Microsoft Windows Versions
Windows operating system is a widely used operating system (OS) developed by Microsoft. Microsoft Windows operating system revolutionized the entire computing industry with the one of the most successful Graphical User Interface (GUI) operating system. Before the advent of the Windows operating system, computing was vastly limited to Universities and the ones well versed in computer science. Windows operating system helped propagate computing into ordinary households as well across the world. Apart from being a phenomenally successful operating system in workplaces, Windows client operating systems unleashed an era of household computing too. The computer became a household product like television sets and the computing was accessible and possible for a common person. This comprehensive article describes the Microsoft Windows versions along with their features, both Windows client versions and Windows server versions, under two sections.
It is worth the mention that Windows operating systems and related products created one of the largest ecosystem of application developers, application support and OS support professionals. This exists till date.
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Microsoft Windows Client Versions
A brief mention about MS-DOS:
MS-DOS is worth a mention in this article. The Microsoft Disk Operating System or MS-DOS is an operating system. It started the journey for Personal Computers with x86 microprocessors. MS-DOS has come as a command-line-based system. There is no concept of GUI in MS-DOS and it takes all commands in text form. The disk operating system family would primarily make use of MS-DOS. This operating system was mainly preferred as IBM PC-compatible computer systems’ operating system. It started in 1980s and continued until mid-1990s. Systems with GUI (specifically Microsoft Windows) had started replacing MS-DOS. MS-DOS function is still inbuilt in many of the Windows operating system versions too and many old timers of the computing industry still makes use of the MS-DOS command line interface in the modern Windows operating system as well.
Let us look at the various Windows client operating systems and its features below.
The Windows version – Windows 1.0 started its journey in 1983 with the codename Interface Manager. The version came as a front end for the Disk Operating System or command-line DOS of Microsoft.
Windows 1.0 came with the support for tiled windows. However, several desktop features were also present, including Calendar, Clock, MS-DOS Executive file manager, Calculator, Notepad, and so on.
The version featured utilities like RAMDrive to handle memory cards to surpass the 640KB memory limit of the PC. Besides, Print Spooler and Clipboard were also there. Windows 1.0 also featured a game, “Reversi.” Windows 1.0 appeared with Windows Paint and Windows Write in a special opening offer with a price of $99.
Windows 1.01 came with a minor update in the form of Windows 1.02. The updated version was launched only in Europe during early 1986.
Windows 1.02 featured extra keyboard layouts. Moreover, updated versions were also available for the bundled applications. Windows 1.02 came with an improved interface and features. Some bugs were also fixed.
256 KB of RAM, hard drive or two floppy disks, and MS-DOS 2.0 were the minimum yet essential requirements for running Windows 1.02.
Windows 1.02 came with a minor update, and it was Windows 1.03. It started the journey in mid-1986. Windows 1.03 launched as the successor of both Windows 1.01 as well as Windows 1.02. It was a universal release in the United States along with other markets.
Windows 1.03 comes with added device drivers, Write, enhanced Control Panel, improved SDK, and Paint. The remaining part is the same as 1.02.
Windows 1.03 features twelve diverse versions. These versions were launched from summer 1986 throughout late 1987. The version came with a check/debug version as well in December 1986. Moreover, this version appeared with stability and error fixes.
Windows 1.04 came as a minor update to the Windows 1.0 version. It launched on 8th April 1987, and it was just a few months before the launch of Windows 2.0. Windows 1.04 came with minor changes along with error fixes.
Moreover, it also provided support to the new PS/2 line of computers of IBM. An improved boot screen was also an added feature. The Windows 1.04 version supported multiple languages like Windows 1.02 and Windows 1.03.
Windows 1.04 came as the first retail release to have shipped on 3.5″ floppies along with 5.25″ floppies. The version featured the updated Reversi and Control Panel.
The Windows version – Windows 2.03 started the journey on 9th December 1987. The version came with more functions as compared to Windows 1. Besides, it had some improvements, modifications, error fix, and UI enhancements.
Windows 2.03 appeared with only minor changes, and no major change is there. Windows 2 came as a lightweight operating system. It launched after Windows 1x.
Windows 2 launched with many features, and some of them include Control Panel (first appeared in Windows 2.03), application overlapping, keyboard shortcuts, desktop icons, improvement of speed, minimize & maximize buttons in Windows Explorer.
Intel 286 processor used to run Windows 2. 512KB RAM along with 720KB disk space was the requirement of this version.
Windows 2.0 came with a cost of $100 during that period. Moreover, Windows 2.0 was more popular than Windows 1.0. The key reason for the popularity was the addition of Microsoft Word and Excel. The version could make use of up to 1 MB of memory.
Windows 386 was launched on 9th December 1987. It was called Windows/386. The cost of Windows 386 was $100. Windows 286 or Windows/286 came into existence in June 1988 with a price of $100.
The minimum requirements for running Windows 2.03 were Intel 80286 / Intel 80386 processor, 512 KB RAM, and 720 KB disk space.
Windows 2.10 launched on 27th May 1988. It came with some modifications, error fix, and improvements. The version used to support Intel 80286 as well as Intel 80386 processors.
Moreover, Windows 2.10 would call for a hard disk for installing the operating system. Windows 2.10 was available in two editions. It includes Windows / 286 and Windows / 386. No major modification was there in Windows 2.10. Only small changes were made.
The minimum requirements to run Windows 2.10 were Intel 80286 or Intel 80386 processor, 512 KB of RAM, and 720 KB of disk space.
Windows 2.11 started its journey on 13th March 1989. Just like its predecessor Windows 2.10, version 2.11 was available in two diverse editions. They are Windows / 286 and Windows / 386. Some minor software modifications were also there in Windows 2.11.
When it comes to Windows 2.x versions, the improvements in performance, functions, and the GUI could be seen. Windows 2.11 came with the support of applications overlapping each other rather than display of the applications in the tiled window form.
Windows 2.11 had come with some other useful functions that accelerated tasks, such as desktop icons, keyboard shortcuts, and window minimize/maximize, etc.
System requirements for Windows 2.11 were Intel 8088/8086 processor or beyond, MS-DOS 3.30 or successor, 512 KB RAM, and 720 KB of disk space.
Windows 3.0 launched on 22nd May 1990. It was introduced for business as well as networking. The Windows 3.0 version was rooted on Windows. The version came with a great user interface with VGA technology, which was much better than earlier.
Windows 3.0 came with two price tags. The latest Windows 3.0 full version for the new install was priced at $149.95. On the other hand, the upgrade from any previous version, such as Windows 2.0, was available at $79.
The Windows 3.0 version featured virtual memory technology. It came with enhanced multitasking functioning as compared to earlier versions.
Windows 3.0 with multimedia or Windows 3.0a started the journey in October 1991. It came with the multimedia updates to Windows 3.0.
The minimum requirements for running Windows 3.0 were Intel 80386 processor or higher, 12 MB RAM for Workstation & 16 MB RAM for Server, and 75 MB disk space for Workstation & 90 MB disk space for Server.
Windows 3.1 was launched on 6th April 1992. It came in two separate ways. The first one was a separate package, which came with networking extensions within a Windows environment. And the second one was an add-on dedicated to Windows 3.1.
The Windows 3.1 version was a network-oriented release to cater to business as well as enterprise requirements.
The version came with the minimum requirement of Intel 80386 processor or higher, 12 MB RAM for Workstation & 16 MB RAM for Server, and 75 MB disk space for Workstation & 90 MB disk space for Server.
Windows NT 3.1
Windows NT 3.1 started the journey on 27th July, 1993. It was launched for business as well as networking. Windows NT was the source of Windows NT 3.1. The minimum requirements were the same as the Windows 3.1 version.
Windows for Workgroups 3.11
Windows 3.11 started the journey on 11th August 1993. However, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 was launched in February 1994. The Workgroups 3.11 came as an update for Windows for Workgroups 3.1. It called for an 80386SX or above processor. The version could be operated in just 386 Enhanced Mode.
Windows 3.2 was launched on 22nd November 1993. It used to contribute to the business as well as networking. Windows NT was the base of the Windows 3.2 version.
Windows NT 3.5 (Windows NT 3.5 Workstation)
Windows 3.50 or NT 3.50 started its journey on 21st September 1994. It was designed for business as well as networking. Windows NT was the source of the Windows NT 3.5 version.
The version came with the improvements in GUI and networking. It includes TCP/IP integration, Remote Access, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and so on. The Windows NT 3.50 version was available for desktop in Workstation and Server editions.
Windows NT 3.51 (Windows NT 3.51 Workstation)
Windows 3.51 or NT 3.51 started its journey on 30th May 1995. Performing business and networking was the main purpose of the version.
Windows NT was the basis of the Windows 3.51 version. Service packs were also released for Windows NT 3.51. The service packs came with improvements and error fixes. Windows NT 3.51 came with Workstation and Server editions for desktop.
Windows NT 3.51 came with PCMCIA support, 3D support in OpenGL, NTFS file compression, persistent IP routes during the use of TCP/IP, replaceable WinLogon (graphical identification and authentication), etc.
Windows 95 released on 24th August 1995 with the codename “Chicago.” It got so much popular that over 1 million copies of this version were sold within the first 4 days of its launch.
Windows 95 created an important benchmark in the field of the operating system. It came with the support of Win32 applications with lower memory issues and efficient utilization of virtual memory.
Win95 was not compatible with old computers. MS-DOS 7 could initially handle boot processes. Moreover, apps in the Windows 95 version were able to run in the 386 enhanced mode.
The versions of the Windows 95 included Windows 95 (initial original release), Windows 95 A (also known as OSR1), Windows 95 B (also known as OSR2), Windows 95 C (also known as OSR2.1), and Windows 95 C (also called OSR2.5).
The Windows 95 B version came with complete FAT32 support along with Internet Explorer or IE 3.0 web browser. The Windows 95 C or OSR2.1 version was launched with fundamental USB support. On the other hand, Windows 95 C or OSR2.5 came with the Internet Explorer browser or IE 4.0.
Original Windows 95 and OSR1 were only launched for the public. Rest versions were only accessible to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).
The minimum system requirements for the Windows 95 version were 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor, 16 GB (32-bit OS) & 20 GB (64-bit OS) disk space, 1 GB (32-bit) & 2 GB (64-bit) of RAM, DirectX 9 or beyond with WDDM 1.0 driver or later graphics, and 800 x 600 display resolution. Internet access and Microsoft Account (email) are recommended among others.
Windows NT 4.0 (Windows NT 4.0 Workstation)
Windows 4 or NT 4 was launched on 31st July 1996. Its user interface and design were similar to the Windows 95 version.
However, Windows 95 was designed to cater to home and business requirements whereas the Windows NT 4 version emphasized networking as well as security. Windows NT 4 came with three editions for desktops: Enterprise, Workstation, and Server.
Windows NT 4.0 appeared as a powerful, cutting-edge operating system. It came with the support of multiple processors to provide the experience of efficient multiprocessing.
The version amalgamates the strength of a 32-bit multitasking workstation and user-friendliness, productivity, and suitability of a PC with Windows 95 GUI. Windows NT 4.0 came with several built-in troubleshooting features, such as Event Viewer, NT Diags, and Disk Admin.
Microsoft Windows 98 appeared in June 1998. It was the first OS to be regarded as the best for games. When it came to supporting and gaming experience, the Windows 98 version was great.
Windows 98 was a lightweight as well as a rather customizable operating system. Windows 98 SE (Second Edition) was launched on 5th May 1999. The Second Edition came with further functions and improvements. Windows 98 came with Windows 98 (First edition) and Windows 98 SE (Second Edition).
Windows 98 was only available in x86 (32-bit) version. However, the x64 (64-bit) version was never released, and so it does not exist.
Windows 98 launched several internet-based programs, including Outlook Express, Internet Explorer 4.01, and Windows Address Book. The version also introduced the Windows Driver Model (WDM) for the first time by replacing the VxD driver standard in Windows 95. WDM came with many features.
Windows 98 featured the System File Checker tool, which was used to scan as well as restore missing or corrupt system files.
The version was compatible with the FAT 32 file system. It was only supported by Windows 95 OSR2 before. The FAT 32 file system had improved storage efficiency and came with the support of a disk up to 2TB.
Windows 2000 (Windows 2000 Professional)
Windows 2000 (also known as Windows 2k) was launched on 17th February 2000. It was introduced following the Windows 98 SE version and prior to Windows ME. Windows 2000 was not based on MS-DOS.
Some worth-noting features of Windows 2000 Professional include:
Support for NTFS, FAT32, and FAT16
Improved system uptime and remarkably fewer operating system reboot instances
Windows Installer monitors applications and finds out & replaces absent components
Safeguards memory of every application and process to keep the system down at bay for a single app
Secure VPN enables tunneling into private local area network (LAN) throughout the public Internet
Encrypted file systems safeguard confidential data
Customized menus can adjust the way of working of the user
Compatible with USB and IEEE 1394 for higher bandwidth devices
Multilingual version enables User Interface and supports switching, depending on login
Great support for high-speed networking gadgets
The recommended requirements for running Windows 2000 were 2.5 GHz Dual Core or faster, Nvidia or AMD graphics, 4 GB RAM (32-bit) or 8 GB RAM (64-bit), 160 GB disk space (32-bit) or 320 GB (64-bit) disk space, 1920 x 1080 (FHD) display resolution, Internet access, and Microsoft Account (email).
Microsoft Windows ME was launched on 19th June 2000. Some of the features of Windows Me were System Restore Tool, System File Protection, Windows Image Acquisition (WIA), Automatic Windows Update, Windows Movie Maker, etc.
Windows ME came with some specific functions of Windows 2000. One of the functions is Shell with certain enhanced features, including a flexible Windows Explorer toolbar, customized menus, etc. Windows explorer address bar and a Run box came with an auto complete feature in Windows ME.
The version launched the option, ‘System Restore’ to fix and repair the issues. Users could also use the option for recovery. Moreover, ‘System Restore’ could also undo the latest changes, which are causing troubles.
Windows ME also introduced a mouse control panel with the name “IntelliPoint.” The version also featured “Auto Updates.” It could automatically download as well as install essential updates from Windows Update. Moreover, users could also download updates, as per their preferences.
The feature “System File Protection” was also introduced with Windows ME. It was used to safeguard operating system files without any user input.
Windows Movie Maker was launched with the Windows ME version. This feature was used to support video creation and editing of media content.
Windows XP Starter Edition was launched in 2004. The version came as a lightweight edition XP. It was mainly designed for earlier computers with low-end hardware. XP Starter came as the lite version of the Home edition. It was available only with the core operating system and critical features. Three applications could run at once.
Windows XP Starter could be installed without a product key. However, users needed to activate it later. It was a budget-friendly version. Some of the prominent features of Windows XP included multimedia apps, advanced multimedia applications, such as Windows Photo Viewer, Movie Maker, and Media Player.
Windows XP came with many performance improvements and those were by-default applied. There were also scopes for additional XP modifications. Some key performance functions of Windows XP were high battery backup, NTFS & NTFS v3.1, CPU multithreading, fast boot, fast shutdown, and so on.
Windows XP came with a cutting-edge user interface and graphics. The design of the version became quite popular. The full UI of Windows XP was redesigned with a visual scheme and in a colorful manner.
Some striking visual features of Windows XP were animation, new Luna wallpaper, colorful taskbar, transparency effect, shadows for texts, windows, and icons, double column Start menu, icon grouping & sorting, new screensavers, logon & logoff screens, thumbnail view for images & videos, etc.
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Windows XP Professional 64-bit Edition (x64) started its journey on 25th April 2005. The advancement in technology made architecture a popular one. The version came with the support of a maximum of 128 GB RAM.
Windows XP had featured advanced multimedia apps, including Windows Photo Viewer, Movie Maker, Media Player, and so on. Moreover, performance improvements were also there.
Windows XP came with three service packs- XP SP1 (Service Pack 1), XP SP2 (Service Pack 2), and XP SP3 (Service Pack 3). They were released in 2002, 2004, and 2008 respectively.
The minimum processor and RAM requirements for the version were 733 MHz or faster and 256 MB for 64-bit respectively.
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate appeared with maximum features. The key features of the version were Parental Controls, Windows Media Center, and Windows Ultimate Extras.
The version was available through both retail and OEM licensing. Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit) came with the support of 4 GB RAM. However, the Enterprise edition supported 128 GB RAM.
The key features of Windows Vista and Windows 7 share many similarities. Some of the prominent features include smooth animations, new Start button & start menu, desktop gadgets, new & wonderful fonts, flip 3D, backup & restore, files & folders search from File Explorer, live thumbnail, Aero (Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open) visual style, security enhancements, improved system performance, redesigned Taskbar & Windows Explorer, and so on.
Windows Vista came with multiple editions with individual benefits. All these versions were compatible with 64 bit excluding the Starter. The Aero feature was also absent in Windows Home Basic. Different versions of Windows Vista were Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Home Premium, and Windows Vista Home Basic.
Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Enterprise came with a data protection function. It could encrypt the entire volume of data on the hard disk along with other functions.
Windows 7 was preferred by users of various professions, such as video editors, doctors, engineers, photographers, educational institutions, graphic designers, and so on.
The Taskbar of Windows 7 was less cluttered. Moreover, it could manage both running as well as non-running applications with ease.
The version came with new controls, which could keep the overflowing of the System Tray with unwanted applications at bay. Thus, it was used to help users to get rid of irrelevant, unintended messages.
Windows 7 users could tie up folders from various locations of their hard drives into Libraries. Thus, the users could get one-click access from the Windows Explorer left pane to desired files.
Some of the other features of Windows 7 included Aero Peek, Action Center, Device Stage, Aero Snap, Aero Templates & Themes, and Aero Shake.
The Windows version, Windows 8, was compatible with both x86 PCs as well as ARM devices. It was the first version to run on both conventional x86 PC based systems and ARM-based gadgets. Windows RT was a specialized edition of Windows 8. It used to run on ARM-based hardware. However, regular editions of Windows 8 are not compatible with ARM-based devices.
Windows 8 came with a new dynamic Start screen, which was a group of tiles with the connection of programs, apps, settings, etc. Users could design the apps to view live information, including the latest weather report.
The Windows 8 edition came with native USB 3.0 support. It also featured multiple monitor support. Thus, it was possible to extend the wallpapers and taskbars throughout multiple monitors. It also enabled the display of the desktop on one screen and the start page on another.
Windows 8 appeared with features like refresh & reset, improved search, speed & performance, cloud storage, and built-in synchronization.
It came as the initial and original edition of Windows 8.1. The Windows 8.1 version actually came with no name. That is why it is called Windows 8.1 Core edition.
The version appeared with lesser features than Windows 8.1 Pro as well as Enterprise edition. The 32-bit version is compatible with 4 GB RAM whereas the 64-bit one supported up to 128 GB RAM.
In short, Windows 8.1 appeared as an improved edition of Windows 8. It can be noted as the beginning of advanced desktop OS. Windows 8.1 came with the flexibility of switching default browser as well as other applications, such as media player, photo viewer, and so on.
Windows 8.1 users could resize the tiles to wide, large, medium, and small sizes. This feature helped to arrange the start screen. The users could configure Windows metro apps to update them automatically to the latest version. Moreover, it was also possible to enable or disable the option of automatically updating apps.
Windows 8.1 came with the same start button as the Windows 8 edition. However, some improvements were there, including right-click options as well as some other enhancements. In Windows 8.1, the traditional desktop came as the first screen following login, unlike Windows 8.
Windows 8.1 featured a 3D printing API (Application Programming Interface) to enable users to print from the Charms bar straight to 3D printers.
Windows 10 has returned with the Start Menu. As a result, users, after clicking the Start button (bottom-left of the screen) get two panels adjacent to each other. The left column displays recently, pinned, and most-used applications.
The edition also comes with a power button for several options, including Shutdown, Standby, and Hibernate. An all apps option is also there like Windows 8.
On the other hand, the right column comes with an assortment of live tiles that users can personalize, rearrange, and resize. The search field also shows relevant internet results along with files and programs like Windows 7.
Windows 10 came with a voice-controlled digital assistant, named “Cortana.” It is available on desktop computers to streamline tasks for the users to interact with their devices without lifting their fingers.
Users can also search their hard drives for particular files, extract images from specific dates, or start PowerPoint presentations by telling their PCs to perform the same. Besides, users can also make use of Cortana to send emails while working on spreadsheets. It has streamlined the multi-tasking.
Windows 10 came with Microsoft Edge. It is a new browser to provide users with a better web experience. The web browser is more secure and faster accompanied by several new features. Microsoft Edge has come to replace Internet Explorer as users’ default web browser. However, users are free to use Internet Explorer or another browser, as per their choice.
Windows 10 users can relocate some of their windows to a virtual desktop other than keeping all windows open on one desktop. Moreover, the latest Task view feature has streamlined managing all the open windows.
The Windows 10 edition features the latest Action Center. And it is quite different as compared to other Windows versions.
For instance, the new Action Center has been expanded to enable users to access often-used settings like Wi-Fi connectivity. The feature also lets users check important notifications. Hence, if the computer gets an update, the user will get to know about it from the Action Center.
The previous Windows editions were primarily compatible with desktop as well as laptop computers. However, Windows 10 is also compatible with tablets along with desktops and laptops.
Microsoft Windows Server Versions
Microsoft Windows server product revolutionized the industry in every field, be it Information Technology, Banking, Insurance, Manufacturing – you just name it and these industries will be undeniably using the Microsoft server platform and most will have a Windows server Active directory infrastructure in place.
Let us look at all the Windows server versions right from Windows NT 3.1.
Windows NT 3.1
Windows NT 3.1 started its journey on 27th July 1993. It used to work for the business as well as networking. Windows NT was the source of the Windows NT 3.1 edition.
The minimum requirements for Windows NT 3.1 were Intel 80386 processor or higher processor, 12 MB RAM for Workstation & 16 MB RAM for Server, and 75 MB disk space for Workstation & 90 MB disk space for Server.
Windows NT 3.5 (Windows NT 3.5 Server)
Windows NT 3.5 was launched on 21st September 1994. The edition came with GUI as well as network improvements, such as TCP/IP integration, Remote Access, FTP, and so on. Windows NT 3.50 came with Workstation and Server versions for desktop.
Windows NT 3.51 (Windows NT 3.51 Server)
The edition was launched on 30th May 1995. Service packs were released for Windows NT 3.51 for bug fixing and improvements.
Windows NT 4.0 (Windows NT 4.0 Server)
However, the features of the Windows NT 4.0 edition were designed for catering business needs. The version emphasized more on security and networking. Windows NT 4 introduced three editions for desktop: Server, Workstation, and Enterprise.
Windows 2000 (Windows 2000 Server)
Windows 2000 or Windows 2k was launched on 17th February 2000. It was the successor of Windows 98 SE and the predecessor of Windows ME. Windows 2k was not based on MS-DOS.
The user interface of Windows 2000 was similar to Windows ME. However, there was a difference in the core technology. Windows 2k came with a clean and solid design. Icons were also there in this edition.
Win2000 used to be a popular version for its tight security. Therefore, users, for whom security was the first criterion, would opt for Windows 2000. The official support for the Windows 2k had stopped in 2010.
Windows 2000 editions were Windows 2000 Datacenter, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows 2000 Professional.
Windows Server 2003
The Windows Server 2003 version was developed for departmental and organizational use. The version was a Standard Edition to provide users with intelligent printer & file sharing, centralized desktop policy management, secure Internet connectivity, etc. The Windows Server 2003 (Standard Edition) came with excellent security, scalability, and dependability.
The version came with the best of the Windows 2000 Server technology. As a result, Windows Server 2003 had become easy to deploy, handle, and use. Thus, it became an extremely productive operating system with reliability, security, scalability, and great availability.
At a high level, the Standard Edition version was used to support cutting-edge networking features, including Internet Authentication Service, Internet Connection Sharing, etc. Moreover, the support was also available for 4GB RAM and four-way symmetric multiprocessing.
Hence, customers, who were searching for high-level scalability and availability, used to opt for Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition or Enterprise Edition.
Some of the striking features of the Windows Server 2003 edition included Internet firewall, update management, directory services, remote access, file services, XML Web services, server hardware support, server event tracking, application verification, etc.
Windows Server 2003 R2
Windows Server 2003R2 came as an improvement to its previous version, “Windows Server 2003.” Many other new features had come with the Windows Server 2003R2 edition, such as Active Directory Federation, improved branch office management, and so on.
Windows Server 2003R2 came with a striking feature, which used to provide simple yet safe access to more than one application and centralized management of identities.
Windows Server 2008
The server version came with Quota management. It was used to enable users to apply for quotas in folder level and volume level.
The version appeared with Active Directory Federation Service to enable users to access single sign-on or SSO technology.
As a result, they could use more than one application that used to be present in connected systems accompanied by a single ID as well as password. The R2 edition featured UNIX interoperability. It also came with server virtualization.
Windows Server 2008 used to be compatible with a maximum of eight processor cores in every virtual machine or VM. Besides, the version could make use of a 64-bit Hypervisor-based architecture, which came with the support of hardware-assisted virtualization. It used to make use of both Intel VT as well as AMD “Pacifica” technology.
The Windows Server 2008 version was compatible with 32-bit as well as 64-bit VMs running simultaneously. When it was about operating systems on virtual machines, the server edition came compatible with Windows, Linux as well as Xen-enabled Linux.
Windows Server 2008 came with IIS 7.0 Webserver, SMB 2.0 for faster printer & file access, “Bitlocker” for the full encoding of the hard disk, PowerShell new command line, NAP to separate unsafe clients, Windows Server Backup, RODC, WSRM, etc. The user interface of Windows Server 2008 was similar to Windows Server 2003.
PowerShell 1.0 started its journey in November 2006 in Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003 SP1. However, it had become an optional part of Windows Server 2008. Windows PowerShell comes with a bunch of pre-configured commands. These commands are also called cmdlets. They contribute to the scripts or the interactive shell environment. Moreover, every command features a pre-configured alias. It helps to lower the duration of typing for calling on a command. Besides, Windows PowerShell can also offer access to a command through a more common name.
Server Core was launched in Windows Server 2008. It is a minimalistic installation option of Microsoft Windows Server, which has no graphical user interface or GUI but comes with the components essential to run applications as well as server roles. Server Core features a smaller code base, which alleviates the volume of resources essential for operating the OS. It also allocates less disk space and lessens the exposure of the Server Core to external threats. No GUI is there in Server Core. That means less RAM gets allocated. As a result, more demanding tasks can be executed, which is significant for highly virtualized environments.
Windows Server 2008 R2
The Windows Server 2008 R2 edition came to arrange the OS functionality. The features of the edition came as an extension of the previous versions’ functions.
Windows Server 2008 R2 came with many features, such as Active Directory Domain Services, DHCP Server, Active Directory Certificate Services, File Services, DNS Server, Print and Document Services, Hyper-V, Active Directory Rights Management Services, Remote Desktop Services, Web Server (IIS), Network Policy and Access Services, Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services, Fax Server, Active Directory Federation Services, Windows Deployment Services, Windows Server Update Services, and Application Server.
Windows Server 2012
The Windows server 2012 edition has come as the fifth server edition of Windows. It appeared as an upgraded edition of Windows server 2008. It came with a few pre-release versions, such as a developer preview as well as a beta version.
Windows Server 2012 has come with many key changes, and one of them is Server Manager. The Server Manager’s user interface had come with a new appearance and feel in the Windows Server 2012 edition.
As a result, administrators have got the provision to group more than one server on the specific network and control them centrally. Thus, administrators can expect to save their valuable time.
The server grouping feature has streamlined many activities on more than one server from a single window. These activities include keeping track of events, installed roles, services, and performance.
Windows Server 2012 also comes with PowerShell 3.0 as a great improvement. It is a command-line & scripting tool to expand significant control of Windows servers. The GUI of the Windows Server 2012 version is built atop PowerShell 3.0.
Windows Server 2012 R2
The Windows Server 2012 R2 version came as the sixth Windows Server version. It appeared as a part of the operating systems of the Windows NT family.
The Windows Server 2012 R2 version has come with server deployment. Users are free to install Essentials being a member server within a domain, regardless of its size. Moreover, the server edition also features client deployment. As a result, users can connect computer systems to their domains even from a remote location.
Windows Server 2012 R2 comes with pre-configured auto-VPN dialing. Some other features of the server version include server storage, Office 365 integration, mobile device management, and so on.
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2016 has come with an updated module for Nano Server. It contributes to structuring Nano Server images, such as more space is now there between guest VM functionality and the physical host. Moreover, it also comes with support for various Windows Server versions.
Windows Server 2016 has also improved the Recovery Console, such as dissociation of inbound and outbound firewall conditions. The Recovery Console can now fix the WinRM configuration. Windows Server 2016 has improved Hyper-V Time and Win32 Time Synchronization Services.
The server version comes with the Virtualization area, which consists of products as well as properties for the IT professionals so that they can design, place, and keep up Windows Server.
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2019 is developed on the base of Windows Server 2016. The server version has come with several innovations to benefit Windows Server users. The server edition came with system insight, which is a predictive analytics property. It makes use of a machine-learning model. Thus, users can locally examine Windows Server system data.
The Windows Server 2019 version comes with improved security and alleviated business risk with multiple, in-built layers of protection in the OS. Besides, the server version features storage migration. It has streamlined the migration of servers to the latest version of the Windows Server.
Recent Operating System Version Updates:
Windows Server, version 1903
It comes as the Windows Server’s Semi-Annual Channel release. It emphasizes performance, trustworthiness, and several other usual improvements.
Windows Server, version 1909
It is equivalent to November 2019’s Windows 10 Update. Windows Server, version 1909 was launched as a collective update for Windows Server version 1903.
Windows Server, version 2004
Windows Server, version 2004 comes with improvements for containers. Some network optimizations have also come with Windows Server, version 2004, which ensures improved durability, reliability, and scalability.
Please do not use pirated software. If you intend to test a product then please only use the approved trial edition of those software products.