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What are some Microsoft operating systems?

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Quick Answer

Some Microsoft operating systems include the original edition, Windows 1.0, released in 1985; Windows 95, Microsoft's most highly promoted release; Windows 98, the first version custom designed for consumer users; and turn-of-the-century editions such as Windows 2000 and Windows ME. Some especially well-received Windows operating systems are 2001's Windows XP, well-liked for its speed and stability, and Windows 7 from 2009, which featured welcome tweaks to file organization capabilities, system security and window management.

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Microsoft has contended with some notorious misfires over the years. After an aggressively publicized, much-anticipated lead-up to its release, Windows Vista bombed received poor reviews from users and critics alike. Consumers vilified Vista's highly demanding system requirements and newly prohibitive licensing standards. They also bemoaned its crippling compatibility problems, which rendered a long list of important software and hardware components pre-dating Vista suddenly obsolete. Vista users also rallied against Microsoft's hardening of certain restrictions within its Digital Rights Management policies.

Microsoft witnessed a similar customer response with the 2012 release of Windows 8, a clunky attempt to provide a transition of sorts between the decreasing number of desktop PCs being sold and the rapidly expanding tendency toward mobile operating systems. A confusingly redundant interface found long-time users suddenly struggling to find familiar tools such as the Control Panel and the Power settings. However, the most vociferous criticism of Windows 8 centered on the elimination of the Start button, a long-time feature that serves as an entry point into the system for many computer owners.

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