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Microsoft Windows

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Desktop OS market share
as of November, 2012[1]
Microsoft Windows - 82%
Mac OS X and Mac OS - 6%
iOS - 6%
Android - 3%
Java ME - 1%
Linux - 1%
Other - 0%

Microsoft Windows is a popular operating system software for computers. Windows is made by the Microsoft company. Almost 90% of desktop and laptop computers have Windows installed (included). The newest version of Windows is Windows 8.1. Most newly bought personal computers have Windows 8 or Windows 7 installed. Some cheaper computers have older versions of Windows included. The newest version, Windows 10, came out July 29, 2015.

In November 20, 1985 "Microsoft Windows version 1.0" went on sale. Windows 8.1 went on sale in August, 2013.

Windows makes it easier to run programs (applications) than DOS did. It also helps people keep their files safe and in order.

Some programs are included with Windows. Some examples:

Many new applications are available that are not included with Windows. Some popular applications are games, word processors (to write letters) or add-on programs like Adobe Flash Player (to watch video clips and play games on websites). Adding new applications to Windows is called "installing". Applications can be bought on a CD or DVD. Applications can also be downloaded from the Internet, sometimes for free.

Popular Windows versions

Release date Product name Notes Last IE
May 22, 1990 Windows Unsupported (help for problems no longer given by Microsoft) 5.x
July 27, 1993 Windows NT Unsupported 5.x
August 24, 1995 Windows 9x Unsupported 6
November 17, 1996 Windows CE Unsupported 6
February 17, 2000 Windows 20xx Unsupported[2] 10
September 14, 2000 Windows Me Unsupported 6
October 25, 2001 Windows XP Unsupported 8
November 30, 2006 (volume licensing)
January 30, 2007 (retail)
Windows Vista Current. Version Changed to NT 6.0.6001 with SP1 (February 4 08) 9
July 2007 Windows Home Server 20xx Current 8
February 2008 Windows Server 2008 Current 9
October 22, 2009 Windows 7.x Current 10
October 26, 2012 Windows 8.x Supported 11
August 26, 2012 Windows RT 8.x Supported 11
September 4, 2012 Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Supported
July 29, 2015 Windows 10 Unsupported 11 or Edge
November 2015 Windows 10, version 1511 Supported IE: 11


August 2016 Windows 10, version 1607 Supported IE: 11


April 2017 Windows 10, version 1703 Supported IE: 11


October 2017 Windows 10, version 1709 Supported / Current IE: 11



Many users complain that Windows operating systems cause them problems. Some people think that their computers become slower because of Windows. Many people also complain about security problems. As Windows is the most popular operating system, most computer viruses are written to infect computers running Windows.


  1. Operating System Market Share, November 2012, courtesy of Net Applications, a marketing company which obtains its data from the Alexa Toolbar or related products. Because people who install these products on their computers are not always aware that the product reports web browsing habits back to the marketers at Alexa some security software considers the Alexa Toolbar spyware and removes it. Both the automated removal-as-spyware and the self-selecting nature of those who install software that reports on personal web browsing habits raises questions as to whether the resulting data represents a unbiased statistical sample of Internet users.
  2. "Microsoft Support Lifecycle". Microsoft. May 4, 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 

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