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Windows 95 offered, at long last, a well designed document-oriented desktop shell that worked much like the 1984 Macintosh Finder. It also included a new way of finding installed applications through a "Start" menu. And it included the same networking abilities as Windows for Workgroups.


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Windows 98 is a continuation of the Windows 95 product. The major change is an insanely heavy focus on web integration. The help system, many applications, and even the desktop are redesigned to make use of Internet Explorer. Windows 98 runs on top of the same "MS-DOS 7.1" with FAT32 support as Windows 95 OSR2, and it includes support for USB. Windows 98 had two major releases - a First Edition and a Second Edition. It was followed up by Windows ME.


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The Windows for Pen Computing add-on adds pen input capabilities through drivers, a virtual keyboard and handwriting input.


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Windows Longhorn was the pre-release codename for Windows Vista and was the successor to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (built from NT 5.2 codebase). Development on the OS started in May 2001 and went through two unique development cycles separated by a development reset in 2004. The reset occurred as Microsoft's development staff had lost focus on the project as a whole and what was required to be done in order to bring it to market. Features were being written into the OS at an alarming rate with a significant lack of QA or vision of true requirement. This combined with Microsoft's trustworthy computing initiatives caused the reset.


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The media player built-into Windows


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Windows Nashville is a cancelled Windows 9x release scheduled between Windows 95 and 98. It is also known as Windows 96.


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Windows Neptune was a canceled version of Windows 2000 oriented towards the home market. It had featured elements brought over from Windows ME as well as new concepts such as activity centers. No final release of Neptune shipped and most work was rolled into Whistler


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Windows NT 3.1 was the first of the Windows NT series. Sporting the same face as its consumer counterpart Windows 3.1, it was completely different under the hood. A true 32-bit native operating system, Windows NT descended from the work Microsoft did while collaborating with IBM on OS/2 after the great split, and bringing in former DEC employees like Dave Cutler, bringing a VMS influence into the system. It was followed up by Windows NT 4.0.


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Windows NT 4.0 is the successor to the Windows NT 3.x release. In this release, the user interface from Windows 95 was integrated, making NT just as easy to use as its consumer counterpart. Internet Explorer was bundled, providing a web browser out of the box. Speed was improved by moving components into kernel-mode, at the expense of security and reliability - changes Windows is suffering from today, and is being reverted. NT 4 was followed up by Windows 2000.


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Supplimentry tools for managing and deploying Microsoft Windows.


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The Windows SDK and DDK gives you the libraries and headers needed to do software and driver development for Windows.


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Windows Whistler was the pre-release codename for Windows XP, or NT 5.1. It is the successor to Windows 2000. XP was the first that did not compete against a DOS based version of Windows, effectively finally unifying the Windows line in to a single pure 32-bit product. Below are various Beta releases. Winworld does not host the final RTM versions.