Microsoft Windows

1985 Windows 1.0
Windows 1.0 Desktop / Windows 1 retail box / Windows Advertising

1987 Windows 2.0

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Desktop Windows 2.0 / Windows 2.0 retail box

1990 Windows 3.0

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Desktop Windows 3.0 / Windows 3.0 retail box
1992 Windows 3.1 / Windows for Workgroups (WFW) 3.11

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Logo WFW 3.11 / Desktop WFW 3.11 / WFW 3.11 retail box
Windows for Workgroups was operating in enhanced mode and needed at least a 80386SX to run.

1993 Windows NT 3.1 (NT= New Technology)
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Windows NT 3.1 / Desktop Windows NT 3.1 / Windows NT 3.1 retail box

1994 Windows 3.2 (WfW 3.11 in simplified Chinese, limited release)


Windows 3.2 Desktop

1995 Windows 95

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Desktop Windows 95 / Windows 95 retail box

1996 Windows CE 1.0


First release of Windows CE, codename Pegasus.

Windows CE is optimized for devices that have minimal storage�a Windows CE kernel may run in under a megabyte of memory. Devices are often configured without disk storage, and may be configured as a �closed� system that does not allow for end-user extension (for instance, it can be burned into ROM). Read more at Wikipedia

1996 Windows NT 4.0

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Desktop Windows NT 4.0 / Windows
NT 4.0 retail box
Windows NT 4.0 runs on Intel processors and IA-32, Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC platforms

1998 Windows 98

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Desktop Windows 98 / Windows 98 retail box
In 1999, Microsoft released Windows 98 Second Edition, an interim release whose most notable feature was the addition of Internet Connection Sharing, which was a form of network address translation, allowing several machines on a LAN (Local Area Network) to share a single Internet connection. Second Edition was also much easier to use and much smoother than the first edition of Windows 98.
Hardware support through device drivers was increased. Read more at Wikipedia

2001 Windows (Server) 2000


Desktop Windows 2000 / Windows 2000 retail box
Microsoft released Windows 2000, known during its development cycle as Windows NT 5.0, in February 2000. It was successfully deployed both on the server and the workstation markets. Amongst Windows 2000's most significant new features was Active Directory, a near-complete replacement of the NT 4.0 Windows Server domain model, which built on industry-standard technologies like DNS, LDAP, and Kerberos to connect machines to one another. Terminal Services, previously only available as a separate edition of NT 4, was expanded to all server versions. Read more at Wikipedia

2000 Windows ME (Millenium Edition)

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Desktop Windows ME / Windows
ME retail box
Windows Me was widely criticised for serious stability issues, and for lacking real mode DOS support, to the point of being referred to as the "Mistake Edition" or Me meaning "Many Errors". Windows Me was the last operating system to be based on the Windows 9x (monolithic) kernel and MS-DOS. It is also the last 32-bit release of Microsoft Windows which does not include Product Activation. Read more at Wikipedia

2001 Windows XP

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Desktop Windows XP / Windows XP
retail box
In 2001, Microsoft released Windows XP (code named "Whistler"). The merging of the Windows NT/2000 and Windows 95/98/Me lines was finally achieved with Windows XP. Windows XP uses the Windows NT 5.1 kernel, marking the entrance of the Windows NT core to the consumer market, to replace the aging 16/32-bit branch. Read more at Wikipedia

2002 / 2005 Windows Media Center Edition

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Logo Windows Media Center Edition /
Windows Media Center Edition in action
This edition, which was code-named "Freestyle" during its development, was first released in September 2002. The initial release was available solely in conjunction with computers that included media center capabilities, and could not be purchased separately. The first major update was released in 2004 and distributed by Tier 1 OEMs who had previously sold Windows XP Media Center Edition PC, and then updated again in 2005, which was the first edition available for System Builders. Read more at Wikipedia

2003 Windows Server 2003

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Startmenu Windows Server 2003 / Windows Server 2003 retail box
On April 25, 2003 Microsoft launched Windows Server 2003, a notable update to Windows 2000 Server encompassing many new security features, a new "Manage Your Server" wizard that simplifies configuring a machine for specific roles, and improved performance. It has the version number NT 5.2. Read more at Wikipedia

2006 Windows Vista

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Windows Vista Logo / Windows Vista Desktop / Windows Vista retail boxes (all versions)
Windows Vista (codenamed Longhorn) was released on November 30, 2006 to business customers, with consumer versions following on January 30, 2007. Windows Vista intended to have enhanced security by introducing a new restricted user mode called User Account Control, replacing the "administrator-by-default" philosophy of Windows XP. One major difference between Vista and earlier versions of Windows, Windows 95 and later, is that the original start button was replaced with just the Windows icon. Vista also features new graphics features, the Windows Aero GUI, Read more at Wikipedia

2007 Home Windows Server 2007

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Logo Windows Home Server / Windows Home Server in action
Windows Home Server, code-named Quattro, is a home server operating system from Microsoft. Announced on 7 January 2007, at the Consumer Electronics Show by Bill Gates, Windows Home Server is intended to be a solution for homes with multiple connected PCs to offer file sharing, automated backups, and remote access. It is based on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2. Read more at Wikipedia

2008 Windows Server 2008
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Windows Server 2008 R2 Desktop
Windows Server 2008, released on February 27, 2008, was originally known as Windows Server Codename "Longhorn". Windows Server 2008 builds on the technological and security advances first introduced with Windows Vista, and is significantly more modular than its predecessor, Windows Server 2003. At the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2008, Microsoft announced Windows Server 2008 R2, as the server variant of Windows 7. Windows Server 2008 R2 will ship in 64-bit (x64 and Itanium) only. Read more at Wikipedia

2009 Windows 7
Windows 7 Logo / Windows 7 Desktop / Windows 7 retail boxes (all versions)
Windows 7 is the current major release after Windows Vista and was planned for a three-year development timeframe. It was previously known by the code-names Blackcomb and Vienna.
Some features of Windows 7 are faster booting, Device Stage, Windows PowerShell, less obtrusive User Account Control, multi-touch, improved window management, homegroup networking, multiple thumbnails for combined taskbar buttons, and better power management for notebooks. Read more at Wikipedia


Golf (1982)
Philips Videopac