If online marketing is the marketing that matters and turning up on the Internet search pages through search engine optimization is more important than having a physical business destination, it’s thanks to the popularity of computing. Though now expanded to mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, it all started with desktops and laptops. The once DOS-running desktops became infinitely more user-friendly thanks to Apple’s Macintosh and Microsoft’s Windows.
It’s hard to imagine life without Microsoft Windows, but there was a time when the word "windows" only had architectural or engineering connotations. When the Windows 1.0 operating system was announced in November, 1983 it was a breakthrough and an eye-opener into the possibilities of computing. Since then it has gone through many iterations – 15 to be precise.
1985 – Windows 1.0 was named so by accident thanks to the format in which the programs were arranged. It was initially intended to be called "Interface Manager" and was officially released only in 1985 though Bill Gates revealed it two years earlier.
1987 – Windows 2.0 was a crucial launch since it introduced desktop icons, overlapping windows and expanded memory.
1990 – Windows 3.0 gave Microsoft a foretaste of the massive popularity it would enjoy later. Selling 10 million copies in just two weeks, this version featured 16 new color additions to its graphics, improved performance and better app icons – crucial updates that would determine the user-friendliness and interactivity characteristic with later Windows versions.
1995 – Not only did Windows 95 characterize a shift in the naming pattern of the operating system, but it also introduced the unmistakable Start button and Internet Explorer. Seven million copies got sold in the initial five weeks.
1998 – Described by Microsoft as the first major consumer oriented software release, Windows 98 featured Quick Launch menu and DVD reading capability while being the perfect companion in the Internet boom. This was the year when Google began as a research project by two Stanford University students. Soon, Google and SEO would become hot talking points.
2000 – Windows ME (Millennium Edition) heralded the start of a new century and millennium with the advanced system resetting feature called System Restore as well as Windows Movie Maker and other media playing features. Negatives included difficulty in installation.
2001 – Revolutionary smooth performance and improved aesthetics characterized Windows XP, one of the most important Windows updates ever. Largely positive reviews greeted the XP, and security features were also upgraded.
2006 – One of the worst received Windows updates, Windows Vista had only minor updates though packaged in a new design. Many experts felt there was no need for upgrading from the XP.
2009 – Windows 7 received the positive reviews that Vista did not. Its user-friendliness and improvements have been so well received that it is still in use.
2012 – Another product to receive a lukewarm response, Windows 8 featured a complete change in the user interface. Touch-friendly design was introduced to make the operating system compatible with tablets. However, it lost the Start menu which, along with the complicated interface, was the major factor that critics pounced on.
2015 – Microsoft unveils Windows 10 officially in 2015. This is expected to answer some of the criticisms thrown at Windows 8. The Start menu returns and the 10 is the first Microsoft update optimized for a variety of screen sizes and devices – from computers to smartphones.
These various iterations have made users expect more and depend more on their laptop and mobile devices. The increased popularity of Windows complemented the rise of the Google search engine and search engine optimization.