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Windows is a family of operating systems developed and published by Microsoft since 1985. There have been several major branches of Windows to capitalize on various markets. The three main branches are for personal computers, servers, and portable devices, with dozens of variations within each (especially among the portable devices). I have used the majority of the popular versions of Windows and have found it to be an pretty terrible operating system throughout its history, though I still use it as my primary system because of its ubiquity.


Software developed for a specific version of Windows is not always compatible with another version, and the more versions that come out, the less-likely they are to be compatible. Unfortunately, developers rarely specify which versions of Windows will run their software.

Home Versions

Version Release Date
Windows 1 1985-11-20
Windows 2 1987-12-09
Windows 3 1990-05-22
Windows 3 NT 1993-07-27
Windows 3.5 NT 1994-09-21
Windows 95 1995-08-24
Windows 4 NT 1996-08-24
Windows 98 1998-06-25
Windows 2000 2000-02-17
Windows ME 2000-09-14
Windows XP 2001-10-25
Windows Vista 2007-01-30
Windows 7 2009-10-22
Windows 8 2012-10-26
Windows 10 2015-07-29