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Windows Operating Systems

Windows probably does not need much introduction. Most people used it at some point in their life.

Created
9/17/2019

Versions

Windows (Windows NT)

Perhaps the most well-known desktop operating system is developed by Microsoft. The first version of Windows NT, version 3.1, was released in 1993. The New Technology (NT) kernel replaced the MS-DOS kernel used in legacy Windows versions. This greatly improved stability and allowed the use of modern hardware technologies. Since the release of Windows 2000, Windows name is used instead of Windows NT.

Originally it targeted servers and professional workstations and lacked some features, such as multimedia support and ACPI. Since Windows XP, the NT kernel was used in consumer-oriented Windows versions too. The latest version is Windows 10.

The only operating system that usually fully works on any modern PC because, unlike other operating systems, it's fully supported by most hardware manufacturers. It's also very easy for beginners, this OS comes pre-installed on new computers and everything usually works out of the box. Most existing programs work on Windows. Windows is usually the first and the only operating system people learn to use because it's so dominant and widespread.

The license to use Windows is not cheap. There is a cheaper alternative to Windows 10 Pro called just Windows 10. But this version is targeted at home users and lacks many useful features, such as Hyper-V virtualization and other things.

License
Paid, closed-source
Release Model
2 major updates per year
Support Duration
5 years mainstream support and then 5 years extended support

Windows (MS-DOS-based)

Windows version 1.0 was released in 1985. It was a graphical environment for DOS. In later versions (Windows 95), the MS-DOS kernel was a part of the Windows OS itself. The last version of Windows that used the MS-DOS kernel was Windows ME (Millennium Edition) released in 2000. After that, only versions of Windows NT were developed.

License
closed-source
Release Model
Discontinued
Support Duration
Discontinued

ReactOS

ReactOS is an effort to create an open-source clone of Windows NT. It is not stable for production use.

License
open-source
Release Model
todo
Support Duration
todo