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Microsoft Windows facts for kids

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Microsoft Windows is an operating system for computers which is made by Microsoft, a company from the United States. Almost 90% of desktop and laptop computers use Windows.


The first version of Windows came out on November 20, 1985 and was called Windows 1.0. Since then, new versions of Windows go on sale every three years. The newest version, Windows 10, came out July 29, 2015. Most newly bought personal computers come with Windows 10, although some older or cheaper ones may have older versions such as Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 installed. Until July 29, 2016, they can be upgraded to Windows 10 for free.

Windows makes it easier to run programs (applications) than MS-DOS did. To use DOS, you typed commands to make the computer do something. You had to use the correct syntax of each command. If you made a mistake, the computer usually gave an error message and did nothing.


Windows makes it easier to do things because of its graphical user interface (or GUI for short). It only needs a keyboard or a mouse to work. However, using both a keyboard and a mouse makes it easier to use Windows. By clicking a few buttons on the screen, Windows helps keep your files safe, and easier to change and move. The latest versions of Windows also work with touch screens, making it even easier to use for users with disabilities. Because of this, Windows even comes with some tablet computers and smartphones. Mobile devices that use Windows include Microsoft Surface and Microsoft Lumia.


Some programs are included with Windows. Some examples are:

  • WordPad – to write simple documents, typically using words/text.
  • Windows Photo Viewer – to look at pictures.
  • Microsoft Paint – to make simple drawings or change pictures.
  • Microsoft Edge web browser – to use the Internet to look at web pages and download files.
  • Windows DVD Player to watch videos.
  • Windows Groove to play and listen to music

Many kinds of applications/programs are available for Windows. Some popular applications are games, word processors (to write words) or additional programs like Adobe Flash Player (to watch some videos and play many games on internet sites). Adding new applications to Windows is called "installing". Applications can be bought/purchased on a CD or DVD. Applications can also be downloaded from the Internet, some for free, and others you can buy using the internet.


Release date Product name Notes Last IE
May 22, 1990 Windows Unsupported (help for problems no longer given by Microsoft) 5.x
July 27, 1993 Windows NT Unsupported 5.x
August 24, 1995 Windows 9x Unsupported 6
November 17, 1996 Windows CE Unsupported 6
February 17, 2000 Windows 2000 Unsupported 6
September 14, 2000 Windows Me Unsupported 6
October 25, 2001 Windows XP Unsupported 8
November 30, 2006 (volume licensing)
January 30, 2007 (retail)
Windows Vista Supported (Microsoft will help fix problems for this kind of Windows, including problems that make your computer less safe)

Version Changed to NT 6.0.6001 with SP1 (4 February 2008)

July 2007 Windows Home Server 20xx Supported 8
February 2008 Windows Server 2008 Supported 9
October 22, 2009 Windows 7 Supported 11
October 26, 2012 Windows 8.x Supported 11
August 26, 2012 Windows RT 8.x Supported 11
September 4, 2012 Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Supported
July 29, 2015 Windows 10 Supported / Current (This is the newest kind of Windows by Microsoft. Microsoft will fix problems like older kinds of Windows, but also sometimes add new features to Windows) 11 or Edge


Many users complain that Windows creates problems for them. Some people say that their computers become slower/less fast because of Windows. Many people also complain about problems that make their computer less safe to use, even though Microsoft tries to fix these problems. Because Windows was until recently the most popular operating system (today mobile operating systems such as Android are more popular), most computer viruses are created to infect computers running Windows.

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