Microsoft Windows - An Introduction to MS Windows

Microsoft Windows is a group of several proprietary graphical operating system families, all of which are developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry.

With the examination point of view, there are quite a few Government exams which include Computer Awareness as a part of their syllabus, and MS Windows is an important topic from that prospect. 

To get the list of all major Government exams and information related to each of them, candidates can visit the linked article.

Strengthen your command over the Computer Awareness section and improve your final scores in the upcoming competitive exams, with the help of links given below:

In this article, we shall discuss at length about the history and development of Windows along with all its versions till date, Windows operating system, applications and important commands. 

Furthermore, candidates looking for more study material related to the Computer Awareness preparation, are advised to check the links given below:

Introduction to Microsoft Windows

Brief introduction about MS Windows has been given in the table below, candidates must refer to this information:

MS Windows
Developer Microsoft
Initial Release 20th November 1985
Marketing Target Personal Computing
Languages Available in 138 languages
Default User Interface Windows Shell
Official Website https://www.microsoft.com/ 

What is Windows Operating System?

By definition, an Operating System is a group of several GUIs (Graphical User Interface) families, all of which are developed, sold and marketed by Microsoft. 

The latest version of Microsoft Operating System which is being widely used across the world is Windows 10. 

For conceptual clarity and understanding the context well, candidates are advised to check out the video given below:

History and Development of Windows

It was 1983 when work on “Interface Manager” was started by Microsoft but it was in November 1995, when the first Windows 1.0 was introduced. Later on, with developments in technology, the requirement of the people and increased demand for Graphical User Interface, Microsoft kept releasing revised versions of Operating Systems.

The image given below shows the different Microsoft Operating Systems along with the year in which they were introduced:

MS Windows - History & Development of Windows Operating System

Versions of Windows Operating System

Let us understand the different versions of Windows Operating System along with the features of each of them individually. 

1. Windows 1.0

  • It was released on November 20, 1985 
  • Pure Operating Environment
  • Used Graphical User Interface
  • Simple Graphics
  • Offered limited multi-tasking was expected to have a better future potential

2. Windows 2.0

  • It was released on December 9, 1987
  • 16 bit Graphic User Interface (GUI) based operating environment
  • Introduced Control Panel, and the first version of MS Word and Excel
  • Unlike Windows 1.0, it had the capacity to allow applications to overlap each other
  • It was also the last Windows OS which did not require a hard disk
  • Hardware played an important role

3. Windows 3.0

  • It was released in 1990
  • It was better at multitasking
  • Used 8086 microprocessors
  • It has both, conventional and extendable memory
  • First version of Windows to gather critical appreciation
  • Better memory/ storage

Note* – None of the above mentioned Windows was Operating Systems. They all came under the category of Windows, working based on a graphical operating environment. It was Windows 95, which was the first Operating System released by Microsoft.

4. Window 95

  • It was the first complete Operating System 
  • It was released on August 15, 1995
  • It merged MS-DOS and Windows products
  • It simplified plug and play features
  • Taskbar and Start menu was introduced with this Windows OS
  • Advanced from 16 bit GUI to 32 bit GUI
  • Long file names could be saved
  • Initially, computers with Windows 95 did not have Internet Explorer installed but by the release date of Windows 95, the first version of Internet Explorer was installed in the software
  • On December 31, 2001, Windows declared this version of OS outdated and ended its support for the same

5. Windows 98

  • It was released to manufacturing on May 15, 1998
  • It was a 16 bit and 32 bit product based on MS DOS
  • It was not an entirely new version but just a tuned-up version to Windows 95
  • Internet Explorer 4.01 was released along with this Windows version
  • It did not support USB printers or mass storage devices 
  • An update to this version “Windows SE” was released in 1999

6. Windows 2000

  • It was officially released on February 17, 2000. However, its manufacturing had begun in late 1999
  • A core set of features was followed for manufacturing Windows 2000 but 4 different editions, targeting different sectors of the market were released. These included: Server, Professional, Advanced Server and Data center Server
  • It was considered as one of the most secure OS ever
  • A local disk manager was introduced with these Windows
  • Multilingual User Interface – it supported many different languages

7. Windows XP

  • While the manufacturing started on August 24, 2001, the official product was released on October 25, 2001
  • Advanced portable PC support
  • Automatic wireless connection support
  • Fast start up
  • Better Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Help and support centre

8. Windows Vista

  • It was released on January 30, 2007
  • It had an upgraded version of Graphical User Interface
  • It was the first operating system to use DVD-ROM for installation

9. Windows 7

  • It was released on October 22, 2009
  • A large number of new features were introduced
  • Redesigned Windows shell with an updated taskbar
  • Incremental upgrade to the Windows line
  • Libraries were added in the file management system
  • A few features from the past Windows were removed
  • Extended hardware support

10. Windows 8

  • It was released for retail on October 26, 2012
  • Optimisations for touch-based
  • Installed in new devices like Laptops, Mobile phones, tablets, etc.
  • Increased integration with cloud services
  • Windows Store service for software distribution
  • Task manager had been redesigned
  • New security features were introduced
  • Online Applications could be directly downloaded

11. Windows 10

  • It was released on July 29, 2015
  • Addresses shortcomings in the user interface first introduced with Windows 8
  • A virtual desktop system
  • It had the ability to run windows store apps within windows on the desktop rather than in the full-screen mode
  • Included new icons
  • To reduce storage shortcomings, Windows 10 automatically compresses the file size

Candidates looking forward to preparing themselves for the upcoming competitive exams can check out the links given below and solve more and more questions to ace the examination:

Applications in Windows

There are all kinds of applications which are available at the Windows store and people can easily access them and download them for their personal or professional usage.

Given below is a list of such application available on Windows:

  • Web Browsers
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Reader
  • Messenger
  • Media Players
  • Games
  • Audio/ Video Chatting Apps
  • Maps & Calendar and this list goes on

Aspirants must note that questions from Computer Knowledge may also be asked as a part of the General Awareness section. So, the preparation must be done accordingly.

Apart from the Computer Awareness section, there are various other sections which are a part of the competitive exam syllabus. Given below are the links for the same:

List of Important Commands for Windows

Since Computers run over a set of commands which are entered in the form of input, which with the advancement of Operating Systems can be entered through various Hardware devices.

Given below are a few important MS-DOS Windows commands for the reference of candidates:

Important Commands for Windows
cd – change directory help – help about a command
cls – clear window notepad – windows notepad text editor
dir – display list of contents of current directory type – displays content of text file
assoc – display/modify file extensions attrib – displays/ change file attributes
call – calls one batch program file from another color – set text and background colour
comp – compares the contents of two files copy – to copy one or more files to another location
date – displays date del – delete multiple files
edit – Run MS-DOS text editor exit – close MS-DOS window
find – search for a text string in a file move – move one or more files to another location

Mostly the above-mentioned commands are not directly used by the user but are entered into the computer through a hardware device.

All the information given above in this article will help aspirants know more about the History and development of Windows and Operating System and questions from this topic may be asked in the upcoming examinations, so preparation must be done accordingly. 

Candidates can also check the difference between hardware and software at the linked article. 

Furthermore, there are various other difference between articles which will help candidates learn more about the different computer-based terms/programs/devices, etc. Given below are few such important links:

Sample MS Windows Questions and Answers

Computer Knowledge is an integral part of the exam syllabus for various Government sector jobs. It is important for candidates to have an idea to the type of questions which may be asked in this section.

Thus, given below are a few sample questions based on Microsoft Windows, in the same format as asked in various competitive exams. Aspirants can refer to these and apprehend the question pattern and types.

Q 1. In which year was Windows 8 released?

  1. 2009
  2. 2008
  3. 2012
  4. 2013
  5. 2010

Answer: (3) 2012

Q 2. What is the full form of ‘U’ in ‘GUI’?

  1. Unified
  2. Unfiltered
  3. User
  4. Utility
  5. Utilisation

Answer: (3) User

Q 3. What is the maximum size of a word document created in Windows?

  1. 1 MB
  2. 16 MB
  3. 62 MB
  4. 1 GB
  5. 32 MB

Answer: (5) 32 MB

Q 4. What are the total number of function keys on a keyboard?

  1. 15
  2. 13
  3. 11
  4. 12
  5. 10

Answer: (4) 12

Q 5. Which of the following does not have a start button?

  1. Windows 7
  2. Windows XP
  3. Windows Vista
  4. Windows 8
  5. Windows 8.1

Answer: (4) Windows 8

All these questions are for reference purpose. Candidates must be well prepared to excel in this section as though the questions are basic, they may be confusing.

To get a proper Preparation Strategy for Competitive Exams, aspirants can visit the linked article.

For any further information related to the competitive exams 2020, candidates can get all the required assistance at BYJU’S.

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