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Farewell Windows 7

Windows 7 support officially ended yesterday and
with it a truly good time of one operating system as
reliable as good ol’ Windows XP. Since today only
customers with ESU subscription will receive updates.

With over 10 years of activity, Windows 7 is as successful as Windows XP if not more successful. The fact that a lot of people neglected Windows Vista and directly updated to Windows 7 and also the fact that Windows 7 still runs on one third of all Windows computers show that Windows 7 has still a very solid fan base even though Windows 10 was free to upgrade from Windows 7 since 2015. However the aggressive update policy took place in 2017 when Microsoft had first plans to drop support for Windows 7 but received a lot of feedback not to do so. This made Windows 7 live till yesterday, for private users that is (or for those private users willing to buy an ESU subscription for 80 US$ per year)

Extended Support is said to last until January 7th, 2023 which means another 3 years for paying users.

But although Windows 7 will no longer receive updates does not automatically mean you have to finish it off just now. However you have to be even more careful now when being online or opening attachments from unknown sources.

However you should think of updating Windows 7 to Windows 10 in the near future as even manufacturers and game developers will start dropping support for Windows 7 soon.

But let’s have a historical hike through time and development of Windows from it’s first version 1.01 in 1985 till today…


1985: Bill Gates was presenting the first Windows to the public for 95 US$ while Apple&Co. were laughing at this rather inexpensive product


On November 20th, 1985 this Windows became officially available in stores.


Windows 1.0 came with a GUI and a handful of programs which still exist today and supported mouse interaction.


Windows was a DOS addon which alloed rudimentary multi tasking.


With Windows 2.0 (1987) first Office programs became available: Word and Excel!


Windows 3.0 (1990) was considered the first usable version of Windows.


Windows 3.0 got a refreshed GUI and a new file manager. With Windows 3.1 Minesweeper was the first game bundled with the GUI.


Windows 3.1 (1991) became more user-friendly in regards of mouse input and got a far better multitasking. Altough delivered on floppy disks, operation of Windows 3.1 was HDD-only!


Windows 3.11 also contained initial networking capabilities.


Not only did it loose it's grey and dull appearance thanks to the use of color themes...

win11 also got bundled tools like MS Paint which still exists in today's Windows (of course with more features and a modern GUI!)


Windows 3.5 NT (1994) became the pro version of Windows 3.11 for use in large enterprises and concentrated fully on network capabilities and workgroups.


Windows 95 broke with the name scheme and Windows NT4.0 was the last Windows version (for enterprises) that kept the old numbering scheme. The numbering scheme still exists but only internally. So Windows 95 became Windows 4.0 for home users (Code name Chicago)


Even with DOS in the background, Windows 95 became the OS where DOS was no longer a topic for those who were born with mouse and GUI interaction.


Windows 95 also aimed for gamers. With DirectX, Windows 95 was the first OS which came with an enhanced graphics API.


Also communication with the rest of the world became popular with Windows 95. The IE and a big modem support library as well as the support of USB made it a remarkable OS that time!


Windows 98 (1998) was Windows 4.1 internally and called "Memphis". Also it ran way more stable than Windows 95.


The GUI of Windows 98 also became more modern and fresh yet greyish.


There was even Windows 98 SE which ironed out some issues of Windows 98.


Windows ME (2000) was one of those Windows versions one would better forget about.


It often crashed and albeit it's lack of DOS as a backend it still wasn't the Windows 2000, Microsoft hoped for.


Windows ME however was a preview of how Windows 2000 could look alike.


And the Professional version (internally called NT5.0) was the first Windows version to cut off DOS as backend totally. Native OS and Kernel meets great stability.


Also a lot of today's internet technologies were used then already. Windows 2000 Server introduced IIS (Internet INformation Server) for example...


With Windows XP (2001) the first OS that lasted over ten years, hit the shelves. A fresh and sleek UI design, poppy colors and great stability. Say hello to Whistler (NT5.1)


The Home edition was the version for home users who didn't need all features of XP Professional. I.e. a handful of useful network tools.


Windows XP was the first OS to support Multiple Logon at the same time.


The green meadow background called "Bliss" was a retouched version of a field in Sonoma Valley, California which isn't as green as shown there.


With the new Candy optics Windows got a fresh modern look even youger users liked well. There was also a 64-Bit version (NT5.2) to cope with more than 2GB of RAM.


Windows Vista (2007) also internally called Longhorn (NT6.0) was the successor to XP and should end the Existence of XP soon.


But a lot of trouble and sluggish behavior on older computers made XP live longer than expected.


The use of mini apps on the desktop made it possible for users to interact with OS portions without the need of starting an app.


Also the Explorer got a more 3Dish design which made it look even more modern than XP.


But only Windows 7 (2009) was the final breakthrough to end Windows XP's life. With NT6.1 (Codename Blackcomb or Vienna) Microsoft set a new milestone.


Four different versions made it easy for the users to find the Windows for their needs and only pay for what they're using. Experts however got the Ultimate edition.


A Windows one would love!


And the UI with Aero got even more modern and functional.


Everything ran perfect. And Windows 7 was rocksolid. Hardly anything could bring down a good-maintained Windows 7.


Windows 8 (2012) was the era of NT6.2 (internally called Blue later with Windows 8.1)


Windows 8.1 (2013) was NT6.3 and ironed out problems of Windows 8. A tile-based UI and start menu not everyone liked, but optimized for the use with touchscreen devices.


Windows 10 (2015) however brought back the desktop and it's icons. Tiles are solely used in the Start menu and is called NT10.0 or Redstone. So NT7 to NT9 were completely skipped.


Windows 10 as we know it today and which also set a miolestone for dark themes.


A OS also used on almost every device possible. One core for all.

win01 win02 win03 win04 win05 win07 win06 win08 win09 win10 win11 win12 win13 win14 win15 Win16 win17 win18 win19 win20 win21 win22 win23 win24 win25 win26 win27 win28 win29 win30 win31 win32 win33 win34 win35 win36 win37 win38 win39 win40 win41 win42 win43

The following chart shows all windows versions ever released for desktops:

Windows version Codenames Release date Release version Editions Latest build Support status
Windows 10 Threshold, Redstone, July 15, 2015 NT 10.0 Windows 10 Home 18363 All editions except LTSB/LTSC: Major versions serviced for 18 months from release date (30 months for Enterprise customers)
YYHx   Windows 10 Pro   2015 LTSB: Mainstream support until October 13, 2020; Extended support until October 14, 2025
  July 29, 2015 (Availability) Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 1909 (November 2019 Update) 2016 LTSB: Mainstream support until October 12, 2021; Extended support until October 13, 2026
    Windows 10 Pro Education   2019 LTSC: Mainstream support until January 9, 2024; Extended support until January 9, 2029
    Windows 10 Enterprise    
    Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC (formerly LTSB)    
    Windows 10 Education    
    Windows 10 IoT Core    
    Windows 10 IoT Enterprise    
    Windows 10 S    
    See Windows 10 editions and Windows 10 version history    
Windows 8.1 Blue August 27, 2013 NT 6.3 Windows 8.1 9600 Mainstream support ended on January 9, 2018
  Windows 8.1 Pro   Extended support until January 10, 2023
October 17, 2013 (Availability) Windows 8.1 Enterprise (April 8 update)  
  Windows 8.1 OEM    
  Windows 8.1 with Bing    
Windows 8 N/A August 1, 2012 NT 6.2 Windows 8 9200 Unsupported as of January 12, 2016
  Windows 8 Pro
October 26, 2012 (Availability) Windows 8 Enterprise
  Windows 8 OEM
Windows 7 Blackcomb, Vienna July 22, 2009 NT 6.1 Windows 7 Starter 7601 Mainstream support ended on January 13, 2015
  Windows 7 Home Basic   Extended support ended on January 14, 2020
October 22, 2009 (Availability) Windows 7 Home Premium (Service Pack 1)  
  Windows 7 Professional    
  Windows 7 Enterprise    
  Windows 7 Ultimate    
  Windows Thin PC    
Windows Vista Longhorn November 8, 2006 NT 6.0 Windows Vista Starter 6002 Mainstream support ended on April 10, 2012
  Windows Vista Home Basic   Extended support ended on April 11, 2017
January 30, 2007 (Availability) Windows Vista Home Premium (Service Pack 2)  
  Windows Vista Business    
  Windows Vista Enterprise    
  Windows Vista Ultimate    
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition N/A April 25, 2005 NT 5.2 N/A 3790 Mainstream support ended on April 14, 2009
  Extended support ended on April 8, 2014
(Service Pack 2)  
Windows XP Whistler August 24, 2001 NT 5.1 Windows XP Starter 2600 Mainstream support ended on April 14, 2009
  Windows XP Home   Extended support ended on April 8, 2014
October 25, 2001 (Availability) Windows XP Professional (Service Pack 3)  
  Windows XP 64-bit Edition    
  Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (July 8, 2006)    
Windows Me Millennium June 19, 2000 4.9 N/A 3000 Mainstream support ended on December 31, 2003
  Extended support ended on July 11, 2006
September 14, 2000 (Availability)  
Windows 2000 N/A December 15, 1999 (Release to Manufacturing) NT 5.0 Professional 2195 Mainstream support ended on June 30, 2005
  Extended support ended on July 13, 2010
February 17, 2000  
Windows 98 Memphis May 15, 1998 4.1 Windows 98 2222 A Mainstream support ended on June 30, 2002
  Windows 98 Second Edition (April 23, 1999) Extended support ended on July 11, 2006
June 25, 1998 (Availability)    
Windows NT 4.0 Shell Update Release, Cairo July 31, 1996 NT 4.0 Windows NT 4.0 Workstation 1381 Mainstream support ended on June 30, 2002
    Extended support ended on June 30, 2004
August 24, 1996 (Availability) (Service Pack 6a)  
Windows 95 Chicago August 15, 1995 4 Windows 95 950 Mainstream support ended on December 31, 2000
  Windows 95 SP1 (December 31, 1995) Extended support ended on December 31, 2001
August 24, 1995 (Availability) Windows 95 OSR1 (February 14, 1996)
  Windows 95 OSR2 (August 24, 1996)
  Windows 95 USB Supplement to OSR2 (August 27, 1997)
  Windows 95 OSR2.1 (August 27, 1997)
  Windows 95 OSR2.5 (November 26, 1997)
Windows NT 3.51 Unknown May 30, 1995 NT 3.51 Windows NT 3.51 Workstation 1057 Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows NT 3.5 Daytona September 21, 1994 NT 3.5 Windows NT 3.5 Workstation 807 Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows 3.2 Unknown November 22, 1993 3.2 N/A 153 Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 Snowball November 8, 1993 3.11 N/A 300 Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows NT 3.1 NT/OS2 July 27, 1993 NT 3.1 Windows NT 3.1 528 Unsupported as of December 31, 2000
Windows 3.1 N/A April 6, 1992 3.1 Windows 3.1 103 Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows for Workgroups 3.1 (October 1992)
Windows 2.11 N/A March 13, 1989 2.11 Windows/286 N/A Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows 2.10 N/A May 27, 1988 2.1 Windows/286 N/A Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows 2.03 N/A December 9, 1987 2.03 N/A N/A Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows 1.04 N/A April 10, 1987 1.04 N/A N/A Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows 1.03 N/A August 21, 1986 1.03 N/A N/A Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows 1.02 N/A May 14, 1986 1.02 N/A N/A Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Windows 1.0 Interface Manager November 20, 1985 1.01 N/A N/A Unsupported as of December 31, 2001

January 15, 2020 Netspark - 1594 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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