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Windows is a proprietary line of Operating System software platforms from Microsoft. It gained popularity quickly in the mid-90s' and its dominance in the OS market continues to this day.

Factors of Success

Many attribute the success of the Windows OS to its simplicity of use, early focus on business functions/productivity, and attractive user interfaces (especially compared to those in the mid-90s when Windows' explosive market growth began).

The key reason though, is clearly the large uptake of Windows application development by developers worldwide. In the beginning of the Mac .vs. PC rivalry, the sheer number of applications already written and available for Windows made switching from a Windows-based OS to a Mac-based OS less practical for many users. More example applications were already written for Windows, which encouraged developers to use it as a platform. Through the acquisition and successful integration of the DOS command-line based Operating System, and many other similar smaller competitors, Windows immediately had a massive application base available to its users.

Because of the "acquisition" stigma, some argued that it was ruthless business tactics, relentless marketing campaigns, and Microsoft's strong legal team which served as the biggest contributors to the OS's early and subsequent growth.


As mentioned above, pundits and critics of the Windows OS most often cite Microsoft's cut-throat and/or predatory business practices in the early days of growth as being the largest factors contributing to the present day popularity of the OS. Others believe it was only the exclusive distribution partnerships with Hardware manufacturers and retail outlets which allowed Windows usage to grow so quickly.




Windows 1

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Windows 2

Windows 3


Windows 95


Windows 98
Windows ME

Windows XP

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Windows Vista

Windows 7

Windows 8

Formerly known as Metro, renamed Windows 8 after launch. This version boasts the first major departure from the standard Taskbar and infamous Windows START icon.

According to some Windows 9 development was scrapped and released as Windows 8.1 for free for all current Windows 8 users[12]. In addition, many OEMs started packaging their Windows-designed devices (desktops, tables and some phones) with Windows 8.1 directly rather than starting out with Windows 8 and requiring the user upgrade after activation.

[13] [14]

Windows 10

Windows 10 was then started as an entirely new code branch designed to be compatible with all Windows 8-compatible systems, then automatically rolled out to users, at first via free upgrade offers then via suggested updates and if necessary eventually forced updates. Microsoft stated their intention to have Windows 10 installed on at least 1 billion devices within one year of its launch, through the strength of their automatic upgrade scheme. The August 2015 release of Windows 10, however, was a failure with many end-user issues caused including black screens of death, infinite reboot loops, hard-drive corruptions and graphics card failures.

The reason for skipping a version in the naming scheme is reportedly due to the scrapping of the first iteration of Windows 9 code and rolling of some of that into Windows 8.1, in addition to the fact that Windows 10 is seen as such a huge departure from the prior Windows 8 version's core features, performance, code, overall architecture, and product plans (unified OS across devices & native support for Cloud apps) that it wouldn't be right to simply name it Windows 9; finally, it was reportedly desired to go with WindowsOne to match overall branding efforts (as in OneNote, OneDrive, Xbox One, etc) but that wouldn't work either as the numerical verison Windows 1 was already used for the first Windows version and would cause confusion.

[15] [16]

Windows 10x

Windows Subsystem for Linux

[17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27]

Windows 11

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Windows 12



Windows NT

Windows Server


Windows CE

Windows Mobile

Windows Phone

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Windows RT


Microsoft PixelSense (formerly Surface[48]) is Microsoft's large touch-screen OS and UI offering, targeted at enterprises and display kiosks such as those found at Airports, Museums, Hotels, Casinos, Bars and other public places with a need to interact with patrons or customers.

Universal Windows Platform

Universal Windows Platform (UWP) declare in their manifest the device capabilities they need such as access to the microphone, location, Webcam, USB devices, files, and so on. The user must acknowledge and authorize that access before the app is granted the capability.


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Windows PowerToys


Windows Package Manager

Patch Tuesday

"Patch Tuesday" is a planned update/change/release day set by Microsoft on the second Tuesday of each month, wherein patches are issued for Microsoft's flagship products/services including Windows, WindowsServer, WindowsMobile, etc. Microsoft has a pattern of releasing a larger number of updates in even-numbered months, and fewer in odd-numbered months, but minor patches can also go out ad hoc on an as-needed basis (daily/nightly, whenever potential security/performance issues that can be fixed with what Microsoft deems as "low risk").

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Windows Narrator


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Naturally Speaking

Nuance, the company behind longtime "voice control" assistive technology leader "Dragon NaturallySpeaking", was acquired by Microsoft 2021-04-12. It also appears that Microsoft have wasted no time integrating these features into its latest OS, Windows 11.

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External Links

No, Microsoft Isn’t Turning Windows 10 Into a Paid Subscription Service:


  1. "Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, Microsoft From The Inside": (an expose on "How The World's Richest Corporation Wields Its Power")
  2. 35 Years of Microsoft Windows - Remembering Windows 1.0:
  3. Microsoft Windows 1.01 (use the OS, simulated in the browser):
  4. U.S. government agencies are still using Windows 3.1, floppy disks and 1970s computers:
  5. An engineer made Windows 95 into an app: | SRC
  6. US Navy paid millions to stay on Windows XP:
  7. Windows XP is still running thousands of websites worldwide:
  8. Microsoft issues critical fix for systems still running Windows XP, Windows 2003 to stop worms:
  9. Report (as of 2014) -- 52% of businesses still running Windows XP, despite support ending in 2014:
  10. If You're Still Using Windows XP Your Company Is at Risk:
  11. Millions of people are still running Windows XP:
  12. wikipedia: Windows 9
  13. Why Was There No Windows 9?:
  14. How to fix "Print Spooler Keeps Stopping" on Windows 8/10:
  15. When Will Microsoft Stop Supporting Windows 10?:
  16. Windows 10’s Weather Widget Is a Mess. Is Windows 11 Next?:
  17. Windows Subsystem for Linux Installation Guide for Windows 10:
  18. Windows Subsystem for Linux FAQs:
  19. WSL System Calls:
  20. WSL File System Support:
  21. Fun with the Windows Subsystem for Linux:
  22. Bash Scripting for Beginners:
  23. Windows 10 May 2020 Update review -- Microsoft boosts Linux and Your Phone, but Cortana slips hard:
  24. The Windows Subsystem for Linux BUILD 2020 summary:
  25. How to run Linux and Bash on "Windows 10 Anniversary Update" (VIDEO):
  26. Bad News (for FOSS)!? Windows 10 Will Soon Have a Real Linux Kernel:
  27. WSL 2 Support is coming to Windows 10 Versions 1903 and 1909:
  28. Introducing Windows 11:
  29. Windows 11 is free, but your CPU might not be supported:
  30. Windows 11 - Release date, price, and everything you need to know:
  31. Microsoft’s 11-Minute video of the "Windows Startup" sound (to promote Windows 11 beta) is weirdly soothing:
  32. Microsoft debuts Windows 11, first major update in 6 years:
  33. What Are the Minimum System Requirements to Run Windows 11?:
  34. What’s the Difference Between Windows 10 and Windows 11?:
  35. Windows 11 - What’s New In Microsoft’s New OS:
  36. How to Fix “This PC Can’t Run Windows 11”:
  37. Confirmed - Windows 11 Home Requires a Microsoft Account and Internet For Setup:
  38. Windows 11 Won’t Let You Move the Taskbar (But It Should):
  39. It’s Official - Windows 11 Has a Release Date:
  40. Windows 11 Won’t Support Android Apps on Day One:
  41. Microsoft accidentally teases new Media Player for Windows 11:
  42. Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22518: (in particular see announcement about new & improved A11Y Voice Controls)
  43. Microsoft Testing Voice Control in Windows 11:
  44. Is Microsoft Working on Windows 12? Probably Not:
  45. Microsoft Announces Update to Windows CE .NET:
  46. Microsoft is finally killing off the Windows Phone:
  47. Ways Windows Phone Was Ahead of Its Time:
  48. Microsoft Surface touch screen OS rebranded as PixelSense:
  49. wikipedia: Universal Windows Platform
  50. Device families overview:
  51. Publish Windows apps and games:
  52. Whats is difference between PWA and UWP?:
  53. PWAs are Coming to Windows Store in Windows 10 Version 1803:
  54. Create a simple 2D scroller UWP game in JavaScript: | SRC
  55. Creating a 3D JavaScript game using three.js:
  56. Creating a Simple Windows 8+ Game with JavaScript: Game Basics & CreateJS/EaselJS:
  57. Windows 10 April 2018 Update - The ultimate changelog: (includes Microsoft's announcement of support for ServiceWorkers)
  58. Microsoft may focus on desktops with UWP — here's why you should care:
  59. All Microsoft’s PowerToys for Windows 10 and 11, Explained:
  60. Patch Tuesday, December 2019 Edition:
  61. What Is Patch Tuesday for Windows, and When Is It?:
  62. wikipedia: Windows Package Manager
  63. Add principles of inclusive design to your Windows app:
  64. Deque University -- Microsoft Narrator - Keyboard Shortcuts:
  65. Microsoft Narrator -- Appendix B - Narrator keyboard commands and touch gestures:
  66. Windows 10 - Lists of main vocal commands for speech recognition and dictation:
  67. Use voice typing to talk instead of type on your PC:
  68. How to use Speech Recognition in Windows 7 & 8:
  69. Use voice recognition in Windows 10 & 11:
  70. How to set up and use Windows 10 Speech Recognition:
  71. How to Use Windows Narrator to Convert Your Text to Speech:
  72. Speech API Overview (SAPI 5.3):
  73. Microsoft accelerates industry cloud strategy for healthcare with the acquisition of Nuance:
  74. Microsoft buys AI speech tech company Nuance for $19.7 billion (completed 2021-04-12): (Microsoft’s second-biggest acquisition since buying LinkedIn)
  75. Microsoft's $19.7 billion purchase of Nuance just took a major step:
  76. Microsoft buys speech recognition firm Nuance in a $16 billion deal:
  77. Microsoft Announces Acquisition Of Nuance; Targets Completion In 2021:
  78. Does Dragon NaturallySpeaking have a trial version? How good is the program?:
  79. wikipedia: Resource Hacker
  80. Set Custom Icon to any Exe File Easily With Resource Hacker:
  81. How to Modify the Icon of an EXE File:
  82. View and Extract Icons from Shell32.dll in Windows:
  83. How do I add icons to system root?: (you can't, but you can point to separate ones)
  84. Easily Convert Any Kind of Image Jpg, -- Png etc Into Ico(icon) Online:
  85. Using Scoop behind a proxy:
  86. Scoop docs -- JDK:
  87. Install JDK With Scoop And Say Hello World!:
  88. JDK Installation from command-line (Mac/Homebrew .vs. Windows/Scoop):
  89. Now you'll choose to enter the Windows boot menu before you reboot, not after.:
  90. How to boot into safe mode in Windows 10:
  91. Windows 10 update triggers reboot glitch for some users:
  92. Windows 10 cumulative update causes 'reboot loop' havoc for some users:
  93. Cumulative Update for Windows 10 for x64-based Systems (KB3081424) FAILED and took forever to uninstall:
  94. Windows 10 Forced Updates Causing Endless Crash Loops:
  95. The 10 Best Registry Hacks for Windows 10:
  96. Location of the "Startup" folder within Start Menu in Windows 10/8 (to configure apps that run on Windows boot):
  97. 8 traits of great Metro style apps:
  98. Windows 10 Tip -- Create Shortcuts for Universal Apps:
  99. How to Add, Remove, and Customize Tiles on the Windows 10 Start Menu:
  100. Windows Desktop Search 2.x -- Advanced Query Syntax:
  101. How to Fix a Slow Context Menu in Windows 10’s File Explorer:
  102. How to Turn Off Animations and Make Windows 10 Seem Faster:
  103. How to Enable "Blue Light Filtering" in Windows 10:
  104. Windows 11’s Tiny Context Menu Buttons Will Confuse People:
  105. Windows 10 Start menus: Start10 vs. Classic Shell:
  106. Microsoft Kills Automatic Registry Backups in Windows 10:

See Also

OS | PC | Microsoft | Mac | Linux/Unix | DOS | Batch Script | PowerShell