- In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, two young men with a vision, began a start-up called Microsoft.
- This was at a time when typewriters were still used and few had heard of microcomputers.
- A few years after it was founded, Steve Ballmer was asked by Gates to join the company.
- Their first project was MS-DOS, an operating system to help computer programs run.
The inception of Windows
20 Nov 1985
- From the original MS-DOS, Windows was built, a much better operating system, which used a mouse to navigate around instead of typing in MsS-DOS commands.
- Windows 1.0 was shipped on 20 November 1985.
- Since then, there have been updates to Windows every few years; newer versions, each having some advancements.
- In 1988, Microft became the largest PC software company in the world.
The success story of Windows XP
25 Oct 2001
- On 25 October 2001, Windows XP was launched with great success.
- It became a bestseller with the Start menu, the Control Panel and taskbar becoming more intuitive. Other features were also inherently more accessible and user friendly.
- It was reliable, secure and fast, with a fresh visual design and features like remote desktop support, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker and digital photo support.
The next generations of Windows
- The next version to be released was Vista in 2006, which had enhancements to the media player; the look was also redesigned.
- Windows 7, the next upgrade was the first to start the touch, allowing touchscreen users to flip through webpages, photos etc.
- It increased functionality and provided a more fun interface with Snap, Peek and Shake.
- By this time, laptops were outselling desktops.
The Windows 8 gaffe
- Microsoft gambled with Windows 8, managing an engineering triumph- with several new features but disappointed most users.
- The interface was more touch oriented and caused problems for those who were upgrading from older hardware.
- The new user interface was confusing and the lack of a Start button was inexplicable.
- The newly added Charms bar, with the hovering over the hot corners was rather frustrating.
Microsoft is back in the game
3 Aug 2015
- Microsoft has come out with the latest update to Windows- the Windows 10 improving on Windows 8.
- Even though it is only being rolled out in phases, Microsoft announced that there are almost 14 million users already.
- With Windows 10 being the first version to be available free of cost to all users, Microsoft should be looking at a very large number of upgraders.
So, what are the new features?
3 Aug 2015
- For starters, the familiar old Start Menu is back, at the lower left-hand corner; the Live Tiles from 8 remain, but are situated inside the Start menu, not taking up the entire screen.
- The hot corners all over the screen in Windows 8 are gone.
- Internet Explorer has been replaced with a faster browser called Edge. There's a new Siri-like virtual assistant called Cortana.
The Windows 10 vision
3 Aug 2015
- Windows 10 seems to accept that it went too futuristic with Windows 8 and attempts to re-establish Microsoft's erstwhile hegemony.
- 10 still keeps the vision of being an operating system that bridges the gap between different devices.
- The touchscreen vision from Windows 8 remains; on a 2-in-1 device like Surface Pro-3, there's an option to switch off the keyboard and use the touch only.
The pros and cons of Windows 10
3 Aug 2015
- Edge still clings to features of Internet Explorer that were horrors and is not too user friendly.
- Cortana, however, is a great addition which can handle local searches, answer questions. It's cloud powered, meaning it can be downloaded on Android.
- Security has been increased on 10, allowing fingerprint scanning- but the hardware isn't available on all computers. 10 is still a work in progress.
The Microsoft billionaire
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, dropped out of Harvard to start the company. At the moment, he is worth $79.6 billion and is the richest person in the world, having held the title for 16 out of the last 21 years.
PC: 'Bill Gates - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008 number3' by World Economic Forum - originally posted to Flickr as Bill Gates - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
PC: 'Windows 10 Logo' by Microsoft Corporation - Uploaded by RainingFlight. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
PC: 'Windows 98 on an IBM PC 5150"' by Howardmckinley3. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons