How-To Geek

Have You Ever Wondered How Your Operating System Got Its Name?

Have you ever wondered what “XP” stands for or where “Ubuntu” comes from? Some operating systems get their names from obvious places, but others need some explaining. Read on to find out where your favorite OS got its name.

We’ve rounded up the most popular and well-known operating systems, as well as a few lesser-known ones—if you know of another operating system with an interesting story behind its name, make sure to teach your fellow readers in the comments.



Micro Soft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS) was originally licensed from Seattle Consumer Products’ Quick and Dirty Operating System (QDOS). MS-DOS had no graphical user interface (GUI) and instead everything was inputted by users via a command prompt. The DOS acronym does not always mean MS-DOS. DOS is a generic term for “Disk Operating System” and MS-DOS was just one of many including Apple DOS, AmigaDOS, freeDOS, and many others.

Image by zickey

Windows 1.0 – NT 4.0

The Windows name came from the fact that the new operating system, Windows 1.0, had windows a user could interact with in the GUI. The “Windows” name carries through all the way to current operating system and the number or name following “Windows” is how you can tell what version of Windows you have.

Microsoft stuck with the numbering scheme for 1.0-3.1 when it started to work on its New Technology (NT) branch of the operating system. Windows NT 4.0 was the first to implement the new NT kernel and was released in 1996 using the Windows 95 user interface.

Windows 95 – ME

Microsoft for a short while began naming their Windows operating system with the year of release indicating the version. Windows 95, 98, and Millennium Edition were all built off of the original Windows 3.1 kernel. Millennium Edition was release in 2000 and was designed to be used on home computers while Windows 2000 was designed for business computers.

Windows 2000 used the NT kernel and was the direct successor to NT 4.0, it was later replaced by Windows XP.

Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7


Windows XP was released in 2001 and the XP stands for eXPerience. This experience lasted all the way until 2007 when Microsoft released Windows Vista. According to Microsoft, Vista got its name because “At the end of the day…what you’re trying to get to is your own personal Vista.” It was very philosophical of Microsoft but ultimately they moved to a more simple approach with Windows 7.

Windows 7 is the seventh version of Windows since 95. Even though 95 wasn’t the first version of Windows if you count 1.0 – 3.1, but Windows 10 just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Plus people might get it confused with Mac OS 10.

System 1 – 7.5

Apple’s System operating system was developed for the Macintosh personal computer. The operating system has always followed a basic revision numbering scheme with every major release getting a 1 point increment with minor updates getting a 0.1 increment.

The Apple Macintosh computer was released in 1984 and got its name from the McIntosh apple.

Each new version featured incremental updates and feature enhancements as well as support for newer Apple computers. System 1-4 had no multitasking support which may sound familiar to another Apple operating system.

The first seven versions of the operating system were simply called “System 1-7.” This held true until 7.6 when the word “System” was dropped in favor of a more marketable “Mac OS” name.

Mac OS 8 – 10

File:MacOS81 screenshot.png

Mac OS 8 came out in 1997 shortly after Steve Jobs came back to work for Apple. Mac OS 8 was supposed to be called version 7.7 but was changed to 8 because of a legal loophole that allowed Apple to shut down the 3rd party Macintosh market.

Mac OS 9 is now known as the last of the “Classic” Mac OSs and was the final release to be based on Apple’s in house code.

OS X (OS Ten) is the tenth version of the Mac operating system and the first Mac OS based on Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). The underlying OS was developed by the company Steve Jobs started while away from Apple, NeXTSTEP, which Apple acquired in 1997.


Each minor version of OS X (10.1, 10.2, etc.) also has an associated big cat name. While there is some speculation on where Apple got the idea for these names, it is a pretty big coincidence that the operating system would share names with the now depreciated Macintosh clones built by Shaye as well as a pretty convincing argument over OS X names and German tanks.


Linux itself got its name from Ari Lemmke who ran the FTP server the original Linux Kernel was uploaded to. Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, wanted to name the kernel Freax, but Ari instead gave him a folder called “linux” to upload his kernel to. The Linux name came from “Linus’ Minix” which was the operating system Linus was trying to replace for himself.



Ubuntu (oo-BOON-too) comes from the Zulu and Xhosa languages in Africa roughly meaning “humanity towards others.”

Like many Linux distributions, Ubuntu releases have two names for every release, a development code name and a version name. The numerical name for the release is based on the year and month of the release, e.g., version 10.04 was released in April of 2010. Every two years a long term support (LTS) release is also made which carries the LTS lettering and also has an incremental release for bug fixes. The current long term support version is Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS.

The code names are based on an alphabetical increment of an adjective and animal of the same letter. The animal naming came early in the development and usually reflects the state of the current Ubuntu distribution, e.g., Warty Warthog was the first release to signify its lack of polish. Ever release since Breeze Badger (5.10) has been in alphabetical order.

Ubuntu also has derivatives that have either a specific focus, location, or major difference in the operating system that requires a different distribution name. Some of the official derivatives are Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Mythbuntu, and Eubuntu. All of the official derivatives follow the same naming scheme as Ubuntu.

There are also Ubuntu customizations like Linux Mint, Linspire, and Ubuntulite which all have their own code names and version numbering.



Debian got its name from Ian Murdock the creator of the Debian distribution. He named the distribution after his girlfriend Debra Lynn by combining her name and his into “Debian.”

Each stable Debian release has an associated version number (1.0, 2.0, etc.), but it also has a code name based on a character from the movie 1995 movie Toy Story. The latest 6.0 release is named after the toy aliens “Squeeze.” The development branch of Debian is permanently named “Sid” from the emotionally unstable neighbor in the movie.

Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS


Red Hat Linux received its name because red hats have been the symbol of freedom and revolution in both the U.S. and France. Red Hat comes in a few different flavors, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Fedora Project, and CentOS

Red Hat Enterprise Linux does not use code names and instead just uses version numbers similar to OS X.

Fedora gets its name from the Red Hat logo in which Shadowman, the man in the logo, wears a red fedora hat. Fedora 1-6 were known as Fedora Core while later versions dropped “core” from the name.

Fedora uses code names that are relational to the previous release. Each release is related to the first with an “is-a” relationship to its predecessor. For example, version 7 “Moonshine” is a record label like version 6 “Zod”, but it is also a movie like version 8 “Werewolf.”

CentOS is the community-supported version of RHEL. The name comes from Community ENTerprise Operating System and is one of the most popular web server operating systems. Version numbers for CentOS follow RHEL version numbering and does not have code names.



Gentoo got its name from Daniel Robbins after renaming his Enoch Linux distribution. Gentoo was first renamed when Daniel and the other developers began using the EGCS compiler instead of the GCC compiler for added features and speed. Gentoo is named after the fastest swimming penguin, the Gentoo penguin.

The stylized “g” logo resembles a silver Japanese Magatama which were often found at grave sites as offerings to deities.



SuSE is a German distribution which originally stood for “Software und System Entwicklung” which in English translates to “Software and System Development.” Since 1998 the acronym is no longer used and the the name of the company is simply SUSE.

The original release of SuSE Linux was version 4.2 instead of 1.0 in reference to the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

SUSE’s mascot is a Veiled chameleon named “Geeko” from the words “gecko” and “geek.”

SUSE is now owned by Novell and the free Linux distribution is known as openSUSE.

Justin Garrison is a Linux and HTPC enthusiast who loves to try new projects. He isn't scared of bricking a cell phone in the name of freedom.

  • Published 02/28/11

Comments (92)

  1. Ashish Jain

    Good one.

  2. SuAlfons

    Didn’t Windows NT 3.1 and 3.5.x introduce the 32bit Kernel? IMHO NT4.0 was merely a release including the Cairo Interface of Win95.

    Interesting read, anyway.

  3. Pravin

    I don’t understand how Windows 7 is the seventh version of Windows since 95. It should either be sixth if we just consider desktop OS’s (95, 98, ME, XP, Vista) or ninth if we add server OS’s to the list (NT, 2000, 2003). Which one am I missing?

  4. Josh

    3.1 was the first version of NT, which was largley derived from Microsoft’s work on OS/2 with IBM. It had a similar interface to Windows 3.x, not the 9x interface.

  5. Josh

    @Pravin: windows 1 through 3.x. The 9x and ME releases were all version 4.x releases, XP was 5.x, Vista was 6.x, and 7 is 7.

  6. vrays

    realy nice

  7. akbarri

    @Josh: Windows NT 6.1 (Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2)

  8. Evert

    The Wikipedia comes with a different origin for NT: ‘Although various Microsoft publications, including a 1998 question-and-answer session with Bill Gates, reveal that the letters ‘NT’ were expanded to ‘New Technology’ (a backronym) for marketing purposes, they originally stood for “N-Ten,” the codename of the Intel i860 XR processor for which NT was initially developed.’

  9. Andrey de Oliveira

    The NT designation originally referred to a Windows for the “N-Ten” (i860 XR) processor. ;)

  10. Pravin

    @Josh: Thanks. Your answer fits better than the original author who says: “Windows 7 is the seventh version of Windows since 95”. So I was ignoring pre-95 ones and then Win7 wouldn’t fit at the 7th place.

  11. Michael

    @Josh: This is what I thought originally. Except XP is 5.x Vista is 6.0 and 7 is 6.1.

  12. Michael

    If you count them like this it works… 1. 95 2. 98 3. Me 4. 2000 5. XP 6. Vista 7. Win7

  13. Chris Yost

    What I remember reading is that the developer of Red Hat *owned* a red fedora, saw it hanging on its hook when he was stumped for a name for his new flavor of Linux, liked the idea and named it after it.

  14. Vic

    Isnt it that before the MS DOS, there’s PC DOS which is used by IBM before microsoft got it and now was named as MS DOS. PC DOS stands for Personal Computer Disk Operating System that is used to boot up the first PC released by IBM.

    Also, for added info, windows 95 was first code named chicago

  15. Ice

    GLaDOS :)

  16. GoodBytes

    Windows 7 is actually 6.1. You can wiki and very that.
    Vista was all about the re-work of the back end of the Windows. This why Vista had new bugs and issues that were not there before, and some bugs and issue that used to be fix long time ago, reappear.

    Windows 7 was all about polishing really really well the back end of the OS, and work on the front end (what the user sees and experience). OS are extremely complicated peace of software. It’s very very hard to do, and requires A LOT of time (that is why Vista took so much time to release. They even had to rework the base system twice as they were unhappy with the first one during the OS development). We all know that if Vista was out 1 year later, it would have been a much better OS, and people would have better performing computers to run it, but anyway. What is done is done.

    Why 7?
    7. Windows 7
    6. Windows Vista
    5. Windows XP
    4. Windows 2000
    3. Windows Me
    2. Windows 98
    1. Windows 95

    Microsoft large success started with Windows 95. It’s new advance interface design and numerous new feature is what made the success of Windows 95 so big. If I recall correctly… it was much bigger than Windows 7 success. Especially that many remembers Windows 95, I guess Microsoft decided to start with this OS.
    As for the others all the way up to 7, are all OS’s aimed at the home consumer market. Windows 2000 was one of them… but quickly got replaced in 2001 with XP.

  17. tony

    I remember the huge hype around the release of W95 including the Rolling Stones’ song “Start me up”, which was a clever way to introduce users to the new Start button

  18. Tim

    GEOS (Graphic Environment Operating System) is an operating system from Berkeley Softworks (later GeoWorks). Originally designed for the Commodore 64 and released in 1986, it provided a graphical user interface for this popular 8-bit computer. This version of GEOS is currently owned and distributed by Click Here Software Co.

  19. John Tod

    I always assumed the “MS” in MS-DOS came from “MicroSoft” the company that released it. I remember those days of DOS. There was PC DOS, Compaq’s flavour of Dos and the familiar MS-DOS. I remember using EDLIN to create menus for users who where unfamiliar with the directory tree structure to start a program and to make it simple so all they had to do was type a number or a letter to select the program or operation they wanted to perform.

  20. Tim

    If you would like more info please visit for the GEOS for the commodore.

  21. mike

    I heard that XP was a pun on “Cairo”, the development codename for that version of Windows, and was the greek letters Chi and Rho.

  22. Reckon

    might be “Windows 98 Second Edition” the one missed?

  23. -Pablo-

    @Josh: Windows 7 is actually 6.1. The “Seven” name is just a marketing thing. In the Server editions, the same leap in kernel versions only meant adding an R2 to the 2008 OS. But Vista as already stained and they wanted to give the impression that Windows 7 was a big leap forward. So naming it something like Windows Vista R2 wasn’t an option. Yet the kernel version is (Vista was 6.0).

    Furthermore, it appears that Windows 8 (which could be released sometime in 2012) will be just version 6.2.

  24. -Pablo-

    The official excuse for naming Windows 7 with that number despite being version 6.1 is that it’s their seventh major release or something like that. However it was never clear (at least to me) how exactly they count that.

  25. mike

    To find the “official” number of whichever release of Windows you are using, just run the system command WINVER. For example I am using XP and it is version no. 5.1

  26. Tom Susala

    Funny, I always thought the “Working Title” for Vista was “”Let’s Get This Shit Done And On The Market NOW!”

  27. David Levine

    Great article. In regards to the Ubuntu names, it looks like they skipped the letter C (according to the linked article). Maybe they couldn’t come up with a good name.

  28. Rafael Brito

    Hey, the Windows version numbering is related to architecture changes (some big, some small).
    See here:
    Windows 1.0
    Windows 2.0
    Windows 2.1x
    Windows 3.0
    Windows 3.1x
    Windows NT 3.1
    Windows NT 3.5
    Windows NT 3.51
    Windows 95 (4.00.950)
    Windows NT 4.0
    Windows 98 (4.10.1998)
    Windows Me (4.90.3000)
    Windows 2000 (NT 5.0)
    Windows XP (NT 5.1 / 5.2(64-bit)) (
    Windows Server 2003 (NT 5.2)
    Windows Vista (NT 6.0)
    Windows Server 2008 (NT 6.0)
    Windows Home Server (NT 5.2)
    Windows 7 (NT 6.1 – this break the rule)
    Windows Server 2008 R2 (NT 6.1)

  29. Tom

    Windows seven is called 7 because its windows nt kernel build version 7000 (actually 7.600)

  30. DavidB

    I wonder if there is an alternative universe where Apple chose “Granny Smith” instead.

  31. John

    Windows NT or WNT was derived from VMS, which “inspired” the new kernel.., just shift the alphabet one more letter (i.e. …pqrST)

  32. Robin Mathew Rajan

    @Pravin @Josh @Michael: I think you all are wrong, Windows 98 had a second edition ‘Windows 98 SE’. If we include this version, Windows 7 will be the seventh of OS’s from Windows 95.

  33. Qusai

    what about UNIX??

  34. Jon Germany

    the Atari 520ST used to have a windows style operating system in the late 80’s. It was Known as GEM which tood for “Graphical environment Manger”.

    Anyone remember this?

  35. Robin Mathew Rajan

    @Pablo, @Rafael Brito, @Tom: The reason why Microsoft put 6.1 as version no for Windows 7 is because to maintain compatibility with the Vista applications. When an application begins to install, it first cross checks the version no of Windows which is supposed to run, to the version that it is now running. It means, it first checks the major version (before the decimal ie, 5 or 6), & then checks the minor version no (after the decimal, .1 or .2 etc). Small variations in the minor version number (I mean, after the decimal) does not make any problem, but if there is any mismatch with the major version no, the installer will refuse to install & finally close. The point is, if Windows 7 would be 7.00 then any applications which work on the Vista will refuse to install & run. I think you all got me.

  36. Robin Mathew Rajan

    @Tom Susala: I think, you are a computer noob or didn’t used Windows Vista at all. Double check your opinion. Windows Vista is far better than Windows XP. Vista had atleast an option to control the applications which executed automatically, which lacked for XP. Malicious programs utilized that lacking of XP to install automatically without the users will. What you wanted that to happen….!!!?? Come on man, be practical & don’t argue about anything you don’t know or sure about. Apart from this Vista had many other useful services too. I think who ever calls Vista was a disaster is actually computer noobs.


    @VIC ..Too true … Chicago was the BETA version of Windows 95 !!

  38. pwltho

    Good information and welcome to IT World…:)

  39. What About Bob?

    Hey, I know it’s not an OS per se (just a GUI for Win95), but how about this one?


  40. Who Really Cares

    One thing for sure… The brains at MS should NEVER have developed Vista for all the radical changes it caused with compatibility to disrupt excellent existing programs and applications that worked fine in Win98 thru XP (THE BEST OS EVER!). Money and greed pervails…

  41. Mario

    Really interesting thanks for sharing

  42. Robin Mathew Rajan

    @Who Really Cares: Who the f*** are you to tell that XP is the best OS ever….??? Don’t you have any brains…??? You really deserve to be in an old age home, not here. XP is the worst OS ever. Well, it was the best when Vista & Windows 7 was not there. Right now XP is the worst & dirtiest OS ever. XP has many security flaws that makes it the worst. Hey man, go get some good computer knowledge & then come here to comment & don’t argue about anything you don’t know or sure about.

  43. Robin Mathew Rajan

    @ Who Really Cares: One thing more, Vista/Win7’s architecture is completely different that that of XP. MS rewrited the architecture to be more productive than the earlier versions. That’s because most of the applications have compatibility problems with Vista, & not because of any greed, YOU FOOL…

  44. scott

    What about an analysis of coded names, like longhorn, whistler, cairo, etc.

  45. Mike

    Anyone remember CP/M (I think “Control Program for Microprocessors”) and DR-DOS from Digital Research? As I remember, DR-DOS came with a supplementary GEM overlay.

  46. Mike

    Anyone remember what the name was for the OS on the Commodore Vic-20 and Commodore 64?

    And was the Amiga, with its AmigaDOS and Workbench GUI part of the same family???

  47. Rob Edwards

    Commodore 64’s and Vic-20’s OS was called Kernal.It was a misspelling of Kernel. According to myth, it was so named because it was “Keyboard Entry, Read, Network And Link”

  48. Bobby Hunter

    Windows 2000 was originally going to be called NT5 but late in development they decided that Windows2000 was more marketable. WindowsXP was NT5.1 or 5.2, I think. Thus Vista is NT6. Which explains how Windows7 gets it’s name.

  49. wtortorici

    I’m confused about Microsoft and the disk operating system.

    In 1978 I bought a TRS 80 -1 that used a tape recorder to save data. Later that year Radio Shack release a disk operating system developed by Randy Cook. Cook got to version 2 and changed copyright from Radio Shack to Randy Cook. That pissed off RS and they fired him and handed the debugging off to Microsoft who had bastersized Dartmouth BASIC a year earlier and burned it to a ROM. Until the PC

  50. wtortorici


    Until IBM’s PC. MS continued debugging RS’s DOS.

    The Commodore 8 thru to the 64 used CP/M and MS BASIC. It’s graphical interface was way ahead of any OS. As an example how far ahead they were, they had 7 screens called sprites, that you could overlay the background screen with. Each was transperent except for the graphic you created giving the illusion of 3D as you could make each suceeding sprite move across screen at a different speed.

  51. Doug Burwell

    The Amiga computer and OS was originally called the Amica before it was purchased by Commodore. Amica is Latin (and Italian) for beloved female friend. They had to change the name because another company was already using it. I do not know if it was AmicaInc, AmicaUSA, or the Automobile Mutual Insurance Co. of America (AMICA) that objected. Does anyone know? I do know there still survives an old software program called Amica Paint.




  53. Coleton

    @Robin Mathew Rajan

    I think 90% of people here would disagree with you. When ever me or another IT gets a PC with Vista loaded on it it we dread it. Some might consider Windows Vista to the modern version of Windows ME, one great pain in the ***.

  54. Coleton


    There names of places on the globe as you can tell by Cairo.

    @Robin Mathew Rajan

    I forgot this GTFO, and all really 7 is, is Debugged Vista hence why it is 6.1 because all the fixes that were needed originally were just ported over to 7. You seem to have stuck up attitude about your knowledge here’s some facts for you.

    The only reason Microsoft was ever successful was because they were EXTREMELY lucky with IBM making a mistake. Way back when IBM was still panicking over if they would make bank or go broke on the first PC. They signed on Microsoft with MS-DOS because it was cheaper. The problem with MS-DOS at the time which is still in every Windows OS today including 7 is memory leakage. This is when a program is running takes up the RAM it uses but it can not be cleared or given back to the OS because it skips that step, and Windows does this with temp files if i remember right. I know this hasn’t been fixed because we have two of our three servers running on Red Hat Linux. The other one which we have upgraded recently to Windows Server 2008 which is NT 6.x. The only time we had the Linux servers down were when we had Hardware failure, in it which wasn’t very often, and updates.The Windows Server 2008 edition, and 2003 which is what we had before, crashed almost everytime every 5 weeks after the last reboot. So every 5 weeks we rebooted the system and repeat.

    Now without getting side tracked IBM signed a deal with Microsoft in thinking they bought Microsoft instead they bought the right to use there software on there hardware. This lead IBM out of the PC market into the more business market for OS’.That’s why you don’t see OS/2 anymore. The second reason is M$ monopolistic market schemes that under mined the competition for example Office. Office was free when it first came out, it is now around $130 for a student software package. The first excel didn’t even work, the first Word didn’t have spell check, but while it’s competition at the time Now called OpenOffice, did. Another example is how many time they have been brought for court for this single idea. The when Hot mail first came out, (owned by Microsoft) any e-mail sent, they owned the data in it.

    What I’m virtually saying is Windows of any version sucks Windows XP was terrible at launch, same with Vista, same with ME which was never even given a chance, You can get a fully functioning OS for Free of your choosing that runs on Linux. If your not that computer savy get Ubuntu works right out of the box all it needs for the causal user is to download music codecs. Which is all free. Now your a 18-20 year old kid which is the impression that I have gotten. So gaming is perfectly able on a console, not just the PC which is more prone to piracy due to a console having a proprietary hardware and software while the PC is already know for software and hardware.

  55. What About Bob?

    For some reason my comment didn’t show up :-\


    I wrote earlier about kind of the same concept:

    (Gates has so many “bills” that it should’ve been called Microsoft Ben LOL) :-)

  56. What About Bob?

    (sorry about the double post, but I just had to get this in :-) )

    @ Tom Susala

    LOL…Personally I think Vista’s codename in retrospect should’ve been “Microsoft Edsel.”

    @ Pablo
    A new Windows release in 2012??? Doesn’t that just lend further credibility to the apocalypse rumors? The end of the world…and the opening of the Gates? :-D

    Also, somewhat OT but might be worth mentioning that the Apple “Lisa” was named for Steve Jobs’ baby daughter by his college girlfriend. Might want to do a series on codenames for computers; Apple’s been at the forefront of cleverness (and controversy) in this realm. Apple “Newton” (cute), and lest we forget the Carl Sagan fiasco, in which the late astrophysicist sued for the use of his name — and the pranksters in Cupertino changed the codename to “random letters,” BHA — which really meant “butthead astronomer” LOL :-)

    “Mountain Dew is the best soft drink ever made…”

  57. CH

    I still have my DOS 6.0 floppies along with the 20 pound book of DOS commands and programming language. I had upgraded my Kaypro 8088 with the latest operating system. It had two (count em, TWO) 20mb hard drives. What a screamer!

    Maybe I can sell them to an antiques dealer along with my AOL disk collection from version one on down, unused!

  58. JAR

    Read all the post. Some humorous, some stink, some using strong language that was unnecessary. Like CH I still have my floppies from DOS 6.0 and 6.1. Like most of you I have used every operating system since the commodore 64. I loved Win3.1 and refused for a long time to go to Win95. Once I did I loved it. Same goes with 98, 98 2nd edition, NT, then ME which ended the love affair. ME was a terrible memory hog among other flaws. I gave it a chance and could not wait to get rid of it when XP came out. Again the love affair for XP. Purchased a new computer about this time with Vista and loved it also. Never once did I have a complaint about Vista regardless of the negative hype. I would have kept Vista but got a chance to get in on purchasing Win7 where it was good for 3 computers and I upgraded to Win7. Thus far I have no complaints about Win7 except for the irritating habit in Explorer to open up a folder then jumps to the bottom of the tree, then open up a sub folder and it again jumps to the bottom of the tree…quite irritating as I spend half my time in Explorer. For you rash language people commenting on here, it’s unnecessary to talk like that in replying to anyone making a comment. I curse as much as most, but it’s offensive on here, so DON’T DO IT!

  59. Mauricio Lorca

    @Jon Germany: Yes, I remember GEM, which was the first high resolution user interface I could work with. It was in the early 90’s with a Compaq specialized PC and an LView 29 inches B/W HiRes monitor. I used to run Ventura Publisher on it. What a lot of publications we edited on those years using it.

    BTW: Is there any good for we users if M$ explains in detail why Window$ 7 was named so? It’s only Window$ and for users it doesn’t matter if it is called 7 or Crasher. That’s why I decided to migrate from the many versions of Window$ I had to suffer for many years to a much more stable and friendly OS: Linux!!! A couple of months ago I moved from Ubuntu 10.04 to Linux Mint 10 to make some experiments, but no matter what distro or version of linux I run, I’m more grateful every day to Linus Torvalds and the many other guys who perform this great job. ¿Virus/Trojans/Worms? ¿BSOD? ¿Licensing fees? ¿Piracy? I forgot all of them many years ago =)

  60. Mauricio Lorca

    @Robin Mathew Rajan: I realize you love Window$ and all its stuff but for God’s sake don’t try to explain what doesn’t have explanation: every new version of MS products consume a lot more resources, wastes a lot of user’s time trying to separate the new gadgets from the real useful applications, and forces the user to purchase new hardware.
    If the brand new and completely rewritten code of the new MS experiment were really improved, it could really run (not only walk) on it’s predecessor normal hardware at least. Which one is the only Operating System which can do that? Linux. There you have a real Operating System to save resources, time and effort. For those users who love gadgets on screen, try a real full motion gadget factory like Compiz. Measure it’s resource needings and then compare.
    Sorry, but I also worked (not only played at home) with every version of DOS and Window$ since 1991, so I talk (or write) with full knowledge about the things I say.

  61. Mauricio Lorca

    @Mike: I remember the CP/M 56K I used to run on an Apple IIe and a Timex Sinclair ZX-Spectrum machines. That was on….let me remember…could it be on 1985? Maybe.
    Those were hard times even for specialized people. Today’s computer users cannot imagine the kind of experiments we used to do with only 1KB RAM…yes… 1 Kilo Byte. We used to write assembler programs to save memory and get that toys running.
    It’s very impressive for me to realize all the technology improvements we can enjoy in such a little time.

  62. arindam

    wow cool…tnx for sharing the knowledge

  63. beeth informatica

    gem atari. GREAT!!!

  64. Parduz

    I remember CP/M as it was the OS of Siemens “portable” PCs dedicated to automation machinery programming.

    No one mentioned TOS for the Atari ST PCs.

  65. Suneet Bendre

    Windows 7 Name was given because Microsoft Started developing and Coding New OS in year 2007.

    And Same to Windows 8 ( 2008 ).

  66. BAF


    You are so wrong that it isn’t even funny.

    First of all, DOS is /not/ in every Windows OS, especially not Vista or 7.

    Second of all, temporary files have nothing to do with memory leaks.

    Third of all, Windows Server doesn’t crash every 5 weeks, unless you’ve got some bad hardware or misconfiguration or something.

    I understand you’re a Linux evangelist and think that it’s great for everyone, but news flash, Linux is far from perfect, and isn’t that great of an option for a lot of users. Please, crawl back in your hole, and double check your facts before you start spewing diarrhea out of your mouth next time. Thanks.

  67. vistamike

    Interesting article, in a nutshell

  68. the earth ox

    Happy people have made efforts to make the systems easier for the learner to use. I do receive updates from GEEK many are outside my basic knowledge. Never had the training of teachers at school or tutors to help me I always go by the rule YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST TEACHER. So the bottom line is the level and use of the computer network and system does all i need. Made easier by the developments and helped by GEEKS network THANKS THE EARTH OX BORN 1949 CHINESE YEAR OF THE EARTH OX

  69. cactusdr

    Nice article. Really hated to see a Linux user come here and spread the Windows hate. It’s just too often that people who are linux users have to lash out. Why I don’t know. Unfortunately they make linux a cult operating system vs mainstream. Windows isn’t perfect, nor is linux. I installed Ubuntu on a dual boot 4 months ago and deleted that partition yesterday. Why? Half my hardware wouldn’t work and time involved to do simplistic tasks such as install apps is just so much easier on a Windows OS. Linux was kind of fun to use, just not real user-friendly. And for that it will NEVER be the OS the diehards want it to become. I won’t bash it, it’s just different. So Linux users, lighten up. You’re giving yourselves heartburn for no reason. Channel your hate to bad TV programming instead of computer programming.

  70. Coleton


    First of all i never said DOS was in Windows i said Windows has the same problem as DOS which is a memory leak which Microsoft hasn’t fixed sincs MS-DOS which was Microsoft’s first OS. I should have clarified that it has the same problem but they 2 different memory leaks which i failed to clarify and i aplogize for that. Secondly The memory leak is *CAUSED* by Windows temp files, not that memory leaks are temp files And finally Linux i agree with you is not perfect. It has many problems like uniformity in package distro, non-user friendly, use of commnd line for basic tasks that should be in the GUI that are not, ETC. Also that server is one we set up with brand new hardware and software we did a clean install becasue we didn’t want to risk a bad upgrade install, and we built it in shop with top of the line parts we ordered and picked up becasue we didn’t want a pre-made system with bloat ware or OEM hardware. Also the Blue screen error is a memory leak error and we we’ve checked it it with Microsoft Customer Support an this server runs 24-7, 365 day’s a year along with the two Linux servers.

  71. Coleton


    Your right TV programmming is terrible

  72. Jack

    I ran CP/M on my Altair 8800 (purchased in Jan 1975 with 256 bytes of RAM) with two 5 1/4″ floppy’s, a HeathKit dot matrix printer, and a SWTPC (Southwest Technical Products, Co from San Antonio, TX) TV Typewriter II. I had a 300 baud acoustic coupled modem from a surplus Texas Instrument Silent 700 terminal. Other peripherals were an Oliver Engineering non-motorized high speed optical paper tape reader, an AI Cybernetic Solutions Speech Synthesizer. Eventually it had 60K of RAM, 2K of memory mapped video memory from a Processor Technology display board (that displayed on a modified black and white TV to turn it into a monitor), and 2K EPROM where a friend and I wrote a boot loader, debugger, and monitor that was Intel Intelec compatible (that was Intel’s development system they sold to developers for big buck back then in the mid to late 1970’s). … In those days if you wanted a ‘home computer’, you learned how to use a soldering iron, but it didn’t take to long for that to change.

  73. xana452

    Interesting, but did you know that Vista was first supposed to be “Longhorn” and that windows 7 was first supposed to be “Blackcomb”?

  74. RTFM

    I remember when I worked at DEC and it was shown that there was a good bit of VMS code in NT, owing to the fact that MS had recruited the lead developers from the VMS team. (Copyright was settled out of court in part by forcing Microsoft to support the Alpha on the early versions of NT).

    Keeping in line with this WNT was to VMS what HAL was to IBM

  75. Peter Schulz

    DOS came from Seattle Computer Products, not Consumer Products. I ran it on my S100 box for software development for the original IBM PC back in the early 80’s. SCP was ripped off – they got $50k for the rights to DOS from Microsoft.

  76. Harsh Vardhan...

    VEry NiCE …..
    ThanX FoR SHaRIng THiS KnOWLeDGe….

  77. J

    Thanks for sharing this.

  78. Windower

    Win32 NT
    Windows NT = v 4
    Windows 2000 = v 5.0
    Windows XP = v 5.1
    Windows Vista = v 6.0
    Windows 7 = v 6.1

    Win32 non NT
    Windows 95 = v 4.0
    Windows 98 = v 4.10
    Windows ME = v 4.90

  79. xdr

    Comodore 64 had MS BASIC with GUI called GEOS. Atari had TOS with GUI called GEM. Amiga had Workbench

  80. y2smile

    what about bob? BOB was a microsoft creation, didn’t gates wife came up with it? . but it never got anyware.

  81. jPaw

    Any word about Windows CE?????

  82. PrinceMooch

    Windows CE was an operating system for low powered PC’s such as thinclients and because of that it couldn’t be entered and also it’s neally all based on windows XP

  83. Eza

    I thought the XP in Windows XP was originally an EMOTICON!

  84. Ed

    In the previous versions of Windows, you could see the version number when checking Properties in the context menu of My Computer, or opening System in Control Panel. I used to do that a lot, and saw that:

    Windows 95 was labeled version 4.000000095 (not exactly that number zeroes but you get the idea)
    Windows 97 was 4.10000097
    Windows ME was 4.90000 something

    So Win95 was 4.0, Win95 was 4.1, WinME was 4.9, and XP became v5, Vista is v6, followed by the current v7.

  85. Peter Rietveld

    I think MS did also choose the name Windows 7 to unchain from the disaster Vista was. In there marketing they where always talking about ‘build completely from scratch’ and ‘rebuild the kernel’. It does imply it’s a next kernel (Vista was kernel 6.0), in fact it’s just a update of Vista. Ssttt, don’t tell anyone..

  86. Robin Mathew Rajan

    @Coleton: I agree with you that most of the users would disagree with me that Vista was really a nice OS, but what they don’t know is XP is a security disaster. Whoever finds my opinion wrong, I ask them to try block a virus with autorun capabilities in XP & then Vista without any antivirus installed. Then the XP noobs would realise the Vista power.
    @ Mauricio Lorca : I never said that Linux is a disaster. In-fact I love Linux & I use it for troubleshooting. Windows & Linux have their own pros & cons. The fact I hate in Linux is the difficulty in installing software mainly the audio or video codecs. We’ll have to manually paste them into the system directory.

  87. E. Veldman

    “SUSE is now owned by Novell and the free Linux distribution is known as openSUSE.”

    Isn’t SUSE owned by Attachmate these days? I thought I remembered seeing a press-release that Attachmate from Seattle bought/merged with Novell.

  88. clu

    man i hate linux os

  89. rewind

    I was just curious and searched about Arch linux but didn’t found anything useful. Does someone know something about it’s name :)

  90. the1texaslady

    sorry all!!yes–windows me was VERY bad!!! but~~xp was the best I think too!! At least all the programs we were using could STILL be used with xp , but not with windows7 and ms screwed up when they quit the picture it!plus !!!! program!
    THAT was the BEST program for pictures.
    Ya’ll have a goodin ok~~~~~~

  91. Ankit

    As in previous comments, I think Microsoft numbers their Windows releases as follows:
    1. Windows 1.0
    2. Windows 2.0
    3. Windows 3.0, 3.1…
    4. Windows 95, 98, Me
    5. Windows 2000, XP (5.1)
    6. Windows Vista
    7. Windows 7
    not from Windows 95, as you mentioned

  92. davv

    and the ubunto logo is 3 people holding hands

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