Microsoft's main operating system for home users until the introduction of its successor Windows XP in October 2001.

Supported file systems

Various versions of Windows support various file systems, including:FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, HPFS, or NTFS, along with network file systems shared from other computers, and the ISO 9660 and UDF file systems used for CDs, DVDs, and other optical disc drives such as Blu-ray. Each file system is usually limited in application to certain media, for example CDs must use ISO 9660 or UDF, and as of Windows Vista, NTFS is the only file system which the operating system can be installed on. Windows Embedded CE 6.0, Windows Vista Service Pack 1, and Windows Server 2008 onwards support exFAT, a file system more suitable for USB flash drives.

Windows 9x

FAT12 FAT16 FAT32 HPFS ISO 9660 NTFS UDF
Windows 95 Yes Yes Yes (OSR2 or above) Network Drive Yes Network Drive No
Windows 98 Yes Yes Yes Network Drive Yes Network Drive Yes (1.5, read)
Windows Me Yes Yes Yes Network Drive Yes Network Drive Yes (1.5, read)

Windows NT

FAT12 FAT16 FAT32 HPFS ISO 9660 NTFS exFAT UDF ReFS
Windows NT 3.1, 3.5, 3.51 Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes v1.0/v1.1 No ? No
Windows NT 4.0 Yes Yes No Partial Yes Yes v1.2 No ? No
Windows 2000 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v3.0 No Yes No
Windows XP Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v3.1 Optional Yes (2.01) No
Windows Server 2003 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v3.1 Optional Yes No
Windows Vista Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v5 Yes Yes (2.6) No
Windows Server 2008 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v5 Yes Yes No
Windows 7 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v5 Yes Yes (2.6) Yes
Windows Server 2008 R2 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v5 Yes Yes (2.6) Yes
Windows Server 2012 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v5 Yes Yes (2.6) Yes
Windows 8 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v5 Yes Yes (2.6) No
Windows 8.1 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v5 Yes Yes (2.6) Yes
Windows Server 2012 R2 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v5 Yes Yes (2.6) Yes
Windows 10 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v5 Yes Yes (2.6) Yes
Windows Server 2016 Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes v5 Yes Yes (2.6) Yes

Windows Phone

FAT12 FAT16 FAT32 HPFS ISO 9660 NTFS UDF (More Info) ReFS
Windows Phone 8 ? Yes Yes No ? Yes v5 ? No
Windows Phone 8.1 ? Yes Yes No ? Yes v5 ? No
Windows 10 Mobile ? Yes Yes No ? Yes v5 ? ?

Discover more about Supported file systems related topics

High Performance File System

High Performance File System

HPFS is a file system created specifically for the OS/2 operating system to improve upon the limitations of the FAT file system. It was written by Gordon Letwin and others at Microsoft and added to OS/2 version 1.2, at that time still a joint undertaking of Microsoft and IBM, and released in 1988.

NTFS

NTFS

New Technology File System (NTFS) is a proprietary journaling file system developed by Microsoft. Starting with Windows NT 3.1, it is the default file system of the Windows NT family. It superseded File Allocation Table (FAT) as the preferred filesystem on Windows and is supported in Linux and BSD as well. NTFS reading and writing support is provided using a free and open-source kernel implementation known as NTFS3 in Linux and the NTFS-3G driver in BSD. By using the convert command, Windows can convert FAT32/16/12 into NTFS without the need to rewrite all files. NTFS uses several files typically hidden from the user to store metadata about other files stored on the drive which can help improve speed and performance when reading data. Unlike FAT and High Performance File System (HPFS), NTFS supports access control lists (ACLs), filesystem encryption, transparent compression, sparse files and file system journaling. NTFS also supports shadow copy to allow backups of a system while it is running, but the functionality of the shadow copies varies between different versions of Windows.

ISO 9660

ISO 9660

ISO 9660 is a file system for optical disc media. The file system is an international standard available from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Since the specification is available for anybody to purchase, implementations have been written for many operating systems.

Universal Disk Format

Universal Disk Format

Universal Disk Format (UDF) is an open, vendor-neutral file system for computer data storage for a broad range of media. In practice, it has been most widely used for DVDs and newer optical disc formats, supplanting ISO 9660. Due to its design, it is very well suited to incremental updates on both recordable and (re)writable optical media. UDF was developed and maintained by the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA).

DVD

DVD

The DVD is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was invented and developed in 1995 and first released on November 1, 1996, in Japan. The medium can store any kind of digital data and has been widely used for video programs or formerly for storing software and other computer files as well. DVDs offer significantly higher storage capacity than compact discs (CD) while having the same dimensions. A standard DVD can store up to 4.7 GB of storage, while variants can store up to a maximum of 17.08 GB.

Blu-ray

Blu-ray

The Blu-ray Disc (BD), often known simply as Blu-ray, is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was invented and developed in 2005 and released on June 20, 2006 worldwide. It is designed to supersede the DVD format, and capable of storing several hours of high-definition video. The main application of Blu-ray is as a medium for video material such as feature films and for the physical distribution of video games for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. The name "Blu-ray" refers to the blue laser used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than is possible with the longer-wavelength red laser used for DVDs.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista

Windows Vista is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. It was the direct successor to Windows XP, which was released five years earlier, at the time being the longest time span between successive releases of Microsoft's Windows desktop operating systems. Development was completed on November 8, 2006, and over the following three months, it was released in stages to computer hardware and software manufacturers, business customers, and retail channels. On January 30, 2007, it was released internationally and made available for purchase and download from the Windows Marketplace; this is the first release of Windows to be made available through a digital distribution platform.

Windows Embedded CE 6.0

Windows Embedded CE 6.0

Windows Embedded CE 6.0 is the sixth major release of the Microsoft Windows embedded operating system targeted to enterprise-specific tools such as industrial controllers and consumer electronics devices like digital cameras. CE 6.0 features a kernel that supports 32,768 processes, up from the 32-process limit of prior versions. Each process receives 2 GB of virtual address space, up from 32 MB.

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 is the fourth release of the Windows Server operating system produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of the operating systems. It was released to manufacturing on February 4, 2008, and generally to retail on February 27, 2008. Derived from Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 is the successor of Windows Server 2003 and the predecessor to Windows Server 2008 R2.

ExFAT

ExFAT

exFAT is a file system introduced by Microsoft in 2006 and optimized for flash memory such as USB flash drives and SD cards. exFAT was proprietary until 28 August 2019, when Microsoft published its specification. Microsoft owns patents on several elements of its design.

USB flash drive

USB flash drive

A USB flash drive is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated USB interface. It is typically removable, rewritable and much smaller than an optical disc. Most weigh less than 30 g (1 oz). Since first appearing on the market in late 2000, as with virtually all other computer memory devices, storage capacities have risen while prices have dropped. As of March 2016, flash drives with anywhere from 8 to 256 gigabytes (GB) were frequently sold, while 512 GB and 1 terabyte (TB) units were less frequent. As of 2018, 2 TB flash drives were the largest available in terms of storage capacity. Some allow up to 100,000 write/erase cycles, depending on the exact type of memory chip used, and are thought to physically last between 10 and 100 years under normal circumstances.

Windows 95

Windows 95

Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems. The first operating system in the 9x family, it is the successor to Windows 3.1x, and was released to manufacturing on July 14, 1995, and generally to retail on August 24, 1995, almost three months after the release of Windows NT 3.51. Windows 95 merged Microsoft's formerly separate MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows products, and featured significant improvements over its predecessor, most notably in the graphical user interface (GUI) and in its simplified "plug-and-play" features. There were also major changes made to the core components of the operating system, such as moving from a mainly cooperatively multitasked 16-bit architecture to a 32-bit preemptive multitasking architecture, at least when running only 32-bit protected mode applications.

Hardware requirements

Installing Windows requires an internal or external optical drive, or a USB flash drive. A keyboard and mouse are the recommended input devices, though some versions support a touchscreen. For operating systems prior to Vista, an optical drive must be capable of reading CD media, while in Windows Vista onwards, such a drive must be DVD-compatible. The drive may be detached after installing Windows.

Windows 9x

CPU RAM Free disk space
Windows 95 386 MB 120 MB
Windows 98 486 DX2 66 MHz 16 MB 300 MB
Windows Me (Millennium Edition) Pentium 150 MHz 32 MB 400 MB

Windows NT

Version CPU RAM Free disk space Video adapter and monitor
Minimum Recommended
Windows NT 3.51 Workstation 386, 25 MHz 8 MB 16 MB 90 MB VGA (640x480)
Windows NT 4.0 Workstation 486, 33 MHz 12 MB ? 110 MB
Windows 2000 Professional 133 MHz 32 MB 128 MB 650 MB
Windows XP 233 MHz 64 MB 128 MB 1.5 GB Super VGA (800x600)
Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs 500 MB
Windows XP 64-Bit Edition 700 MHz Itanium[20] 1 GB[20] ? 6 GB[20]
Windows Server 2003 1 GHz (x86) or 1.4 GHz (x64) 128 MB 256 MB 2 GB (x86)
4 GB (x64)
Windows Vista 800 MHz 384 MB (Starter)
512 MB (others)[21]
2 GB 15 GB
(~6.5 GB for OS)
Super VGA (800x600)
WDDM & DirectX 9 for Aero
Windows Server 2008 1 GHz (x86) or 1.4 GHz (x64) 2 GB 10 GB
Windows 7 1 GHz 1 GB (x86)
2 GB (x64)
4 GB 16 GB (x86)
20 GB (x64)
(~6.5 GB for OS)
Windows Server 2012 1.4 GHz (x86-64) 512 MB 1 GB 10 GB Super VGA (800x600), 32-bit color
Windows 8 1 GHz 1 GB (x86)
2 GB (x64)
4 GB 16 GB (x86)
20 GB (x64)
(~6.5 GB for OS)
Super VGA (800x600), 32-bit color
1024 x 768 for Windows Store apps
1366 x 768 to snap apps
Windows 8.1
Windows 10 1 GHz or faster processor or SoC 1 GB (x86)
2 GB (x64)
4 GB 16 GB (x86)
20 GB (x64)
Super VGA (800x600), 32-bit color
Windows Server 2016 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor 512 MB ECC memory
2 GB with Desktop Experience installed[22]
depends on role 32 GB
(~10 GB for OS)
XGA (1024 x 768)
Windows Server 2019 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor 512 MB ECC memory
2 GB with Desktop Experience installed[22]
depends on role 32 GB XGA (1024 x 768)
Windows Server 2022 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor 512 MB ECC memory
2 GB with Desktop Experience installed[23]
depends on role 32 GB Super VGA (1024 x 768)
Windows 11 64-bit 1 GHz or faster processor or SoC with two or more cores 4 GB 64 GB
(~10 GB for OS)
720p greater than 9" diagonally, 32-bit color

Windows Phone

Version CPU RAM Free disk space Video adapter and monitor
Minimum Recommended
Windows Phone 7 0.8 GHz 256 MB 4 GB Wide VGA (800 × 480)
Windows Phone 8 1 GHz 512 MB 8 GB Wide VGA (800 × 480)
Windows Phone 8.1 1 GHz 512 MB 4 GB Wide VGA (800 × 480)
Windows 10 Mobile 1 GHz 1 GB 2 GB 8 GB Wide VGA (800 × 480)

Discover more about Hardware requirements related topics

Computer keyboard

Computer keyboard

A computer keyboard is a peripheral input device modeled after the typewriter keyboard which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches. Replacing early punched cards and paper tape technology, interaction via teleprinter-style keyboards have been the main input method for computers since the 1970s, supplemented by the computer mouse since the 1980s.

Touchscreen

Touchscreen

A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is often an LCD, AMOLED or OLED display while the system is usually used in a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. A user can give input or control the information processing system through simple or multi-touch gestures by touching the screen with a special stylus or one or more fingers. Some touchscreens use ordinary or specially coated gloves to work while others may only work using a special stylus or pen. The user can use the touchscreen to react to what is displayed and, if the software allows, to control how it is displayed; for example, zooming to increase the text size.

Windows 95

Windows 95

Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems. The first operating system in the 9x family, it is the successor to Windows 3.1x, and was released to manufacturing on July 14, 1995, and generally to retail on August 24, 1995, almost three months after the release of Windows NT 3.51. Windows 95 merged Microsoft's formerly separate MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows products, and featured significant improvements over its predecessor, most notably in the graphical user interface (GUI) and in its simplified "plug-and-play" features. There were also major changes made to the core components of the operating system, such as moving from a mainly cooperatively multitasked 16-bit architecture to a 32-bit preemptive multitasking architecture, at least when running only 32-bit protected mode applications.

Megabyte

Megabyte

The megabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. Its recommended unit symbol is MB. The unit prefix mega is a multiplier of 1000000 (106) in the International System of Units (SI). Therefore, one megabyte is one million bytes of information. This definition has been incorporated into the International System of Quantities.

Windows 98

Windows 98

Windows 98 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of Microsoft Windows operating systems. The second operating system in the 9x line, it is the successor to Windows 95, and was released to manufacturing on May 15, 1998, and generally to retail on June 25, 1998. Like its predecessor, it is a hybrid 16-bit and 32-bit monolithic product with the boot stage based on MS-DOS.

Hertz

Hertz

The hertz is the unit of frequency in the International System of Units (SI), equivalent to one event per second. The hertz is an SI derived unit whose expression in terms of SI base units is s−1, meaning that one hertz is the reciprocal of one second. It is named after Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857–1894), the first person to provide conclusive proof of the existence of electromagnetic waves. Hertz are commonly expressed in multiples: kilohertz (kHz), megahertz (MHz), gigahertz (GHz), terahertz (THz).

Windows Me

Windows Me

Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me, is an operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is written in C. It is the successor to Windows 98, and was released to manufacturing on June 19, 2000, and then to retail on September 14, 2000. It was Microsoft's main operating system for home users until the introduction of its successor Windows XP in October 2001.

Pentium

Pentium

Pentium is a series of x86 architecture-compatible microprocessors produced by Intel. The original Pentium was first released on March 22, 1993.

Super VGA

Super VGA

Super VGA (SVGA) is a broad term that covers a wide range of computer display standards that extended IBM's VGA specification.

Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs

Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs

Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs ("WinFLP") is a thin client release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft and optimized for older, less powerful hardware. It was released on July 8, 2006, nearly two years after its Windows XP SP2 counterpart was released in August 2004, and is not marketed as a full-fledged general purpose operating system, although it is functionally able to perform most of the tasks generally associated with one. It includes only certain functionality for local workloads such as security, management, document viewing related tasks and the .NET Framework. It is designed to work as a client–server solution with RDP clients or other third party clients such as Citrix ICA. Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs reached end of support on April 8, 2014 along with most other Windows XP editions.

Itanium

Itanium

Itanium is a discontinued family of 64-bit Intel microprocessors that implement the Intel Itanium architecture. Launched in June 2001, Intel marketed the processors for enterprise servers and high-performance computing systems. The Itanium architecture originated at Hewlett-Packard (HP), and was later jointly developed by HP and Intel.

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is the sixth version of Windows Server operating system produced by Microsoft. It is part of the Windows NT family of operating systems and was released to manufacturing on March 28, 2003 and generally available on April 24, 2003. Windows Server 2003 is the successor to the Server editions of Windows 2000 and the predecessor to Windows Server 2008. An updated version, Windows Server 2003 R2, was released to manufacturing on December 6, 2005. Windows Server 2003 is based on the consumer operating system, Windows XP.

Physical memory limits

Maximum limits on physical memory (RAM) that Windows can address vary depending on both the Windows version and between IA-32 and x64 versions.[24][25]

Windows

Operating system Limit on Real Mode Limit on Standard Mode Limit on Enhanced Mode
Windows 1.0x 640 KB
Windows 2.0x 640 KB 16MB
Windows 2.1x 640 + 64 KB 16MB
Windows 3.0x 640 + 64 KB 16MB 16MB
Windows 3.1x 256MB[26] 256MB[26]
Windows 95 944MB[27]
Windows 98 1GB
Windows ME 1.5GB

Windows NT

Operating system Limit on IA-32 Limit in IA-64 Limit on x64 Limit on ARM32 Limit on ARM64
Windows NT 3.1 4 GB
Windows NT 3.5 4 GB
Windows NT 3.51 4 GB
Windows NT 4.0 4 GB
Windows 2000 Professional/Server 4 GB
Windows 2000 Advanced Server 8 GB
Windows 2000 Datacenter 32 GB
Windows XP Starter 512 MB
Windows XP Home 4 GB
Windows XP Professional 4 GB 128 GB 128 GB
Windows Server 2003 RTM Web 2 GB
Windows Server 2003 RTM Standard/Small Business 4 GB
Windows Server 2003 RTM Enterprise/Datacenter 64 GB 512 GB
Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 32 GB
Windows Server 2003 R1/SP1 Standard 4 GB 32 GB
Windows Server 2003 R1/SP1 Enterprise/Datacenter 64 GB 1 TB 1 TB
Windows Server 2003 R1/SP2 Standard 4GB 32 GB
Windows Server 2003 R1/SP2 Enterprise/Datacenter 64 GB 2 TB 1 TB
Windows Server 2003 R2/SP1 Standard 4 GB 32 GB
Windows Server 2003 R2/SP1 Enterprise/Datacenter 64 GB 1 TB
Windows Vista Starter 1 GB
Windows Vista Home Basic 4 GB 8 GB
Windows Vista Home Premium 4 GB 16 GB
Windows Vista Business/Enterprise/Ultimate 4 GB 128 GB
Windows Home Server 4 GB
Windows Server 2008 Web Server/Standard/Small Business 4 GB 32 GB
Windows HPC Server 2008 128 GB
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise/Datacenter 64 GB 1 TB
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium–Based Systems 2 TB
Windows 7 Starter 2 GB
Windows 7 Home Basic 4 GB 8 GB
Windows 7 Home Premium 4 GB 16 GB
Windows 7 Professional/Enterprise/Ultimate 4 GB 192 GB
Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation 8 GB
Windows Server 2008 R2 Web Server/Standard 32 GB
Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 128 GB
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise/Datacenter 2 TB
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium–Based Systems 2 TB
Windows 8 (Core) 4 GB 128 GB
Windows 8 Pro/Enterprise 4 GB 512 GB
Windows RT 4 GB
Windows Server 2012 Standard/Datacenter 4 TB
Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard 4 TB
Windows Storage Server 2012 Workgroup 32 GB
Hyper-V Server 2012 4 TB
Windows 8.1 (Core) 4 GB 128 GB
Windows 8.1 Pro/Enterprise 4 GB 512 GB
Windows RT 8.1 4 GB
Windows 10 Mobile 4 GB
Windows 10 Home 4 GB 128 GB 4 GB 128 GB
Windows 10 Pro 4 GB 2 TB 4 GB 2 TB
Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 4 GB 6 TB 4 GB 6 TB
Windows 10 Education 4 GB 2 TB 4 GB 2 TB
Windows 10 Enterprise 4 GB 6 TB 4 GB 6 TB
Windows Server 2016 Essentials 64 GB
Windows Server 2016 Standard 24 TB
Windows Server 2016 Datacenter 24 TB
Windows Server 2019 Essentials 64 GB
Windows Server 2019 Standard 24 TB
Windows Server 2019 Datacenter 24 TB
Windows Server 2022 Essentials 64 GB
Windows Server 2022 Standard 24 TB
Windows Server 2022 Datacenter 24 TB
Windows 11 Home 128 GB 128 GB
Windows 11 Pro 2 TB 2 TB
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations 6 TB 6 TB
Windows 11 Education 2 TB 2 TB
Windows 11 Enterprise 6 TB 6 TB

Discover more about Physical memory limits related topics

Computer data storage

Computer data storage

Computer data storage is a technology consisting of computer components and recording media that are used to retain digital data. It is a core function and fundamental component of computers.

Random-access memory

Random-access memory

Random-access memory is a form of computer memory that can be read and changed in any order, typically used to store working data and machine code. A random-access memory device allows data items to be read or written in almost the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the memory, in contrast with other direct-access data storage media, where the time required to read and write data items varies significantly depending on their physical locations on the recording medium, due to mechanical limitations such as media rotation speeds and arm movement.

IA-32

IA-32

IA-32 is the 32-bit version of the x86 instruction set architecture, designed by Intel and first implemented in the 80386 microprocessor in 1985. IA-32 is the first incarnation of x86 that supports 32-bit computing; as a result, the "IA-32" term may be used as a metonym to refer to all x86 versions that support 32-bit computing.

IA-64

IA-64

IA-64 is the instruction set architecture (ISA) of the Itanium family of 64-bit Intel microprocessors. The basic ISA specification originated at Hewlett-Packard (HP), and was subsequently implemented by Intel in collaboration with HP. The first Itanium processor, codenamed Merced, was released in 2001.

AArch64

AArch64

AArch64 or ARM64 is the 64-bit extension of the ARM architecture family.

Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server is a home server operating system from Microsoft. It was announced on 7 January 2007 at the Consumer Electronics Show by Bill Gates, released to manufacturing on 16 July 2007 and officially released on 4 November 2007.

Windows HPC Server 2008

Windows HPC Server 2008

Windows HPC Server 2008, released by Microsoft on 22 September 2008, is the successor product to Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003. Like WCCS, Windows HPC Server 2008 is designed for high-end applications that require high performance computing clusters. This version of the server software is claimed to efficiently scale to thousands of cores. It includes features unique to HPC workloads: a new high-speed NetworkDirect RDMA, highly efficient and scalable cluster management tools, a service-oriented architecture (SOA) job scheduler, an MPI library based on open-source MPICH2, and cluster interoperability through standards such as the High Performance Computing Basic Profile (HPCBP) specification produced by the Open Grid Forum (OGF).

Windows RT

Windows RT

Windows RT is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft. It is a version of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 built for the 32-bit ARM architecture (ARMv7). First unveiled in January 2011 at Consumer Electronics Show, the Windows RT 8 operating system was officially launched alongside Windows 8 on October 26, 2012, with the release of three Windows RT-based devices, including Microsoft's original Surface tablet. Unlike Windows 8, Windows RT is only available as preloaded software on devices specifically designed for the operating system by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Security features

Resource access control Subsystem isolation mechanisms Integrated firewall Encrypted file systems Defender Windows Hello
Windows 2000 ACLs TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes (NTFS only) No No
Windows XP ACLs Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall (from SP2), TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes (NTFS only) Optional No
Windows Server 2003 ACLs, Privileges, RBAC Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall, TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes Optional No
Windows Vista ACLs, Privileges, RBAC Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall, TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes Yes No
Windows Server 2008 ACLs, Privileges, RBAC Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall, TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes Yes No
Windows 7 ACLs, Privileges, RBAC Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall, TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes Yes No
Windows Server 2012 ACLs, Privileges, RBAC Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall, TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes Yes No
Windows 8 ACLs, Privileges, RBAC Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall, TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes Yes No
Windows Server 2012 R2 ACLs, Privileges, RBAC Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall, TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes Yes No
Windows 8.1 ACLs, Privileges, RBAC Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall, TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes Yes No
Windows 10 ACLs, Privileges, RBAC Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall, TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes Yes Yes
Windows Server 2016 ACLs, Privileges, RBAC Win32 WindowStation, Desktop, Job objects Windows Firewall, TCP/IP Filtering, IPSec Yes Yes Yes

Discover more about Security features related topics

Windows 2000

Windows 2000

Windows 2000 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft and oriented towards businesses. It was the direct successor to Windows NT 4.0, and was released to manufacturing on December 15, 1999, and was officially released to retail on February 17, 2000. It was Microsoft's business operating system until the introduction of Windows XP Professional in 2001.

Windows Firewall

Windows Firewall

Windows Firewall is a firewall component of Microsoft Windows. It was first included in Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1. Before the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2, it was known as the "Internet Connection Firewall."

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is the sixth version of Windows Server operating system produced by Microsoft. It is part of the Windows NT family of operating systems and was released to manufacturing on March 28, 2003 and generally available on April 24, 2003. Windows Server 2003 is the successor to the Server editions of Windows 2000 and the predecessor to Windows Server 2008. An updated version, Windows Server 2003 R2, was released to manufacturing on December 6, 2005. Windows Server 2003 is based on the consumer operating system, Windows XP.

Privilege (computing)

Privilege (computing)

In computing, privilege is defined as the delegation of authority to perform security-relevant functions on a computer system. A privilege allows a user to perform an action with security consequences. Examples of various privileges include the ability to create a new user, install software, or change kernel functions.

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 is the fourth release of the Windows Server operating system produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of the operating systems. It was released to manufacturing on February 4, 2008, and generally to retail on February 27, 2008. Derived from Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 is the successor of Windows Server 2003 and the predecessor to Windows Server 2008 R2.

Windows 7

Windows 7

Windows 7 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. It was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009, and became generally available on October 22, 2009. It is the successor to Windows Vista, released nearly three years earlier. It remained an operating system for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablet PCs and media center PCs, and itself was replaced in November 2012 by Windows 8, the name spanning more than three years of the product.

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012, codenamed "Windows Server 8", is the sixth version of the Windows Server operating system by Microsoft, as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It is the server version of Windows based on Windows 8 and succeeds Windows Server 2008 R2, which is derived from the Windows 7 codebase, released nearly three years earlier. Two pre-release versions, a developer preview and a beta version, were released during development. The software was officially launched on September 4, 2012, which was the month before the release of Windows 8. It was succeeded by Windows Server 2012 R2 in 2013. Mainstream support for Windows Server 2012 ended on October 9, 2018, and extended support will end on October 10, 2023. Windows Server 2012 is eligible for the paid Extended Security Updates (ESU) program, which offers continued security updates until October 13, 2026.

Windows 8

Windows 8

Windows 8 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. It was released to manufacturing on August 1, 2012; it was subsequently made available for download via MSDN and TechNet on August 15, 2012, and later to retail on October 26, 2012.

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012 R2, codenamed "Windows Server Blue", is the seventh version of the Windows Server operating system by Microsoft, as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was unveiled on June 3, 2013 at TechEd North America, and released on October 18 of the same year. It is the successor to Windows Server 2012, and is based on the Windows 8.1 codebase.

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 is a release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. It was released to manufacturing on August 27, 2013, and broadly released for retail sale on October 17, 2013, about a year after the retail release of its predecessor, and succeeded by Windows 10 on July 29, 2015. Windows 8.1 was made available for download via MSDN and Technet and available as a free upgrade for retail copies of Windows 8 and Windows RT users via the Windows Store. A server version, Windows Server 2012 R2, was released on October 18, 2013.

Windows 10

Windows 10

Windows 10 is a major release of Microsoft's Windows NT operating system. It is the direct successor to Windows 8.1, which was released nearly two years earlier. It was released to manufacturing on July 15, 2015, and later to retail on July 29, 2015. Windows 10 was made available for download via MSDN and TechNet, as a free upgrade for retail copies of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users via the Windows Store, and to Windows 7 users via Windows Update. Windows 10 receives new builds on an ongoing basis, which are available at no additional cost to users, in addition to additional test builds of Windows 10, which are available to Windows Insiders. Devices in enterprise environments can receive these updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their ten-year lifespan of extended support. In June 2021, Microsoft announced that support for Windows 10 editions which are not in the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) will end on October 14, 2025.

Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016 is the eighth release of the Windows Server server operating system developed by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was developed alongside Windows 10 and is the successor to the Windows 8.1-based Windows Server 2012 R2. The first early preview version became available on October 1, 2014 together with the first technical preview of System Center. Windows Server 2016 was released on September 26, 2016 at Microsoft's Ignite conference and broadly released for retail sale on October 12, 2016. It was succeeded by Windows Server 2019 and the Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel.

Features

Version Shell Visual styles Browser Web server Windows Media Player Command-line interpreter
Windows 1.0 MS-DOS executive (Unnamed)
Windows 2.0 MS-DOS executive (Unnamed)
Windows 3.0 Program Manager (Unnamed) 3.0 (Multimedia Extension edition only)
Windows 3.1x Program Manager (Unnamed) 3.1
Windows 95 Windows shell Classic Internet Explorer 1 in OEM RTM
Internet Explorer 2 in OSR1
Internet Explorer 3 in OSR2 and OSR2.1
Internet Explorer 4 in OSR2.5
4.0 COMMAND.COM
Windows NT 4.0 Windows shell Classic Internet Explorer 2
Internet Explorer 3 (in some localized editions)
PWS 4.0 COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE
Windows 98 Windows shell Classic Internet Explorer 4.01 PWS 4.0 COMMAND.COM
Windows 98 SE Windows shell Classic Internet Explorer 5 PWS 4.0 COMMAND.COM
Windows 2000 Windows shell Classic Internet Explorer 5.01 IIS 5.0 5.0 and 6.4 (side by side) COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE
Windows Me Windows shell Classic Internet Explorer 5.5 6.4 and 7.0 (side by side) COMMAND.COM
Windows XP Windows shell Luna (default), Classic Internet Explorer 6 IIS 5.1 5.1, 6.4 and 8 (in RTM)
5.1, 6.4 and 9 (in SP2)
COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE,
PowerShell (optional)
Windows Server 2003 Windows shell Classic (default), Luna Internet Explorer 6 IIS 6.0 9 (in RTM), 10 (in SP1) COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE,
PowerShell (optional)
Windows Vista Windows shell Aero (default), Classic Internet Explorer 7 IIS 7 11 COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE,
PowerShell (optional)
Windows Server 2008 Windows shell, Server Core Classic (default), Aero (via "Desktop Experience") Internet Explorer 7 IIS 7 11 (enabled by installing "Desktop Experience") COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE,
PowerShell (optional)
Windows 7 Windows shell Aero (default), Classic Internet Explorer 8 IIS 7.5 12 COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE,
PowerShell v2.0
Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows shell, Server Core Classic (default), Aero (via "Desktop Experience") Internet Explorer 8 IIS 7.5 12 (via "Desktop Experience") CMD.EXE,
PowerShell v2.0
Windows Server 2012 Windows shell, Server Core Metro Internet Explorer 10 IIS 8 12 (via "Desktop Experience") CMD.EXE,
PowerShell v3.0
Windows 8 Windows shell Metro Internet Explorer 10 IIS 8 12 COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE,
PowerShell v3.0
Windows Server 2012 R2 Windows shell, Windows server core Metro Internet Explorer 11 IIS 8.5 12 (via "Desktop Experience") CMD.EXE,
PowerShell v4.0
Windows 8.1 Windows shell Metro Internet Explorer 11 IIS 8.5 12 COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE,
PowerShell v4.0
Windows 10 Windows shell Metro Internet Explorer 11
Microsoft Edge 12-13
IIS 10.0 12 COMMAND.COM, CMD.EXE,
PowerShell v5.0
Windows Server 2016 Windows shell, Windows server core Metro Internet Explorer 11
Microsoft Edge 13
IIS 10.0 12 (via "Desktop Experience") CMD.EXE,
PowerShell v5.0
Windows Server 2019 Windows shell, Windows server core Metro Internet Explorer 11
Microsoft Edge 13
IIS 10.0 12 (via "Desktop Experience") CMD.EXE,
PowerShell v5.0

Discover more about Features related topics

Skin (computing)

Skin (computing)

In computing, a skin is a custom graphical appearance preset package achieved by the use of a graphical user interface (GUI) that can be applied to specific computer software, operating system, and websites to suit the purpose, topic, or tastes of different users. As such, a skin can completely change the look and feel and navigation interface of a piece of application software or operating system.

Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player (WMP) is the first media player and media library application that was developed by Microsoft for playing audio, video and viewing images on personal computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, as well as on Pocket PC and Windows Mobile-based devices. Editions of Windows Media Player were also released for classic Mac OS, Mac OS X, and Solaris but development of these has since been discontinued. Windows Media Player was eventually replaced in Windows 8 with Groove Music. Groove Music persisted in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, before being replaced in turn with the Media Player in Windows 11.

Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0 is the third major release of Microsoft Windows, launched in 1990. It features a new graphical user interface (GUI) where applications are represented as clickable icons, as opposed to the list of file names seen in its predecessors. Later updates would expand the software's capabilities, one of which added multimedia support for sound recording and playback, as well as support for CD-ROMs.

Program Manager

Program Manager

Program Manager is the shell of Windows 3.x and Windows NT 3.x operating systems. This shell exposed a task-oriented graphical user interface (GUI), consisting of icons arranged into program groups. It replaced MS-DOS Executive, a file manager, as the default Windows shell.

Windows 3.1x

Windows 3.1x

Windows 3.1 is a major release of Microsoft Windows. It was released to manufacturing on April 6, 1992, as a successor to Windows 3.0.

Windows 95

Windows 95

Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems. The first operating system in the 9x family, it is the successor to Windows 3.1x, and was released to manufacturing on July 14, 1995, and generally to retail on August 24, 1995, almost three months after the release of Windows NT 3.51. Windows 95 merged Microsoft's formerly separate MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows products, and featured significant improvements over its predecessor, most notably in the graphical user interface (GUI) and in its simplified "plug-and-play" features. There were also major changes made to the core components of the operating system, such as moving from a mainly cooperatively multitasked 16-bit architecture to a 32-bit preemptive multitasking architecture, at least when running only 32-bit protected mode applications.

Windows shell

Windows shell

The Windows shell is the graphical user interface for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Its readily identifiable elements consist of the desktop, the taskbar, the Start menu, the task switcher and the AutoPlay feature. On some versions of Windows, it also includes Flip 3D and the charms. In Windows 10, the Windows Shell Experience Host interface drives visuals like the Start Menu, Action Center, Taskbar, and Task View/Timeline. However, the Windows shell also implements a shell namespace that enables computer programs running on Windows to access the computer's resources via the hierarchy of shell objects. "Desktop" is the top object of the hierarchy; below it there are a number of files and folders stored on the disk, as well as a number of special folders whose contents are either virtual or dynamically created. Recycle Bin, Libraries, Control Panel, This PC and Network are examples of such shell objects.

Internet Explorer 2

Internet Explorer 2

Microsoft Internet Explorer 2 (IE2) is the second, and by now discontinued, version of Internet Explorer (IE), a graphical web browser by Microsoft. It was unveiled in October 1995, and was released on November 22, 1995, for Windows 95 and Windows NT, and on April 23, 1996, for Apple Macintosh and Windows 3.1.

Internet Explorer 3

Internet Explorer 3

Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 (IE3) is a graphical web browser which was announced in March 1996, and was released on August 13, 1996 by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and on January 8, 1997 for Apple Mac OS. It began serious competition against Netscape Navigator in the first Browser war. It was Microsoft's first browser release with a major internal development component. It was the first more widely used version of Internet Explorer, although it did not surpass Netscape or become the browser with the most market share. During its tenure, IE market share went from roughly 3–9% in early 1996 to 20–30% by the end of 1997. In September 1997 it was superseded by Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.

Internet Explorer 4

Internet Explorer 4

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 (IE4) is a graphical web browser that Microsoft unveiled in Spring of 1997, and released in September 1997, primarily for Microsoft Windows, but also with versions available for the classic Mac OS, Solaris, and HP-UX and marketed as "The Web the Way You Want It".

COMMAND.COM

COMMAND.COM

COMMAND.COM is the default command-line interpreter for MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows Me. In the case of DOS, it is the default user interface as well. It has an additional role as the usual first program run after boot, hence being responsible for setting up the system by running the AUTOEXEC.BAT configuration file, and being the ancestor of all processes.

Windows NT 4.0

Windows NT 4.0

Windows NT 4.0 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft and oriented towards businesses. It is the direct successor to Windows NT 3.51, and was released to manufacturing on July 31, 1996, and then to retail on August 24, 1996. It was Microsoft's primary business-oriented operating system until the introduction of Windows 2000. Workstation, server and embedded editions were sold, and all editions feature a graphical user interface similar to that of Windows 95, which was superseded by Windows 98 and could still be directly upgraded by either Windows 2000 Professional or Windows Me.

Timeline

Windows 1.0Windows 2.0Windows 2.1xWindows 3.0Windows 3.1xWindows 3.1xWindows NT 3.1Windows NT 3.5Windows NT 3.51Windows 95Windows NT 4.0Windows 98Windows NT 4.0Windows 2000Pocket PC 2000Windows MePocket PC 2002Windows XPWindows XPWindows Server 2003Windows Mobile 2003Windows Mobile 5.0Windows Embedded IndustryWindows Server 2003 R2Windows Mobile 6.0Windows VistaWindows Home ServerWindows Mobile 6.1Windows Server 2008Windows Embedded IndustryWindows Mobile 6.5Windows 7Windows Server 2008 R2Windows MultiPoint ServerWindows Phone 7Windows Home Server 2011Windows MultiPoint ServerWindows Embedded IndustryWindows Server 2012Windows 8Windows Phone 8Windows MultiPoint ServerWindows Embedded 8 IndustryWindows 8.1Windows Embedded 8.1 IndustryWindows Server 2012 R2Windows Phone 8.1Windows 10Windows 10Windows IoTWindows 10Windows 10 MobileWindows 10Windows 10 MobileWindows 10Windows IoTWindows Server 2016Windows 10Windows 10 MobileWindows 10Windows 10 MobileWindows 10Windows 10Windows 10Windows IoTWindows Server 2019Windows IoTWindows 10Windows 10Windows 10Windows 10Windows 10Windows Server 2022Windows IoTWindows 11Windows 10Windows 10Windows IoTWindows 11Windows 10


Source: "Comparison of Microsoft Windows versions", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Microsoft_Windows_versions.

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See also

Other lists

Windows clones and emulators

  • Freedows OS–Windows clone
  • ReactOS–project to develop an operating system that is binary compatible with application software and device drivers for Microsoft Windows NT version 5.x
  • Wine (software)–compatibility layer which allows to execute programs that were originally written for Microsoft Windows
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