Chronology of Microsoft Windows Operating Systems

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References are numbered in [brackets], which are listed here. A number after the dot gives the page in the source.

Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1997

January
  • Microsoft announces it will build support for DVD into future generations of Windows. [1559]
  • Microsoft announces Microsoft Broadcast PC, a version of Windows designed for combining television and the computer. [886.39,56]
  • Sales of Microsoft Windows to date: about 70 million. [886.39]
February 7
  • Microsoft announces it is ceasing development of Windows NT for systems using PowerPC processors. [779.42] [1559] [1937.36]
May
  • Microsoft releases Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3. [743.48] [1101.50]
  • Microsoft announces Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition. [944.76]
July 23
  • Microsoft announces the next Windows operating system release, code-named Memphis, will be called Windows 98. [1559]
September 23
  • Microsoft releases the first beta test of Windows NT 5.0 at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference. [730.68] [878.200] [903.43] [938.51] [952.44] [1138.38] [1444.35] [1639.127]
September 29
  • At the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, California, Microsoft releases the Windows CE 2.0 operating system. It includes support for 32-bit color and 16-gray-scale displays, TrueType fonts, Ethernet connectivity, and support for more processors. Code-name during development was Jupiter. [168.55] [1559] (October [1158.102]) (November [1648.53] [1897.131])
(month unknown)
  • Microsoft announces there are now 100 million Windows 95 systems worldwide. [800.61]
  • Microsoft ceases selling retail copies of Windows 3.1. [800.43]
  • Over 77 million copies of Windows 95 are in use. [1125.5]
December 11
  • US District Judge Thomas Jackson issues a preliminary injunction against Microsoft, requiring Microsoft allow Windows 95 licensees the option of not including Internet Explorer. The request for imposition of a US$1 million per day fine is turned down. [756.12] [765.15] [775] [939.64] [1000.1] [1462.94] [1559] [1564.276] [1711.9]
December
  • Microsoft releases Windows 98 Beta 3 to testers. [946.59]
Year
  • Desktop use of Windows operating systems: Windows 95 48%, Windows 3.x 48%, Windows NT 4%. [1142.57]
  • Market share of personal computer operating systems worldwide during the year: Windows 95 69.4%, MS-DOS 10%, Windows NT workstation 9.2%, Mac OS 4.6%, Linux 2.4%, Unix 1%, OS/2 0.8%, other 2.7%. [1427.57] [1639.105]
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  • Market share of desktop operating systems in the US: Windows 95/98 69.4%, Windows NT Workstation 9.2%, Windows 3.x (with DOS) 7.7%, Mac OS 4.6%, Linux 2.4%, DOS (IBM, Digital Research, Microsoft) 2.3%, Unix 1.0%, OS/2 Warp 0.8%, other 2.7%. [1427.54,58]

1998

January-March
  • Handheld operating system market share from January to March: Palm OS 67%, Windows CE 18%. [1444.147]
April 20
  • At a public demonstration of Windows 98, Bill Gates crashes the operating system. [929.48]
May
  • Microsoft ships Windows 98 to OEMs. [756.12]
(month unknown)
  • Operating system desktop market share: Windows 95 62.9%, Windows 3.x 17.4%, Mac OS 5.6%, DOS 3.9%, Windows NT workstation 3.0%, others 7.2%. [1195.42]
June
  • Microsoft launches the release of Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition. [944.76]
June 25
  • Microsoft releases Windows 98 operting system. It features integrated Internet Explorer 4.0 Web browser, and Universal Serial Bus support. Code-name during development was Memphis. Total sales on the first day are 271,000 units. [797.12] [929.49] [159.14] [839.101] [1215.41] [1559] [1639.127] [1886.71] [1897.131]
June 28
  • Unit sales of Windows 98 in its first four days: 530,000. [1215.41]
(month unknown)
  • Quote by Paul Somerson in PC Computing magazine, regarding Windows 98: "... instead of fixing the steering and the brakes and the engine, they added a bunch of chrome.". [1129.75]
July
  • Microsoft releases Windows 98 in Japan. (Sales in the first month: 500,000.) [1559]
October 8
  • Microsoft announces Windows CE Handheld PC Professional Edition 3.0 hardware reference design, based on Windows CE 2.11. Code-name during development was Jupiter. [890.41] [1559] [1819.171]
October
  • Microsoft releases the second beta test of Windows NT Workstation and Server versions. [938.51] [1444.35] (August [945.60])
October 21
  • At the Networld+Interop trade show, Microsoft releases Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4. [1559]
October 27
  • Microsoft announces that the final name for Windows NT 5.0 will be Windows 2000. [1559] (July 1999 [1897.131])
December
  • Microsoft releases Windows 2000 Beta 3 Release Candidate 0. [1444.35]
October-December
  • Handheld operating system market share from October to December: Palm OS 69%, Windows CE 20%. [1444.147]
Year
  • Handheld computer operating system market share for the year: Palm OS 41%, Windows CE 25%, EPOC 13%. [1185.22] [1559]
  • Desktop operating system market share in the world: Windows 82%. [1429.58]
  • Shipments of desktop personal computer operating systems in the USA during the year: Windows 3.11 1.3 million, total 89 million. [1559]
  • Market share of desktop personal computer operating systems in the USA during the year: Windows 95 57.4%, Windows 98 17.2%, Windows NT 11%, Mac OS 5%, DOS 3.8%, Linux 2.1%, Windows 3.11 1.1%, Unix 0.8%, OS/2 0.5%, others 1%. [1559]
  • Worldwide server market share: Microsoft Windows NT: about 13.8%. [921.32] [923.45]

1999

February 1
  • Microsoft announces a new version of Windows CE, adding support for color displays. [1559]
March
  • Microsoft releases Windows 2000 Beta 3 Release Candidate 1. [1444.35]
April
  • Handheld computer operating system market share: Windows CE 8%. [1185.20]
May
  • Microsoft releases Windows 98 SE (second edition), with Internet Explorer 5.0. [1897.131]
June 16
  • Microsoft releases Windows 98 Service Pack 1. [1098.30]
June 30
  • Paramount Pictures releases the film South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut to theaters in the USA and Canada. When a holographic display is encountering difficulties, a man kicks the unit and says "F'ing Windows 98!". He calls in Bill Gates and says "You told us Windows 98 would be faster, and more efficient, with better access to the Internet!" Bill Gates tries to argue that it is, but the man shoots him. [2292]
December 15
  • Microsoft releases Windows 2000 to computer manufacturers. [1030.3] [1444.35] [1559] (December 14 [1736.160])

End of 1997-1999. Next: 2000.
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1981-1989 1990-1993 1994-1996 1997-1999 2000-end


A list of references to all source material is available.

Other web pages of interest:

  • Chronology of Personal Computers
  • Personal Computer References in Pop Culture
  • Chronology of Microprocessors
  • Chronology of Handheld Computers
  • Chronology of Workstation Computers
  • This Day in Personal Computer and Video Game History
  • This Day in History

  • Last updated: 2022 April 29.
    Copyright © 2007-2022 (email: ).
    URL: https://pctimeline.info/windows/
    Link to Ken P's home page.