Operating Systems

1.1    UNIX

  • UNIX: developed by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie at AT&T Bell Labs on a PDP-7 machine in 1969. It was first called UNICS (UNIplexed operating and Computing System), a pun on its predecessor MULTICS (MULTiplexed Information and Computing Service).
  • Linux: The Linux kernel, which was written by Linus Torwalds in 1991, and the GNU software together makes the Linux OS, more correctly called the GNU/Linux system. Linus first announced his new OS, then unnamed, on August 25, 1991. The name Linux was coined by Ari Lemmke, who first made GNU/Linux available for download using FTP. Links: History of Linux.
  • GNU was developed by the Free Software Foundation started by Richard Stallman.
  • The X11 GUI library for UNIX was developed at MIT.
  • Linux was started in 1992 by Linus Torwalds, a Swedish hacker.

1.2    Macintosh (Mac)

  • Puma: The code name for Mac OS X 10.1.
  • The concept of desktop was introduced in the Apple Macintosh.

1.3    Windows

  • The first two letters in any EXE program that runs on DOS, OS2 or Windows NT are ""MZ"". These are the initials of a Mark Zbikowski, a Microsoft programmer.
  • ntoskrnl.exe is the core file for the Windows NT Kernel.
  • Windows 1.0 was shipped in 1985.
  • Windows 3.0 was announced in 1983 and it was finally released in 1990. Windows 3.1 was released in 1992.
  • Windows 95: Windows 95 was released on August 24, 1995. 'Project Chicago' was the code name for Windows 95 development.
  • Windows NT was the first network operating system from Microsoft. NT stands for New Technology. Its successor Windows 2000 (NT version 5.0) was launched on February 17, 2000.
  • Windows XP: Whistler was the code-name for Windows XP. XP stands for eXPerience.
  • Longhorn: Microsoft's new version of Windows XP, which featured a new 3D user interface code-named Avalon and later named Aero, security based on Palladium and a database code-named Yukon and based on SQL Server 2003. The name comes from the name of a saloon at the foot of the Whistler mountain. Links: Windows Longhorn FAQ, which will tell you all that you want to know about Longhorn.
  • Blackcomb: Next release of Windows Server 2003, expected after 2005. Blackcomb will be preceded by a version of Windows XP called Longhorn.
  • Windows for Mobile: Windows CE (CE for Consumer Electronics) has roots in the Pegasus project at Microsoft. WinCE began to be called Pocket PC OS, when Microsoft came out with their own mobile device which was named Pocket PC. The latest version of WinCE is called Windows Mobile 2003 (code-named Ozone) was released on June 23, 2003. Links: A personal look at Windows CE's history by Jason Dunn, History of Windows at the PCMuseum.

1.4    Other Operating Systems

  • Gary Kindall wrote CP/M (Control Program/Monitor) in 1974. His company Intergalactic became Digital Research in 1976.
  • Novel Netware, the network OS, was first released as 'Sharenet' in 1981.
  • Tim Patterson is associated with QDOS, owned by Seattle Computer Products. Microsoft purchased the rights to QDOS for $50,000 and renamed it as PCDOS 1.0. The first IBM PC, the ACORN, was released with PCDOS 1.0 on August 12, 1982.
  • Warp is a version of OS/2, IBM's operating system.


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