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Old 03-18-2009, 02:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Microsoft Windows Release Cycles

Alright to stave off the much disputed debates about Windows and why Windows 7 is being released so soon after Windows Vista here is a complete history of the Release Schedule of Windows to show that it was a fluke that XP stayed on the market as the only Microsoft Windows OS for 7 years.

Version of Windows - Release Year

Windows 1.01 - Nov 1985
Windows 2.0 - May 1988
Windows 3.0 - May 1990
Windows 3.1 - March 1992
Windows NT 3.1 - July 1993
Windows 3.5 - Sept 1994
Windows 95 - August 1995
Windows NT 4.0 - July 1996
Windows 98 - June 1998
Windows ME (Millennium Edition) - Sept 2000
Windows 2000 (AKA NT 5.0) - Feb 2000
Windows XP (AKA NT 5.1) - Oct 2001
Windows server 2003 (AKA NT 5.2) - April 2003
Windows Vista (AKA NT 6.0) - Jan 2007
Windows 7 (AKA NT 6.1) - Oct 22, 2009

Added the NT Branch line. As the early version were all DOS based and not NT based as they are today. If they fall under teh NT Family line i put the name in parenthesis since they are more commonly known by a different name.

So as you can see the release schedule of Windows is roughly 2-3 years apart. The biggest gap came between XP and Vista. There is a story behind this as well.

There was a OS in the works at the time. Codename Longhorn was the title at the time. This was going to be the next release of Windows. It was in the Beta Cycle after XP was released and it resembled XP very much till the end of its Beta cycle in 2005 when they scrapped the code and went to the current Vista Code line.

The Codename Longhorn code line ended with build 5060. After that they went with the Vista Beta cycle starting with Beta 1 (Build 5112) and with the new code line. That last build of Codename Longhorn resembled much of what Vista looks like today with Aero and everything. Before that build Codename Longhorn still resembled Windows XP with some new features.

If the code line didnt fail at that point we would have seen a new Windows OS back in 2005 or so. Which would have still been a 4 year gap between Windows releases but with the failure of the code line and that adoption of the new code line the release was again delayed. To the current Vista release date.

So as you can see the release of Windows 7 is not due to a failure of Vista. It is in fact Microsoft trying to get back to the release schedule that they previously held. A new OS every 2-3 years.

Now i have created this topic to help share this information. This was not created to cause a ruckus or to have people give their opinions as to why Vista stinks or to cause a commotion. This is a informative post to show the Release Schedule and to give insite as to why there was no Windows release between 2001 and 2007.

Every Os has their good points and their bad. Every version of Windows had things people liked about them and things they hated. Windows Vista is no different. Windows XP when it was first released did not meet with a great reception as well. It wasnt till after the release of XP SP1 that the OS started to get the reputation that it holds today. Even after the release of Vista SP1 it has yet to live up to the expectations of what XP has built up for us since we have been so dependent on it for so many years.
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Microsoft Windows Release Cycles

Nice write-up, Mak. Should be added to the index.
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Microsoft Windows Release Cycles

They actually stage it at 3 years... sometimes they get released early though. But, their project cycles for OSs are 3 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesgroovin View Post
Well, PCs are simple You said it yourself... XP installs just fine. XP is, in my opinion... Microsoft's best OS out there, period.

Referring to the "Mojave Experiment commercial"
YouTube - Mojave Experiment: Windows Vista - Launch Video

Why is a company so well known, like Microsoft, producing commercials for an OS and producing the commercials in such a way that they are tricking people into peeking at Vista??? That just screams... "stay away from me"
It got such a bad reputation from the day they sold the first copy and on...
The entire project for Vista was scrapped and restarted 2 times! 2 TIMES! The entire project!! LOL

Windows ME was a disaster too... so why didn't they advertise using this strategy to try to get people into buying ME?!?!? Couple of reasons:

1) The ME project was never scrapped
2) They knew that this was the last MS-DOS based OS that they would release.....ever... also, people had 2 more options!!! Windows 2000 was just released earlier that year and XP was right on the horizon slated for the next fiscal year. ME was also put together in a scramble (1 year dev cycle instead of the typical 3 year dev period) because the XP project was pushed back a year from early on. 1 YEAR! LOL... Of course it sucked....
3) They didn't waste NEARLY as much money on ME as they did Vista. So, why try to get people to buy it?

Yet, VISTA has had more than a 6 year dev cycle and they can't get their act together? Yes yes, there were rumors of "Longhorn" for YEARS prior to it's release. It was actually supposed to be released with Server 2003 in the last fiscal year of '03. Instead it's released in '06?!?!?! They actually scrapped it 3 times, but 1 of the times was to separate core "Server" functionality from the OS and develop it separately (later named Windows Server 2008...still the 6.0 kernel).... the other 2 times were complete disasters.

I have used the OS plenty of times and know it VERY well. Next to Windows Me, this is going to be one of the worst OS types that they have released. And since Me was developed in a year and nearly broke even financially... this could possibly be the worst.

So, they produce a commercial that shows people a "glimpse of vista" Right, that PC is probably stacked with a top of the line processor, tons of RAM...
Not to mention that they DO NOT HAVE TO INSTALL ANYTHING! LOL
Everything is all done for them. They don't have to setup Vista, or install a 3rd party piece of software...etc. the freaking Purpose of an OS is not to just play or see the OS. Its to USE the computer's hardware to "PRODUCE" effectively and efficiently! WITHOUT HASSLE. Produce in general... anything... documents, a project, a scope of work, a freaking car engine assembly line .. just PRODUCE". But instead, they just watch some sales dude mess around with the freaking clock and the little animation that the window makes when they minimize it??? Gimmie a break lolololol.

Of course everything is going to look great and glitter like gold. The reason why we are seeing these commercials is because they need to straighten the respect they once had back up to par prior to Windows 7's release.

Vista is, IMHO, a losing battle, in every respect. They are simply trying to make up for lost millions prior to 7's release and it's not worth anyone's pain.

One of my rants about vista that I made back in 9.08
Just trying to reinforce what Mak is saying is absolutely true.
Were a lot of people saying that Windows 7 is being released as a failure from Vista? Hmmm, haven't seen too many posts like that, but, yea... it's completely false. Then again, I really don't look for those posts either. Seriously though, I haven't noticed any posts at all saying that it's being released due to Vista's circumstances (failure or no failure ... it's irrelevant)
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Microsoft Windows Release Cycles

Well some of the posts have been removed due to the conflict that arised from them. But the point behind this was to show that Microsoft has not abdonded Vista and is not going to. The release of Windows 7 has nothing to do with Vista's success or failure. Just as the release of many of the early version had nothing to do with the success or failure of the previous OS.

I know that the cycle is 3 years. But since many get released early for a reason or another i made it a point to say 2-3 years so i didnt get people saying "Well this was released only 2 years after this one and you said it is 3 years". Semantics i know.

I just wanted to make the clarification since many users started on XP and did not know of the earlier release schedule. So they would not have known this information. Plus without the knowledge of Codename Longhorn and what happened with that many people would think that the release schedule is supposed to be 7 years like it was from XP to Vista.

This is just to clear up any confusion. Not to cause a controversy over what people think of Vista. This is not to start a flame fest of Vista and why this or that doesnt or does work. This is just to show that Windows had a 2-3 year release schedule and to clarify for those who might not know of the early releases the time frame for a Windows release is actually very short. Not as long as it was from XP to Vista. That is the whole purpose of this. Not to cause a ruckus. Just to provide information to those who might not know it cause they were not around, not old enough or just didnt start using a PC till after XP had its hold on the market.
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Microsoft Windows Release Cycles

When you say Windows 3.1, are you referring to the dos kernel or the NT kernel release? You forgot 3.51 One of my favorites!!!

Source: Wikipedia
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Microsoft Windows Release Cycles

I remember 3.11, such fun times.
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Microsoft Windows Release Cycles

Indeed



Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaricloud View Post
I remember 3.11, such fun times.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Microsoft Windows Release Cycles

The one in reference is the DOS based version. The NT Based version was actually known as Windows NT 3.1 which came out about the same time. There was also Windows 3.11 for Workgroups which i didnt address as well. I went with major releases and not many of the sub-releases. As there was a Windows 1.03 and a Windows 2.03 and many more within them as well.

Along with Windows 95A, 95B, and 95C. Along with Windows 98SE that was released as well. There were many versions of each released i just went with the major ones as if i were to include SP and the sub divisions of each you would see that list would show a Release almost yearly. As some of them like 95A was released in 1996 along with Windows 95B. Windows 95C was released in 1997 jsut a year before Windows 98.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Microsoft Windows Release Cycles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mak213 View Post
The NT Based version was actually known as Windows NT 3.1
Clearly...

I only pointed it out because it was the first NT release... and it was never mentioned in your listing
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Microsoft Windows Release Cycles

There added teh NT Branch and added the NT Family name to the common name.
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