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Chapter 1. Understanding the Windows XP ... > The Evolution of the XP Interface

The Evolution of the XP Interface

So, how did the Windows GUI that we use today come to be? It came to be through a slow process of evolution.

First, let’s take a quick look at the various versions of Windows that have been developed over the last 20 years. Although most people regard Microsoft Windows 3.0 as the first version of the Windows platform, it was actually preceded by Windows 1.0 (1985) and Windows 2.0 (1987, there were specialized versions of 2.0 for computers running 286 and 386 processors). Microsoft Windows 3.0 was launched with much fanfare in the spring of 1990. It was not until the release of Windows 3.1, however, in 1992 (when over one million copies of the platform were sold in the first few months after it was made available), that Windows truly experienced a large install base both in the home and business markets. With the launch of Windows 95 (released in 1995, more than one million copies were sold in the first few days it was available), Microsoft offered a client operating system that no longer required an initial installation of DOS. Windows 95 was also an interface design departure for Microsoft that offered tools that are still around in Windows XP, such as the Start menu and the taskbar. Additional versions of Windows 9x followed including Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition. That brings us up to the current version of the Windows OS, Windows XP (available in both Home and Professional versions), which is the subject of this book.


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