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Microsoft Operating Systems

MS-DOS. In 1980 Microsoft focuses on a new operating system—the software that manages, or runs, the computer hardware and also serves to bridge the gap between the computer hardware and programs, such as a word processor. It’s the foundation on which computer programs can run. They name their new operating system "MS‑DOS." MS‑DOS stands for Microsoft Disk Operating System.

In 1985 Windows ships Windows 1.0. It is unique software designed for the serious PC users. There are drop-down menus, scroll bars, icons, and dialog boxes that make programs easier to learn and use. Windows 1.0 ships with several programs, including MS‑DOS file management, Paint, Windows Writer, Notepad, Calculator, and a calendar, card file, and clock to help you manage day-to-day activities.

In 1987 Microsoft releases Windows 2.0 with desktop icons and expanded memory. With improved graphics support, you can now overlap windows, control the screen layout, and use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your work. Windows 2.0 is designed for the Intel 286 processor.

In 1990, Microsoft announces Windows 3.0, followed shortly by Windows 3.1 in 1992. Windows now has significantly better performance, advanced graphics with 16 colors, and improved icons. Program Manager, File Manager, and Print Manager arrive in Windows 3.0. Windows software is installed with floppy discs bought in large boxes with heavy instruction manuals. The popularity of Windows 3.0 grows with the release of a new Windows software development kit (SDK), which helps software developers to focus more on writing programs and less on writing device drivers.

Unlike Windows 3.1, however, Windows NT 3.1 is a 32-bit operating system, which makes it a strategic business platform that supports high-end programs.

In 1995 Microsoft releases Windows 95. This is the era of fax/modems, e‑mail, the new online world, and dazzling multimedia games and educational software. Windows 95 has built-in Internet support, dial-up networking, and new Plug and Play capabilities that make it easy to install hardware and software. The 32-bit operating system also offers enhanced multimedia capabilities, more powerful features for mobile computing, and integrated networking. Windows 95 is the upgrade to the previous Windows and MS‑DOS operating systems. Upgrade versions are available for both floppy disk and CD-ROM formats. In the summer of 1995, the first version of Internet Explorer is released. The browser joins those already vieing for space on the World Wide Web.

Released in 1998, Windows 98 is the first version of Windows designed specifically for consumers. PCs are common at work and home, and Internet cafes where you can get online are popping up. Other improvements include the ability to open and close programs more quickly, and support for reading DVD discs and universal serial bus (USB) devices. Windows 98 is the last version based on MS‑DOS.

Designed for home computer use, Windows Me offers numerous music, video, and home networking enhancements and reliability improvements compared to previous versions. Windows Me was the last Microsoft operating system to be based on the Windows 95 code base.

Windows 2000 Professional is designed to replace Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 on all business desktops and laptops. Built on top of the proven Windows NT Workstation 4.0 code base, Windows 2000 adds major improvements in reliability, ease of use, Internet compatibility, and support for mobile computing. Windows 2000 Professional simplifies hardware installation by adding support for a wide variety of new Plug and Play hardware, including advanced networking and wireless products, USB devices, IEEE 1394 devices, and infrared devices.

In 2001 Windows XP becomes one of the best-selling products in the coming years. It’s both fast and stable. Awareness of computer viruses and hackers increases, but fears are to a certain extent calmed by the online delivery of security updates. Consumers begin to understand warnings about suspicious attachments and viruses. There’s more emphasis on Help and Support. Windows XP Home Edition offers such enhancements as the Network Setup Wizard, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker, and enhanced digital photo capabilities. With a fresh visual design, Windows XP Professional includes features for business and advanced home computing, including remote desktop support, an encrypting file system, and system restore and advanced networking features. Windows XP has several editions during these years: Windows XP 64-bit Edition (2001), Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (2002).

Windows Vista is released in 2006 with the strongest security system yet. User Account Control helps to prevent potentially harmful software from making changes to your computer. Windows Vista also features enhancements to Windows Media Player. Here you can watch television, view and send photographs, and edit videos.

By the late 2000s, the wireless world has arrived. When Windows 7 is released in October 2009, laptops are outselling desktop PCs and it’s common to get online at public wireless hotspots like coffee shops. Wireless networks can be created at the office or at home. Windows Touch makes its debut, enabling you to use your fingers to browse the web, flip through photos, and open files and folders. You can stream music, videos, and photos from your PC to a stereo or TV. Many laptops no longer have a slot for DVDs and some have solid state drives rather than conventional hard disks. Most everything is streamed, saved on flash drives, or saved in the "Cloud"—an online space for sharing files and storage. Windows Live—free programs and services for photos, movies, instant messaging, e‑mail, and social networking—is seamlessly integrated with Windows so that you can keep in touch from your PC, phone, or the web, extending Windows to the Cloud.

Meanwhile, work is underway for the next version of Windows.

Vocabulary Notes

to focuse on['fqukqs]зосереджуватися на

to bridge the gap between –ліквідовувати розрив між

to ship –вводити, добавляти

to release –випускати у світ

to overlap –суміщати

significantly –багатозначно

software development kit (SDK) –набір інструментальних засобів для розробки програмного забезпечення (включає бібліотеки, заголовочні файли, файли допомоги, документацію)

built-in –вбудований

enhanced[In'hRnst]вдосконалений, розширений

enhancement –модернізація, вдосконалення, розширення

Plug and Play -стандарт фірм Microsoft, Intel та ін., що мають на меті спрощення підключення комп’ютера: бере на себе розпізнавання та налаштування периферійного обладнання без подальшого встановлення параметрів користувачем.

to vie [vaI]- конкурувати

the upgrade –оновлена версія

to pop up –висвітлитися на екрані

wireless - безпровідниковий

stable –стійкий, постійний

awareness[q'wFqnqs]компетентність, знання

an encrypting file system –закодована система файлів

to restore –відновлення

to feature –характеризуватися

to stream –відтворювати

seamlessly –прямо, безперервно

to keep in touch from -мати зв'язки, бути в контакті,не відриватися

meanwhile –тим часом


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