Microsoft Publishes Windows Home Server 2011

Windows Home Server 2011, allows the technique to potentially overwrite you album art & music metadata without authorisation, Microsoft have today posted an advisory note on the TechNet Wiki. The wiki post acknowledges the issue (as the company did historicallyin the past on Microsoft Connect) & provides the same workaround steps as historicallyin the past published to switch off the scheduled task to blame.

Also acknowledged in the wiki post is another media related issues that have been identified with WHS 2011 - "Repeat" button does not function for single file streaming from Remote Web Access Page & The media file will still be displayed in the media player, after they have been moved to a new folder. The first issue has been identified as a bug due to the Repeat feature not being activated in the product for single file playback whilst the second issue is the result of Windows Media Player indexes not being updated after media files are moved. Doh.

With regard to the metadata issue, public acknowledgement as well as a workaround are great, but not a permanent solution. Microsoft needs a fix in place to make sure a Dashboard control is made obtainable to switch metadata synchronisation on or off and make sure the default is set to off.

In other news, Microsoft abandons correct spelling, English grammar and proof-reading for support documentation.

Source : Microsoft Publishes Windows Home Server 2011 Media Streaming Advisory

Install Web-Hosting Linux Server

We are involved with the net in our every day lives. In most of our every day functions such as banking, knowledge gathering, work as well as pleasure they involve the net. All knowledge comes to us through web-hosting services. When reading a book, they are not concerned about the printer; or technique of printing; technique of binding & publishing; & the number of copies printed. Similarly, they do not care how the web-page came to be on the screen; who designed it; or how they designed it. as they read the contents of a book, they read the contents on the web-page. Well, anyone must have designed & published the web-pages. They & others, who are now maintaining the web-sites, do need to know the technical details of web-hosting.

What you need for web-hosting is a powerful computer with lots of memory & disk space. You will also need a server Operating Method, a web-server application package, database package, with a web-page handling package. For all this, you can use the LAMP-server package setup. This contains the Linux Operating System; Apache web-server; MySQL database; & PHP for handling the web-pages. This is an beautiful combination & meets all that the web-host would need, including the necessary Scalability, Security & Stability. LAMP ensures the lowest priced net site hosting.

Linux forms a stable platform. The failure rate of Linux servers, owing to an OS malfunction, is only 0.1%. It can be taken for granted that if the Linux server is not obtainable, it is due to a hardware failure or a bad net connection. However, there may be other failures en-route, between your computer & the hosting services that may lead to the non-availability.

For web-hosting, a web-host remains powered on and must continue to operate, there has to be protection from rootkits, trojans and virii assaults, which may cause the server to crash. A security breach can lead to knowledge stealing or knowledge modifications, causing credulity concerns for the affected organization. Therefore, periodic checkups are done and security measures taken to locate and eradicate the security breaches. Since LAMP application are open-source, method administrators can basically secure their web-hosts. Open-source application is backed by massive communities of developers, who are prepared to pool in their resources for solving any issue. Security issues are taken care of, mostly within days if not hours, and the method stays secure.

LAMP-servers can pride themselves on scalability. The major advantage here is you may start with server, & as your business grows, you can add more accounts. The LAMP-server has all open-source parts, there's no copyright infringements. The parts being free, the preliminary investment is only limited by the hardware costs. Free hosting, use your LAMP-server as a dedicated server, or shared server, or a virtual server. You can add users as you go, & on a regular basis, each user gets to make use of all the resources available. Linux is a multitasking OS & can handle all the tasks simultaneously as equal ease. For further scalability, use Linux for parallel computing.

Install LAMP Server CentOS Five 64-Bit Edition

Finally got my server up & walking for me to make use of. Regrettably for me, I was already sleeping & I had work today so I wasn't able to actually play with it until tonight. like other VPS & dedicated servers out there, the server is usually bare boned with no program except the operating method. for me I decided to make use of CentOS five 64-bit edition to get my web server up & walking. my web had Apache two pre-installed on my VPS for me but that was much about it. So I had to scramble around & search for an simple way to put in Mysql & PHP to go with my Linux Apache server.

After some searching, I realized that it is really easy because Linux CentOS Five comes pre-bundled with Yum. Yum is a feature that allows you to download and install software automatically. it will determine all of the dependencies and take care of the rest. I determined which packages I needed and sent off my command:

yum install php php-mysql mysql-server php-gd postgres ImageMagick ImageMagick-devel

This determined all of the dependencies and installed PHP and Mysql on my CentOS Linux server it was so easy I just needed to give Apache a reboot and php was pretty much up and running. to give it a test, I just wrote a simple line of code in /var/www/html/test.php.

Then visit yourhost/test.php If your php server is setup correctly, this should output all of the information about your php install and the different components that were installed with it. it will give you a list of all your configurations and plugins that are enabled.

The next step was getting mysql up and running. after the yum install, the daemon is not automatically started so you will need to start it yourself. you can start the mysql daemon but running the following command:

If everything goes well, the service ought to start without a hitch and it will give you a list of directions for first time users. of the most important things to do now is to set a password for the root user in mysql. again like everything else it is a simple one liner to alter the mysql password:

/usr/bin/mysqladmin -u root password ‘mynewpassword’

Thats it after only a few simple commands in Linux, I was one time able to receive a bare-boned CentOS five method up and walking with a full LAMP install. this method will take a max of five minutes to complete. But for me.. I was one time busy googling it took me about 30 minutes to an hour.. so hopefully this will help you.

Compiling After Install LAMP Server

For a stable & robust web-server, LAMP is the best combination feasible. the LAMP technique comprises of: Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP; Linux is the base or the Operating technique program on which the others will run; Apache is the actual web-server software, MySQL is the Structured Query Language or the database software, PHP is the Hypertext Preprocessor for dynamic web-pages.

All the above program products are open-source. Meaning, you are free to make use of them without having to worry about copyright infringement. the only restriction is you are not allowed to change the source code of the program. A word about the hardware requirements for the LAMP; people have been known to run LAMP successfully on 128MB of ram on a 800MHz CPU, using a 4GB Hard Disk. Such low configurations may not be commercially obtainable any more, so they can safely say use anything obtainable as long as it is robust, since it is the life of a server what they are putting in danger.

The first step will involve installing the OS or the Operating Software. This is as easy as sticking the live-CD/DVD of the OS into the drive and booting up the PC. you will see the OS running from the CD/DVD and asking you if you want to install on the HD or the hard disk. say yes, and the wish is fulfilled. well, if you need to do something special like partitioning your HD, etc., you may need to explore first.

Before we start installing and setting up the others, we need to set up the OS properly. Since we are going to make changes to the basic OS, we need to assume the status of the Super-user; in other words, ‘login as root’, and remain so until all the installation is done. if you do not have access to the hardware from a keyboard, or you are doing a remote login, use Secure Shell, and not telnet; not to compromise the security of the server. Depending on the Linux distro you are using, these names may differ somewhat.

Again, depending on the Linux distro you are using, you may decide to install the standard versions of Apache, PHP and MySQL, in which case, there is no need to uninstall anything. on the other hand, if you are very particular or need to tweak the software to extract maximum performance, you may decide to install after compiling the source code, in which case, you will need to uninstall the standard versions which are given with the OS, download the correct source code versions suitable to your OS, and begin compiling. Whatever course you choose, you will need the C++ compiler. Check for and install if necessary, gcc and gcc-c++.

The next step is to check and if necessary, download the Apache, PHP and MySQL from the repository of your distro and install. In case you are going to install after compiling, get the source code for Apache, PHP and MySQL, unpack and use the standard ‘configure’ and ‘make’ compiling procedures, to install. execute the install procedure sequentially, starting with MySQL, then Apache and finish with PHP.

How Do Install LAMP On Linux Server

Actually it is easy to install lamp server, please read the "Easy-LAMP Server Installation". The majority of this information is for Ubuntu, but if you are running something Red Hat based, such as CentOS, then at the bottom there is a nice command for you.

So I was asked a question the other day, “How do I install LAMP on my linux server?”. First, let me cover a few things about a LAMP server. LAMP is not a piece of software itself, it is a term used to describe a particular server configuration. It stands for Linux Apache MySQL PHP (get it > L-A-M-P). So you don’t install LAMP, you install the software I mentioned earlier (and a few extra pieces to tie them together) and you have what is called a LAMP server.

A LAMP server is pretty much your “cookie cutter” web server. It has PHP for server side web code processing, it has Apache for serving that content, and it has MySQL as a database for storing… uhm… data.

I am not going to cover how to install Linux, there is already some great documentation (like Here! for Ubuntu 10.10 server edition, or if you are an LTS fan Here! for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS).

Installing a LAMP server in Ubuntu is amazingly simple. There is even a TUI (Textual User Interface… think of it as command line graphics with nice colors and such) to make it so simple a caveman can do it. After you have your Ubuntu powered server up and running, log into it. Once logged in, run the following command:

sudo tasksel

This will bring up the tasksel TUI. Next use the up and down arrows to highlight the box next to ‘LAMP server’ and press the spacebar to select it. You should now have an *asterisk* next to it. Then press TAB to highlight the OK button and press enter. Your server will start cranking away turning itself into a full fledged LAMP server. It will ask you one question as it go’s…

Password for the MySQL root user: This is a prompt asking you what you would like your MySQL root user to have. This is not the same “root” as your root user account, but it serves a similar purpose. This will be the password used to log into the database with full administrative permissions, able to create and delete anything from any database. Definitely make this a strong password and do not share it with anyone that doesn’t absolutely need it. It will ask you for it twice to make sure that you don’t have any typo’s in it.

That’s it… your done… no really… that’s all there is to it… You can now host your own PHP website (perhaps even your own wordpress blog).

Do note that you can have a LAMP server running on any flavor of Linux, but since I am an Ubuntu administrator, and I prefer Ubuntu, I tend to give instructions for ubuntu. Red Hat based distributions have a similar function called groupinstall which you can use by running the command:

sudo yum groupinstall "Web Server"

And if you are on a BattleToads server the command would be:

kindlydotheneedful LAMP

Source : How to make a LAMP server

LAMP Server


The term LAMP  first referred to four key components that worked exceptionally well together for hosting powerful database driven websites (however since there are hundreds of alternative and supporting open source components that can become part of the server, the term LAMP is getting less precise). LAMP is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Whether you create a shared account at an ISP, a virtual server at a cloud or dedicated provider, or a real metal and silicon server that you physically connect to the Internet, your site is running on the same LAMP software. The LAMP server you create is not somehow less than the other servers that are on the net, it is what they are using also.

Implementing a LAMP server to solve your business information management task requires that you think about computers in a fundamentally different way than you might be used to. Traditional software products (like your word processor or spreadsheet) run on your computer and save their data there. Computers used to run such programs are called "Workstations". By contrast, office accounting programs usually run on a network and multiple machines access one data-store on one machine. A LAMP server is analogous to this, it presents everything it has to you through your web browser.

To a professional and a beginner a LAMP server is a very different animal. If you download or buy a consumer distribution of Linux (like SUSE, Fedora, Ubuntu) you get a monster DVD full of every kind of productivity, entertainment, graphics, engineering and utility software you can imagine. Underneath all of this somewhere is LAMP, yes you can turn on and configure a LAMP server (using a myriad of dialog boxes), connect it to the net and it can host a website. But, nobody actually does this. Ubuntu (and the others), for example, have server versions, they can fit multiple times on a lowly CD. When you start it up what do you see after login? An empty black screen with a cursor flashing in the upper left waiting for you to type a command (you login to online servers using a program called SSH, and you see the same thing). People used to using Windows or the Macintosh wonder how can such a spartan user interface possibly be serious. But be patient, you will find this is the great strength of a true LAMP server. Commands can be documented, they are precise, a series of commands can be linked and submitted together. At the command line there is nothing between you and the server, you have a sense of control that cannot be matched on a system with a thousand dialog boxes that are always changing. Another surprising thing about a typical LAMP-server (for example one you might rent in the cloud or as a dedicated server) is that they do not actually have the AMP components installed (only the L, that is, the Linux is actually there). But, by typing one simple command you can install (or update) each component (assuming of course the server is connected to the net). Thus, to completely configure a server might involve typing only 20 commands. Some of these commands can be to install server maintenance and management software that present themselves as web applications that you access using your web browser (thus once the server is up and running you may only rarely use the command line).

LAMP Servers

To understand LAMP servers well you need to understand the server market they battle in. Two opposing camps dominate the delivery of internet content , note that the following explanation is vastly simplified and biased, I am obviously on the LAMP side of this battle:

* Historically Microsoft has overseen a lucrative empire that has grown into a staggeringly complex worldwide behemoth that makes users dependent and delivers endless moneymaking opportunities to an industry that has grown to help manage this complexity (and even add more layers of complexity). Universities train people in increasingly more specialized fields in the never ending pursuit of new ways to profit from this ever growing monster. New acronyms and proprietary jargon are constantly being developed to try to explain what is going on. Simple things developed outside their control are adopted and then made complex to make them inaccessible without a consultant. Any other software that does not fit into this picture is referred to as 'legacy'.

* The Open Source: This industry is built on the four main LAMP components described below (with more sub-components also). It is cooperatively managed by thousands of programmers (and millions of testers) around the world, many of whom do it as a labour of love. The basic components are available free and knowledgeable people can deploy a server quickly and at very low cost. Help of is easily available on countless forums on the Internet. In general, open source software (program code is openly available) has now become so good that for-profit companies find themselves competing with free products that are as good or better than theirs. Infact, thousands of new companies have sprung up to provide services to those adopting LAMP, making it easier, more scalable, cheaper, fault tolerant, etc. This has changed the landscape in the past few years. Cloud computinng is an example, now with an account at a cloud provider like Amazon, Rackspace you can create a virtual server and install Linux (with a choice of a dozen different distributions) in less than a minute. Your virtual server can be connected to a URL, backed up, templated to create others and removed quickly. And these virtual servers scale to meet traffic demands, have load balancing and integrate with specialized database servers. But to the programmer they look just like a traditional LAMP server. The quality of the tools in the open source LAMP movement has made this kind of integration possible.

* Everyone else: Many specialized solutions are sold but make up a minor share. The two 'camps' do not see eye-to-eye and criticize each other. Microsoft says the open source movement is not cohesive enough for the rigors of software development and they say that they make the cutting edge products because of their resources. They use their marketing muscle and connections to influence decision makers in big business to distrust Open Source. The Open Source movement criticizes Microsoft's abuses of power, their monopolistic approach, the expense, complexity, security, vulnerability, stability and quality of their software, etc. Both accuse the other side of intellectual piracy. Thus it is no surprise that the Microsoft camp has attracted businessmen and the Open Source movement attracts dreamers and idealistic people (but this is changing). Perhaps you know someone in the Microsoft camp who simply makes money in their little support niche, they are busy enjoying their new boats and cars, they do not see the open source train coming toward them. Also, many programmers who work in 'the Microsoft matrix' by day work in the open source movement at home at night! There was a struggle for open source to find a way to pay the bills, but this has changed, the products are so good that they can become the basis of an infinite number of support and integration business models. Larry Elison of Oracle (the world's largest database software developer) says it would be stupid to try to compete with a high quality free product, that is why his and others of the worlds largest software companies have been buying producers of LAMP products and effectively working them into their business plans.

LAMP Server Components

Getting your mind around the fundamental difference between workstation computing and client-server computing is the first step to harnessing the power of the web. The second step is deciding which client server technologies to use. The LAMP acronym is not generic, the last three components are brand name products considered the standard in each field (however more and more alternatives to each component are arriving all the time).

The L in LAMP is Linux. We can create a WAMP server using Windows instead. But almost no one does that because it is not as reliable and Windows just introduces a lot of extra headaches, expenses and security vulnerabilities. A LAMP web server does not need a graphical user interface because it does not need a video monitor. To a LAMP fan the GUI in Windows is needless overhead and extra things to go wrong. Thus, from a setup and administration point of view, Linux servers are almost always command line machines, they just give you a blinking cursor on the screen waiting for you to type a command. To install non-GUI Linux on a PC you simply insert the Linux CD, answer a few questions and it can install in minutes. Infact, since most Linux distributions have the LAMP tools built in the whole LAMP server can installed in a couple of minutes. Admittedly, most Linux distributions have the GUI tools built in also. However don't use one of these. I can tell you which ones to use.

The A in LAMP is for Apache (the actual web server software). It runs all the time on the web or network connected Linux computer waiting for requests for the delivery of web pages. These requests come in as a stream of text in a language (or protocol) known as HTTP. Browsers know how to talk HTTP. As already noted, Apache is the only server needed on 'dumb' web sites that simply serve up static pages on request. For example, if you type the URL of a web site into the address field of your browser (usually Internet Explorer or Netscape) and click Go it formulates an HTTP page request to the server at that site. That server then simply sends the page, that is, the file on the server computer having the name specified. Your browser, a program that only knows about user interfaces, receives it and displays it according to any HTML embedded within the page.

In a LAMP system much more than this happens. LAMP based web sites or applications appear to be thousands of pages but these pages are actually assembled at the moment of request from just a few templates. When you click the "Find" button on Ebay, for example, the web server execute program code that does the lookup by calling the SQL server and assembles a page showing the items it found. Likewise, when one of these links is clicked the web server executes program code to lookup the details of the item. In a LAMP system the SQL database product employed is MySQL and the program code woven into the pages is written in a language named PHP (more information below).

The SQL server, like Apache, runs all the time waiting for database requests. However unlike Apache, SQL only accepts SQL requests from programs written in a language like PHP. When a web page contains a PHP program the PHP interpreter is launched on the server and it interprets the PHP instructions on the page and carries them out. It is thus the PHP program code that interacts with MySQL and Apache.

Another important thing to grasp about client server technology is the stateless nature of servers like Apache and MySQL. After they honor a request they completely forget everything about the client. Without the burden of having to remember anything they can obviously run a lot faster and not have to bother with complex housekeeping. However you might wonder how a web application can present an interface that is always what you want without remembering anything between one request and another. Everything that needs to be known or remembered must be on the page or maintained in variables embedded within forms on the page or in a session file. In this way the client remembers everything and 'refreshes the memory of the server' at the beginning of a request.

Keeping this in mind will help you understand the differences and similarities in the way you enter and save information in a client server system compared to a dedicated program like Microsoft Excel. Consider opening a large worksheet file, perhaps a compilation of your expenses and revenue for a year. Once the sheet is opened Excel presents a very elaborate representation of the information and provides many tools to change, report and study the data. When you are finished you must be keenly aware of saving the worksheet or hours of work could be lost. Also, likely 99% of the time that worksheet file sits on the computer without being used because Excel is not even running.

Consider the difference in the way a client-server system works. First of all, it is running all the time that the server is on. Second, sessions on the client are less interactive and you edit much smaller pieces of information at a time. Third, to the user there is no sense of the way in which the data is being stored or where it is stored. Fourth, LAMP implementations are a combination of two servers, a client, a language (and a bunch of programs written in that language) and a network. At first it might seem that this method has vastly greater program resources and therefore would run slower, have greater complexity and suffer greater chance of failure. However this is not the case. Each component is highly specialized to its function and one company takes responsibility for it. Each component is highly tuned and therefore very fast. In addition, the total size of the SQL server, Apache and the browser can easily be smaller than the spreadsheet program. Finally, program code runs on the server so money invested in a fast server benefits all clients that use it, as long as the client computer is capable of running the browser that is all that is needed.

The growth of the internet is an example of the power of client server computing. Sites like ebay and amazon demonstrate the staggering power of web servers. They can hold vast amounts of information and serve clients from the entire world, treating each as an individual. The idea of storing your data on a web server may have seemed foreign until now, but sites like these are excellent examples of how just such an approach is now becoming available to everyone.
Apache Web Server

Apache is the name of the most common web server used on the internet. It is the creation of the Apache Software Foundation, a worldwide group of programmers. Few people are aware of how much we owe to this dedicated and generous group of people. Apache is free to anyone that wants to download and install it and it works on an amazing array of different operating systems. Simply visit and download the appropriate version. The windows installer is very easy to use. The product is mature and changes take place slowly and are a product of a lot of worldwide discussion.

Apache is pre installed on almost all versions of Linux and on Macintosh OSX computers.

The major commercial competitor to Apache is Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS). The latter has a method of embedding programs within the HTML of web pages akin to what Apache does with PHP (they call it Active Server Pages but it is pat of a vastly more complex and troublesome universe that an empire of service companies to exploit).
SQL Database Server

SQL (Structured Query Language) database servers are the real magic behind sites like google and For the latter, tens of millions of items are on sale with as many registered users and the SQL server can respond to any question about the data in milliseconds! SQL is actually a language with a well defined syntax whose purpose is to provide a way for clients to ask servers for data. The beauty of SQL servers is that they take care of things like indexes, filters, orders, relations so that programs do not need to worry about them.

MySQL is an amazing product from a generous company in Germany that wants to make a world class database that everyone can afford. MySQL AB employs a hundred or more programmers and works with thousands of testers and advisors around the world. The major commercial competitors are Oracle and Microsoft SQL server (they can cost tens of thousands of dollars!). MySQL is pre installed on Linux and OSX and Windows users can download a free easy-to-use installer from It works best on Windows 2000-Vista and when installed a small icon on the task bar gives you access to a control panel for the server.
PHP Programming Language

PHP is a computer language, sometimes called a scripting language. It has taken the web development world by storm in the past few years and is now the most popular one used. The language is actually just a single remarkably small program file that is called by the server operating system to interpret PHP code woven into HTML pages. It can be used directly as well, you just make a script using a text editor, name it with a PHP extension and drop it on the Zend engine file to execute it. PHPs success compared to commercial alternatives lies in its speed of execution, small size and overhead, cross platform support, clean and flexible syntax, effortless interface with web servers and relentless development by Zend.

PHP is pre installed on most Linux systems and on OSX. It is available for Windows also and anyone can download it for free at This company, like MySQL, has an open and progressive philosophy and markets many enhanced forms of the product to generate revenue.
Using PHPMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is a set of PHP scripts that forms a web site dedicated to the task of administering a MySQL server. You install it on a web server by simply copying the files into a folder and then editing a configuration file to set the password and user name for the server, the URL of the home page and the file path to the folder. To begin you simply go to the home page of phpMyAdmin using your browser.

phpMyAdmin gives you a user interface to create and remove databases and tables; add, edit and remove fields in tables and to insert, delete and edit data. It compiles SQL syntax commands to submit to MySQL and displays the SQL so you can see it. It also provides a text box where you can paste in an SQL command and directly execute it. This is a very powerful tool, you could make changes to thousands of records with a single statement. Check for more information.
vTiger, A Good Example

If you would like to see a WAMP system in action, try downloading and installing vTiger CRM ( The 25mb installer will put Apache, PHP, MySQL and vTiger on your workstation and give you an item in the start button to lauch everything. It is amazing to see it in action, a mini-internet within one computer.
Getting Started, Learning

Linux LAMP servers are obviously the best but interestingly the best route I have found to get started with one is through Windows. Here are the steps:

* Download XAMPP and install it on your Windows computer (XAMPP is a Windows install of the popular Linux Apache webserver, MySQL database server, FileZilla PHP and PHP programming language, and other things). The default home page will be available at http://localhost/xampp, it is coming from your own machine, not the Internet.

* Compose your website in the htdocs folder in the XAMPP folder and experiment for a few months.

Forget about connecting that XAMPP site live to the Internet, it will be hacked in no time. You need to move your site to a LAMP server.

* Install LAMP on your own server or at a cloud or dedicated service provider (shared hosted providers are slow and much less secure).
* Buy a URL and get your provider to help you to map it to your server.
* Use google to learn how to connect to your server via SFTP using Fillezilla (to be able to copy files to the site).
* Copy the files from XAMPP to your LAMP server.


A Brief History of Windows

Starting from DosShell for Microsoft's DOS 6 and Microsoft wanted to compete against the best-selling Apple Macintosh which uses a GUI, Microsoft created Windows 1.0. The name is derived from the Microsoft employees who take the name of the application as a Windows program (Windows Program). Windows version 2 is the first Windows version can install the program. The only program that can be added is a Microsoft Word version 1. Windows version 3 promises more additional applications, completeness of use, beauty of the user interface or interface and easy configuration. Windows version 3.1 is the version of Windows that can optimize its use in the processor 32-bit Intel 80386 and above. Windows Version 3.11 is the last version of Windows before the era of the Start Menu. Windows 3.11 was the first Windows version that supports networking / network. The hybrid version can be run without the MS-​​DOS. Hybrid versions are installed itself with DOS 7. Unlike Windows 16-bit version which is a shell that must be installed through DOS first. Application is different. Although Windows 9X Windows applications can run 16-bit, but Windows 9X has a grade applications themselves - X86-32, Windows 9X is very popular with the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death).

The first version of Microsoft Windows, version 1.0, released in November 1985, lacked a degree of functionality and achieved little popularity, and was to compete with Apple’s own operating system. Windows 1.0 is not a complete operating system; rather, it extends MS-DOS. Microsoft Windows version 2.0 was released in November 1987 and was slightly more popular than its predecessor. Windows 2.03 (release date January 1988) had changed the OS from tiled windows to overlapping windows. The result of this change led to Apple Computer filing a suit against Microsoft alleging infringement on Apple's copyrights.

Microsoft Windows version 3.0, released in 1990, was the first Microsoft Windows version to achieve broad commercial success, selling 2 million copies in the first six months. It featured improvements to the user interface and to multitasking capabilities. It received a facelift in Windows 3.1, made generally available on March 1, 1992. Windows 3.1 support ended on December 31, 2001.

In July 1993, Microsoft released Windows NT based on a new kernel. Windows NT 3.1 was the first release of Windows NT. NT was considered to be the professional OS and was the first Windows version to utilize preemptive multi-tasking. Windows NT would later be retooled to also function as a home operating system, with Windows XP.

On August 24, 1995, Microsoft released Windows 95, a new, and major, consumer version that made further changes to the user interface, and also used preemptive multitasking. Windows 95 was designed to replace not only Windows 3.1, but also Windows for Workgroups, and MS-DOS. It was also the first Windows operating system to use Plug and Play capabilities. The changes Windows 95 brought to the desktop were revolutionary, as opposed to evolutionary, such as those in Windows 98 and Windows Me. Mainstream support for Windows 95 ended on December 31, 2000 and extended support for Windows 95 ended on December 31, 2001.

The next in the consumer line was Microsoft Windows 98 released on June 25, 1998. It was followed with the release of Windows 98 Second Edition (Windows 98 SE) in 1999. Mainstream support for Windows 98 ended on June 30, 2002 and extended support for Windows 98 ended on July 11, 2006.

As part of its "professional" line, Microsoft released Windows 2000 in February 2000. During 2004 part of the Source Code for Windows 2000 was leaked onto the Internet. This was bad for Microsoft as the same kernel used in Windows 2000 was used in Windows XP. The consumer version following Windows 98 was Windows Me (Windows Millennium Edition). Released in September 2000, Windows Me implemented a number of new technologies for Microsoft: most notably publicized was "Universal Plug and Play". Windows Me was heavily criticized due to slowness, freezes and hardware problems.

In October 2001, Microsoft released Windows XP, a version built on the Windows NT kernel that also retained the consumer-oriented usability of Windows 95 and its successors. This new version was widely praised in computer magazines. It shipped in two distinct editions, "Home" and "Professional", the former lacking many of the superior security and networking features of the Professional edition. Additionally, the first "Media Center" edition was released in 2002, with an emphasis on support for DVD and TV functionality including program recording and a remote control. Mainstream support for Windows XP ended on April 14, 2009. Extended support will continue until April 8, 2014.

In April 2003, Windows Server 2003 was introduced, replacing the Windows 2000 line of server products with a number of new features and a strong focus on security; this was followed in December 2005 by Windows Server 2003 R2.

On January 30, 2007, Microsoft released Windows Vista. It contains a number of new features, from a redesigned shell and user interface to significant technical changes, with a particular focus on security features. It is available in a number of different editions, and has been subject to some criticism.

On October 22, 2009, Microsoft released Windows 7. Unlike its predecessor, Windows Vista, which introduced a large number of new features, Windows 7 was intended to be a more focused, incremental upgrade to the Windows line, with the goal of being compatible with applications and hardware which Windows Vista was not at the time. Windows 7 has multi-touch support, a redesigned Windows shell with a new taskbar, referred to as the Superbar, a home networking system called HomeGroup, and performance improvements.