History and Evolution of Operating Systems  List ▷ 2020

Operating systems They play a huge role in our highly computerized society today. Without them we could not do everything we do, since allow us to develop multitasking by means of a computer.

Although this today is so simple, and so wide in its different versions and types of operating systems (Mac OS, LINUX, Windows), began based on a very basic structure that it only allowed the execution of a single task. If you want to know a little more, we invite you to read below.

In this post you will find a brief history of operating systems and all their versions up to the one we know today. All these systems, despite being different and with different objectives, they started from the same mother known as UNIX.

What is an operating system and what is its main function on a computer?

The operating system is the main software that we must have installed on our computer, since without it it is as if we did not have an active computer.

Essential to install programs, operating systems are also responsible for giving a correct function of the drivers so they can recognize the hardware. Example of this they are keyboards, mice, cameras and more.

Sometimes operating systems have much greater responsibilityFor example, that of the traffic police, which ensures that programs and users are working correctly and at the same time. Too can be used for security, so that outsiders cannot access private information, and so on many other things.

What was the first operating system that existed? Who and why was it created?

What we know today how computing comes from a constant evolution through time. The first steps were taken after World War II, mid-40s, a time when the term ‘Operating System’ did not even exist.

Back then programmers communicated through computers, which had a machine language, programming only with 0s and 1s. Then in the 1950s, it began to emerge the concept of Operating System, specifically in 1956, used for an IBM 704 computer, which basically only allowed other programs to run on it.

This system evolved again, in the 60s, creating a modification of the initial operating system to one that allowed multitasking or multipurpose, being in this same decade when UNIX appeared, which is the main base of operating systems.

In the 1970s the personal computer was born, with an operating system created through the C programming language, this being the evolution of UNIX.

As a consequence of that, in the 80s operating systems came to light as MacOS, MS-DOS, and Windows. In competition, new companies joined in the creation of new systems and Linux was born, this being as early as the 90s, which then joined the GNU project, which it is a completely free operating system.

UNIX What was the impact of this OS in the history of Computing?

As we already mentioned, Unix was not the first operating system, but it is the one that had the greatest impact on society and on the evolution of operating systems. He was specifically born in 1969, created by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Rudd Canaday, among others.

At first it was baptized as UNICS, but because it was a failure it was modified to UNIX, developed by the Bell Laboratories of AT&T and General Electric, although its first release was slightly discriminated against for being an expensive and slow operating system.

Over time, UNIX was used as a prototype by the University of California at Berkeley to release a more up-to-date version. Then, Windows work with UNIX, although it is said that I work with DOS.

Microsoft created a version of UNIX for them, called XENIX, in order to use it in microcomputers, a little smaller equipment and some machines of that time. This version was released in 1980, with constant updates until 1989. Later Microsoft decided to work with DOS, which helped it improve your architecture system and noticeably increase your sales.

Just as it happened with Windows, it happened but a little differently with GNU / LINUX, which was rewritten from scratch with the goal of a totally free architecture, which could be adapted to devices and computers.

LINUX I use MINIX and UNIX as support to create your system, where it was given the name MINUX, until later Richard Stallman’s GNU project was born.

With so much competition in the market, the Apple company was not far behind, and in 2001 relied on UNIX, though not completely, giving birth to MAC OS X, which was written entirely from scratch. With this we can conclude that UNIX is the mother of operating systems, since without him those we know today would not have been born.

Birth of modern OS When and how were Windows, MacOS and Linux born?

Here we tell you more about the most famous operating systems:


Privacy in Windows 10: How to configure your Operating System to take control of your data?

Windows was born as such in 1975 by William H. Gates III and Paul Allen, who at that time were simple students and shared a great liking for computers, who decided to program using a PDP-10 computer from Digital Equipment Corporation.

As we already mentioned, its main architecture was inspired by UNIX. However, some time later the MS-MOD Windows was formed with a slightly different architecture, and with such striking improvements that from that moment his sales began to increase in a notorious way, resulting in that after 2000 new versions will be created until today there is Windows 10.


Chronology of all versions of the Linux operating system that exist.

This, as we already know, It is an operating system that was implemented with the idea of ​​a free system and open so that anyone can access the writing of it and modify its structure according to their liking.

It was in 1983 that Richard Stallman I first created the GNU project, all devised from a UNIX structure, and compatible with POSIX, for two years later to stop being a simple project, and become a free software foundation.

Because it is a system that allows people to write structures and make modifications, it was seen with great growth, even bigger than Windows. Although it did not have a good kernel. Thanks to UNIX it was growing and evolving strongly.

Even though he grew up very fast, he never dared to release the first version of LINUX, since they did not consider it good, remaining for the personal use of its creator Linus torvalds. Some time later (1991) they released the second version, which did go to the market known as LINUX 0.02.

Then it released its version 0.03. Although, due to failures and tests, it jumped from all versions to 0.10. Then in 1992 increase their versions up to 0.95, and thanks to the recognition and good acceptance we have today’s versions of LINUX.



This is one of the operating systems younger, and is that its first launch was in mid-2001, although it was given the name of MAC Operating System, thanks to its Mac OS X version released in 1984.

Unlike its predecessors, the operating system of MAC OS X is very similar to that of UNIX, which allowed the great contribution with the technology powered by NeXT, in the mid-1980s.

Time after Apple bought the company (1997), releasing its true and first version in 1999, known as Mac OS X Server 1.0, that it was released to compete in the market in March 2001, and that it was actually version number 10.

Its growth it was not very easy, because parts of his system were a bit more complicated and expensive than the others, In addition, being one of the youngest, he competed to date against Microsoft and LINUX.

Chronology of the versions of the most important operating systems in history

Take note of those that we expose you below:


Windows was one of the first operating systems to hit the market. For that reason has a large number of versions, and others as we call them editions or sub-versions.

  • Windows 1 (1985)
  • Windows 2 (1987)
  • Windows 3 (1990)
  • Windows NT (1993)
  • Windows 95 (1994)
  • Windows 98 (1998)
  • Windows Me (2000)
  • Windows XP (2001)
    • Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional
    • Windows XP Media Center
    • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

Exclusive sale editions

  • Windows XP Starter
  • Windows XP N
  • Windows XP K & KN
  • Windows XP Embedded
  • Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PC
  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Windows Vista (2007)
    • Windows Starter.
    • Windows Vista Home Basic.
    • Windows Vista Home Basic N (European antitrust version)
    • Windows Vista Home Premium (the most widespread)
    • Windows Vista Business.
    • Windows Vista Business N (European antitrust version)
    • Windows Vista Enterprise.
    • Windows Vista Ultimate.
  • Windows 7 (2009)
    • Starter
    • Home Basic
    • Home Premium
    • Professional
    • Ultimate
    • Enterprise
    • Embedded Standard

Editions N and KN

  • Windows 7 Home Premium N
  • Windows 7 Professional N
  • Windows 7 Ultimate N
  • Windows 8 (2012)
    • Windows 8 (home)
    • Windows 8 Pro (networking)
    • Windows 8 Enterprise (only available for business)
    • Windows 8 RT (for ARM processors in tablets, it comes pre-installed)
    • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10 (2015)
    • Windows 10 Home
    • Windows 10 Pro
    • Windows 10 Enterprise
    • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB
    • Windows 10 Education
    • Windows 10 Mobile
    • Windows 10 S
    • Windows 10 Pro for Workstation
    • Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise
    • Windows 10 Team
    • Windows 10 Pro Education
    • Windows 10 IoT
    • Windows 10 N and KN


Let’s remember that Mac OS is an operating system that was generating systems and software since mid-1984, but after becoming Apple released its first official OS in 2001.

  • 1984: System 1
  • 1985: System 2
  • 1986: System 3
  • 1987: System 4
  • 1988: System 6
  • 1990: System 7
  • 1997: Mac OS 8
  • 1999: Mac OS 9
  • 2001: Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah
  • 2001: Mac OS X 10.1 Puma
  • 2002: Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar
  • 2003: Mac OS X 10.3 Panther
  • 2005: Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
  • 2007: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
  • 2009: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
  • 2011: Mac OS X 10.7 Lion
  • 2012: Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
  • 2013: Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks
  • 2014: Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
  • 2015: Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
  • 2016: Mac OS X 10.12 macOS Sierra
  • 2017: Mac OS X 10.13 macOS High Sierra
  • 2018: Mac OS X 10.14 macOS Mojave
  • 2019: Mac OS X 10.15 macOS Catalina


After the announcement of its release on the market in 1991, this project has had the contribution of hundreds of developers, and then We will see some of its main milestones:

  • 1983 – 1989: The first version of the GNU GPL was created
  • 1991: The LINUX kernel is created
  • 1992: The LINUX kernel is licensed under the GNU GPL license
  • 1993: Many trial versions are created
  • 1994: The first version of LINUX 1.0 is released
  • 1996: The second version (LINUX 2.0) is launched
  • 1997: LINUX is considered an open system and several software companies created App and programs for it and its versions
  • 1998: Oracle is created with support for LINUX
  • 2001: LINUX is discriminated for 64-bit and 32-bit, for better processing.
  • 2007: Dell becomes the first PC manufacturer with the UBUNTU system pre-installed
  • 2015: Simplify your designs so that anyone can add new versions or designs.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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