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Most commonly known as the Windows, Microsoft Windows is a group of several proprietary graphical operating system families, all of which are developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. In 1985, Microsoft had actually introduced an operating environment named Windows, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs)


There are some Bank Exams that include the Computer Awareness or Knowledge section as a part of their syllabus, and make basic information on MS Windows a part of the Computer Syllabus. Hence, it is essential to get well-informed about this basic yet very important topic to counter questions in Bank Exams like SBI, NABARD Grade-A, and others.

In this article, we will throw light on the history and development of Windows coupled with all its versions, Windows OS (Operating System), and important commands.

Introduction to Microsoft Windows

A brief introduction about MS Windows has been given in the table below, candidates must refer to this information:

MS Windows
Initial Release date20th November 1985
Marketing TargetPersonal Computing
LanguagesAvailable in 138 languages
Default User InterfaceWindows Shell

Windows Operating System

Operating System is a group of several GUIs (Graphical User Interface) families, all of which are developed, sold, and marketed by Microsoft. The latest version of the Microsoft Operating System that is being widely used all around the world is Windows 10. 


History and Development of Windows

Microsoft began working on Interface Manager in the year 1983 and in November 1995, the first Windows, Windows 1.0 was introduced. Soon, with newer developments in technology, there came an increased demand for Graphical User Interface, and Microsoft released revised versions of Operating Systems bringing in improvements.

Versions of Windows Operating System-Microsoft operating systems

Given below are different versions of the Windows Operating System with some of the most important features:

1. Windows 1.0

  • Released by Microsoft on November 20, 1985 
  • Used Graphical User Interface
  • Simple Graphics
  • Pure Operating Environment
  • Offered limited multi-tasking was expected to have a better future potential

2. Windows 2.0

  • Released by Microsoft on December 9, 1987
  • Introduced Control Panel, and the first version of MS Word and Excel
  • 16-bit Graphic User Interface (GUI) based operating environment
  • Unlike Windows 1.0, it had the capacity to allow applications to overlap each other
  • It was also the last Windows OS which did not require a hard disk

3. Windows 3.0

  • Released in 1990 by Microsoft
  • Used 8086 microprocessors
  • It has both, conventional and extendable memory
  • First version of Windows to gather critical appreciation
  • It was better at multitasking
  • Better memory or storage

Note: Initially, none of the above-mentioned Windows were Operating Systems. Microsoft first released them as Windows for works based on a graphical operating environment. Windows 95 was the first Operating System released.

4. Window 95

  • Released by Microsoft on August 15, 1995
  • First complete Operating System 
  • Taskbar and Start menu were introduced with this Windows OS
  • Advanced from 16-bit GUI to 32-bit GUI
  • Merged MS-DOS and Windows products
  • Simplified plug and play features
  • Long file names could be saved

Note: Initially, computers with Windows 95 lacked Internet Explorer installed but by the release date of Windows 95, the first version of Internet Explorer was injected in the software.

On December 31, 2001, Windows declared this version of OS outdated and ended its support for the same

5. Windows 98

  • Released by Microsoft on May 15, 1998
  • 16 bit and 32-bit product based on MS DOS
  • Did not support USB printers or mass storage devices
  • Internet Explorer 4.01 was released along with this Windows version
  • Not a new but updated version to Windows 95
  • An update to this version “Windows SE” was released in 1999

6. Windows 2000

  • Released by Microsoft on February 17, 2000
  • One of the most secured OS ever
  • A local disk manager was introduced with these Windows
  • Four different editions, targeting different sectors of the market were released: Server, Professional, Advanced Server and Data-center Server
  • Multilingual User Interface – it supported many different languages

7. Windows XP

  • Released by Microsoft on October 25, 2001
  • Fast start-up & Advanced portable PC support
  • Better Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Automatic wireless connection support
  • Help and support centre

8. Windows Vista

  • Released by Microsoft on January 30, 2007
  • Upgraded version of Graphical User Interface
  • First operating system to use DVD-ROM for installation

9. Windows 7

  • Released by Microsoft on October 22, 2009
  • Several new features were introduced
  • Redesigned Windows shell with an updated taskbar
  • Libraries were added in the file management system
  • A few features from the past Windows were removed
  • Incremental upgrade to the Windows line
  • Extended hardware support

10. Windows 8

  • Released by Microsoft on October 26, 2012
  • Optimisations for touch-based
  • New security features were introduced
  • Online Applications could be directly downloaded
  • Installed in new devices like Laptops, Mobile phones, tablets, etc.
  • Increased integration with cloud services
  • Windows Store service for software distribution
  • Task manager had been redesigned

11. Windows 10

  • Released by Microsoft on July 29, 2015
  • Removed shortcomings in the user interface that were part of Windows 8
  • A virtual desktop system that Included new icons
  • It had the ability to run windows store apps within windows on the desktop rather than in the full-screen mode
  • Automatically compresses the file size to reduce storage

Windows Applications

There are various useful applications available at the Windows store and people can easily access them and download them for their personal or professional usage. Here is a list of some important applications:

  • Web Browsers
  • Messenger
  • Media Players
  • Games
  • Audio/ Video Chatting Apps
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Reader
  • Maps & Calendar and more

List of Important Commands for Windows

Since Computers run over a set of commands which are entered in the form of input, which with the advancement of Operating Systems can be entered through various Hardware devices.

Given below are a few important MS-DOS Windows commands for the reference of candidates:

  • cd – change directory    
  • help – help about a command
  • cls – clear window
  • find – search for a text string in a file      
  • move – move one or more files to another location
  • assoc – display/modify file extensions   
  • attrib – displays/ change file attributes
  • exit – clo dir – display list of contents of current directory
  • copy – to copy one or more files to another location
  • comp – compares the contents of two files
  • type – displays content of text filese MS-DOS window
  • notepad – windows notepad text editor
  • edit – Run MS-DOS text editor   
  • del – delete multiple files
  • call – calls one batch program file from another              
  • color – set text and background colour
  • date – displays date      

Note: Most of the above-mentioned commands are not directly used by the user but are entered into the computer



By the above-mentioned information on the various versions of MS Windows, you may have got an idea about what type of questions can you face in Bank Exams and around what topics these questions will revolve. To ensure better preparation we recommend you to take Mock Tests for SBI, NABARD grade-A, or any other Exam that you have chosen to test your current knowledge and prepare well for better results.

Important Articles & Study Material related to Computer Awareness

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1Computer Awareness/Knowledge- Versions of MS-Windows
2Computer Awareness/Knowledge-Types of Computers
3Computer Awareness/Knowledge-Virus vs Malware
4Computer Awareness/Knowledge-MS Excel vs MS Word
5Computer Awareness/Knowledge-RAM vs ROM
6Computer Awareness-Part 7-Web Browsers
7Computer Awareness-Part 8-Imp. Shortcut Keys
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9Computer Awareness-Part 5- Notepad vs WordPad
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13Computer Awareness Part 4-Software & Hardware for All Bank Exam
14Computer Awareness Part 3-History of computers for All Bank Exams
15Computer Awareness Part-2: Imp. Computer Languages for All Bank Exams
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