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[[Category:Operating Systems]]
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{{pp}}
'''Microsoft Windows''' is a family of operating systems developed by [[Microsoft]] since 1983. The latest version of 2018-07 is [[Windows 10 version 1803|Windows 10 April 2018 Update]].
+
'''Microsoft Windows''' is a family of operating systems developed by [[Microsoft]] since 1983. The latest released version as of 2019-11 is [[Windows 10 version 1909|Windows 10 November 2019 Update]].
  
 
The first versions of Windows were an operating environment and graphical shell for [[MS-DOS]]. Windows 95 and later used MS-DOS for booting and kernel initialization. NT-based versions of Windows use a redesigned kernel and do not rely on MS-DOS.
 
The first versions of Windows were an operating environment and graphical shell for [[MS-DOS]]. Windows 95 and later used MS-DOS for booting and kernel initialization. NT-based versions of Windows use a redesigned kernel and do not rely on MS-DOS.
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
=== Classic Windows ===
+
=== 16-bit Windows ===
 
[[File:Win101.png|thumb|240px|Windows 1.01, the very first version of Windows released]]
 
[[File:Win101.png|thumb|240px|Windows 1.01, the very first version of Windows released]]
Microsoft Windows debuted to the world on the Fall COMDEX 1983 computer expo as an operating environment running on top MS-DOS. The final version of the product with the version number of 1.01 was later released on 1985-11-20 and did not gain much popularity. [[Windows 1.0]] was a cooperative multitasking desktop environment with a tiling window manager. The first versions of Windows used the MS-DOS Executive, which was a simple file manager, as a shell, which is generally the first application ran on startup providing the user experience. Other applications included in the first version of Windows included [[Calculator]], [[Cardfile]], [[Clipboard Viewer]], [[Clock]], [[Control Panel]], [[Notepad]], [[Reversi]], [[Spooler]], [[Terminal]], and [[Microsoft Write]]. Three minor updates were released in the two following years adding support for more hardware.
+
Microsoft Windows debuted to the world during the Fall COMDEX 1983 computer expo as an operating environment running on top MS-DOS. The final version of the product with the version number of 1.01 was later released on 1985-11-20 and did not gain much popularity. [[Windows 1.0]] was a cooperative multitasking desktop environment with a tiling window manager. The first versions of Windows used the [[MS-DOS Executive]], which was a simple file manager, as a shell, which is generally the first application ran on startup providing the user experience. Other applications included in the first version of Windows included [[Calculator]], [[Cardfile]], [[Clipboard Viewer]], [[Clock]], [[Control Panel]], [[Notepad]], [[Paint]], [[Reversi]], [[Spooler]], [[Terminal]], and [[Microsoft Write]]. Three minor updates were released in the two following years adding support for more hardware.
  
A major update called [[Windows 2.x|Windows 2.0]] was released in 1987 adding features such as overlapping windows. This version also introduced support for the Video Graphics Array and PS/2 mouse. A separate edition called Windows/386 was introduced taking advantage of the new abilities of the 386 processor. In later revisions of the Windows 2.0 environment, the original edition was renamed Windows/286.
+
A major update called [[Windows 2.x|Windows 2.0]] was released in 1987 adding features such as overlapping windows. This version also introduced support for the Video Graphics Array and PS/2 mouse. A separate edition called Windows/386 was introduced that took advantage of the virtual 8086 mode of the then-new 386 processor to multitask MS-DOS applications under Windows; this would later become known as the 386 Enhanced Mode and become the cornerstone of Windows 9x. In later revisions of the Windows 2.0 environment, the original edition was renamed Windows/286.
  
[[Windows 3.0]] was released in 1990 and it became the first widely successful version of Windows. The new features included a completely reworked Setup program and an improved user experience consisting of the [[Program Manager]], which allowed easy management of installed applications. A new [[File Manager]] was also included to replace the former shell, which was now deprecated. The previously separate 286 and 386 editions of Windows were unified into one. This version of Windows was able to operate in three modes: Real mode intended for computers with the original 8088/8086 processor, Standard mode using the protected mode feature of the 286 processor, and 386 Enhanced mode combining the improved protected mode of the 386 with its ability to create and manage virtual 8086 machines for MS-DOS applications.
+
[[Windows 3.0]] was released in 1990 and became the first widely successful version of Windows. The new features included a revamped user experience consisting of the [[Program Manager]], which allowed easy management of installed applications. A new [[File Manager]] was also included to replace the former shell, which was now deprecated. Under the hood, the new Standard Mode was introduced, which took advantage of the protected mode of the 286 and 386 processors. The previously separate 286 and 386 editions of Windows were unified into one version. This version of Windows was able to operate in three modes: Real mode intended for computers with the original 8088/8086 processor, Standard mode using the protected mode feature of the 286 processor, and 386 Enhanced mode combining the improved protected mode of the 386 with its ability to create and manage virtual 8086 machines for MS-DOS applications.
  
 
A major update dubbed [[Windows 3.1]] followed in 1992 with the brand new red-green-blue-yellow Windows logo resembling a flag. The user interface was refreshed in this release, including new colorful icons. This version of Windows removed the real mode of operation and the MS-DOS Executive application. It was accompanied with a variant called Windows for Workgroups (WfW) 3.1 with an integrated networking capability, which later received a larger update bringing its version number up to 3.11, introducing 32-bit disk access and also removing the Standard mode of operation. The regular variant of Windows also received the 3.11 update, which was essentially the kernel of Windows for Workgroups 3.11 backported to Windows 3.1.
 
A major update dubbed [[Windows 3.1]] followed in 1992 with the brand new red-green-blue-yellow Windows logo resembling a flag. The user interface was refreshed in this release, including new colorful icons. This version of Windows removed the real mode of operation and the MS-DOS Executive application. It was accompanied with a variant called Windows for Workgroups (WfW) 3.1 with an integrated networking capability, which later received a larger update bringing its version number up to 3.11, introducing 32-bit disk access and also removing the Standard mode of operation. The regular variant of Windows also received the 3.11 update, which was essentially the kernel of Windows for Workgroups 3.11 backported to Windows 3.1.
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A 32-bit TCP/IP stack was ported from an early version of [[Windows 95]] and released in 1994 as a downloadable plugin for Windows for Workgroups 3.11, providing early testing for the 16/32-bit compatibility features of the next version of Windows.
 
A 32-bit TCP/IP stack was ported from an early version of [[Windows 95]] and released in 1994 as a downloadable plugin for Windows for Workgroups 3.11, providing early testing for the 16/32-bit compatibility features of the next version of Windows.
  
====Windows 9x====
+
=== Windows 9x ===
 
[[File:Windows95-RTM-Desktop.png|thumb|240px|Windows 95, the first version with the Desktop, Start menu, and taskbar]]
 
[[File:Windows95-RTM-Desktop.png|thumb|240px|Windows 95, the first version with the Desktop, Start menu, and taskbar]]
On 1995-08-24 Microsoft released [[Windows 95]] also known under its codename "Chicago" with a brand new user interface with a Start menu, taskbar and the desktop, as provided by the new [[Windows Explorer]]. Its hybrid 16/32-bit architecture made it possible to make and run 32-bit Windows applications and drivers while keeping a great degree of compatibility with already existing 16-bit ones. Among other improvements in this version was the support for long filenames through an extension to the FAT16 file system.  
+
On 1995-08-24 Microsoft released [[Windows 95]] also known under its codename "Chicago" with a brand new user interface with a Start menu, taskbar, and the desktop, as provided by the new [[File Explorer|Windows Explorer]]. Its hybrid 16/32-bit architecture made it possible to make and run 32-bit Windows applications and drivers while keeping a great degree of compatibility with already existing 16-bit ones. Among other improvements in this version was the support for long filenames through an extension to the FAT16 file system.
  
 
Windows 95 was the first release of Windows to be packed together with a specific MS-DOS version, however, the old operating system was used only as a bootloader and a compatibility layer for ancient device drivers. Most MS-DOS user applications were either extended with Windows code or entirely replaced with a Windows version, keeping only the ones that were required to run without Windows, e.g. during the OS installation, such as <code>FDISK</code> and <code>FORMAT</code>.
 
Windows 95 was the first release of Windows to be packed together with a specific MS-DOS version, however, the old operating system was used only as a bootloader and a compatibility layer for ancient device drivers. Most MS-DOS user applications were either extended with Windows code or entirely replaced with a Windows version, keeping only the ones that were required to run without Windows, e.g. during the OS installation, such as <code>FDISK</code> and <code>FORMAT</code>.
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A year later, Windows 98 received an update which was called the Second Edition, which included a new version of Internet Explorer, added Internet Connection Sharing and improved USB support.
 
A year later, Windows 98 received an update which was called the Second Edition, which included a new version of Internet Explorer, added Internet Connection Sharing and improved USB support.
  
In 2000, [[Windows:ME|Windows ME]] (Millennium Edition), the last release of the classic Windows line was released. It carried over the improvements made to the user interface in its NT-based counterpart, [[Windows 2000]]. Windows Me is based on Windows 98, however, access to the real mode MS-DOS was restricted in order to decrease boot time among other changes to the kernel. It was infamously known for its stability problems partially caused by the rushing of its release following the cancellation of the [[Windows Neptune|Neptune]] project. It was replaced by [[Windows XP]] in 2001, ending the era of classic Windows.
+
In 2000, [[Windows ME]] (Millennium Edition), the last release of the classic Windows line was released. It carried over the improvements made to the user interface in its NT-based counterpart, [[Windows 2000]]. Windows ME is based on Windows 98, however, access to the real mode MS-DOS was restricted in order to decrease boot time among other changes to the kernel. It was infamously known for its stability problems partially caused by the rushing of its release following the cancellation of the [[Windows Neptune|Neptune]] project. It was replaced by [[Windows XP]] in 2001, ending the era of classic Windows.
  
===Windows NT===
+
=== Windows NT ===
Windows NT (New Technology) is the current iteration of Windows. It is built on the NT hybrid kernel, which was originally intended for use in OS/2 3.0 but was adapted for a 32-bit version of Windows after the Microsoft - IBM split. The first release based on the new kernel was [[Windows NT 3.1]], which was launched in 1993 and was equivalent to Windows 3.1 released two years earlier. All NT-based releases up until [[Windows 2000]] were intended primarily for business use. With [[Windows:XP|Windows XP]], the NT series replaced the classic Windows series, creating a single operating system for consumers and businesses. [[Windows Phone 8]] is the first Windows Phone release to be based on the NT kernel. The most recent version of Windows based on the NT kernel is [[Windows 10]]. Following the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has switched to a system of more frequent smaller updates to Windows.
+
Windows NT (New Technology) is the current iteration of Windows. It is built on the NT hybrid kernel, which was originally intended for use in OS/2 3.0 but was adapted for a 32-bit version of Windows after the Microsoft - IBM split. The first release based on the new kernel was [[Windows NT 3.1]], which was launched in 1993 and was equivalent to Windows 3.1 released two years earlier. All NT-based releases up until [[Windows 2000]] were intended primarily for business use. With [[Windows XP]], the NT series replaced the classic Windows series, creating a single operating system for consumers and businesses. [[Windows Phone 8]] is the first Windows Phone release to be based on the NT kernel. The most recent version of Windows based on the NT kernel is [[Windows 10]]. Following the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has switched to a system of more frequent smaller updates to Windows.
  
==Timeline==
+
== Look and feel ==
 +
Windows allowed customization of its user interface since its first versions. [[Windows 1.0]] and [[Windows 2.x]] allowed the user to change the color scheme in their [[Control Panel]], however, there was no selection of pre-made color schemes and the user only had the option to reset to the default scheme, which was provided by the installed video driver. This was improved with [[Windows 3.0]] and its new Colors control panel, which added several color schemes for the user to choose from, however, the ''Windows default'' preset was still dependent on the type of the graphics card installed. [[Windows NT 3.1]] and [[Windows NT 3.5x]] also featured the same Color control panel applet, however, drivers no longer had the ability to override the default color preset.
 +
 
 +
[[Windows 95]] introduced a new 3D look inspired by [[NeXTSTEP]] which initially only made use of solid colors. This was subsequently refined in [[Windows 98]] and [[Windows 2000]] with the possibility to use 2-color gradients for the taskbar. [[Windows XP]] introduced a proper theming engine, allowing the use of bitmaps for various user interface elements and saw the first proper visual style, called [[Luna]], come in to use, but users could still switch to [[Windows Classic]] if they so chose. [[Windows Vista]] introduced the hardware-accelerated [[Desktop Window Manager]], which allowed for advanced effects such as translucent title bars used by the new [[Windows Aero]] theme. For users whose hardware couldn't handle Aero, Windows Vista included the software rendered [[Windows Basic]] theme.
 +
 
 +
With [[Windows 8]] and [[Windows 8.1]], the Aero theme was revamped and the [[Aero Lite]] theme replaced the Basic theme for lower-end computers. In [[Windows 10]], the Aero theme was revamped again, but the Aero Lite theme remained. Windows 10's November Update saw the option to enable colors on title bar. Finally, with [[Windows 10 build 18282]], the new [[Light]] theme was introduced.
 +
 
 +
== Source code ==
 +
In 2004, incomplete copies of the source code of [[Windows NT 4.0]] and [[Windows 2000]] leaked to the Internet. These leaks were illegal, as the Windows source code is both a trade secret and copyrighted, and as so is protected by law. However, Microsoft has released parts of the source of the [[Windows Server 2003]] kernel for research purposes.
 +
 
 +
In 2017, ''The Register'' and other technology journals reported about a leak of the [[Windows 10]] Shared Source Kits, which are available to qualified customers, enterprises, governments, and partners for debugging and reference purposes, to [[BetaArchive]]. Following the controversy, BetaArchive removed all source code content from its archives, which also included the aforementioned incomplete copies of the Windows source code, and adopted a policy of not accepting any more source code material.
 +
 
 +
In 2018, the source code of the Windows NT [[File Manager]] (<code>winfile</code>) was released on GitHub under the open source MIT license. This was later followed in 2019 by the Windows 10 [[Calculator]] application.
 +
 
 +
== Timeline ==
 
{| class="wikitable" style="width: 100%"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="width: 100%"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="5" | <h3>"Classic" Windows family</h3>
+
! colspan="6" | <h3>"Classic" Windows family</h3>
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Name
 
! Name
 
! Version
 
! Version
! Codename
+
! Code name
! Released
+
! Release date
 +
! Support end date
 
! Notes
 
! Notes
 
|-
 
|-
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| 1.0x
 
| 1.0x
 
| Interface Manager
 
| Interface Manager
| Released in 1985
+
| 1985
| First release of Windows; support ended on 2001-12-31
+
| 2001-12-31
 +
| First release of Windows
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 2.x]]
 
| [[Windows 2.x]]
 
| 2.x
 
| 2.x
 
| None
 
| None
| Released in 1987
+
| 1987
| Support ended on 2001-12-31
+
| 2001-12-31
 +
| Introduced overlapping windows
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 3.0]]
 
| [[Windows 3.0]]
 
| 3.0
 
| 3.0
 
| None
 
| None
| Released in 1990
+
| 1990
| Introduced Program Manager; support ended on 2001-12-31
+
| 2001-12-31
 +
| Introduced Program Manager
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Windows 3.1|Windows 3.1x]]
+
| [[Windows 3.1x]]
 
| 3.1x
 
| 3.1x
| Sparta, Snowball
+
| Sparta (WfW 3.1)<br>Snowball (WfW 3.11)
| Released in 1992
+
| 1992
| Support ended on 2001-12-31
+
| 2001-12-31
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 95]]
 
| [[Windows 95]]
 
| 4.0
 
| 4.0
 
| Chicago
 
| Chicago
| Released in 1995
+
| 1995
| Introduced Desktop, Start Menu and Taskbar; support ended on 2001-12-31
+
| 2001-12-31
 +
| Introduced Desktop, Start Menu and Taskbar
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ''[[Windows Nashville]]''
 
| ''[[Windows Nashville]]''
 
| 4.1
 
| 4.1
 
| Nashville
 
| Nashville
 +
| N/A
 
| N/A
 
| N/A
 
| Never released
 
| Never released
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| 4.1
 
| 4.1
 
| Memphis
 
| Memphis
| Released in 1998
+
| 1998, 1999 (SE)
| Second Edition released in 1999; support ended on 2006-07-11
+
| 2006-07-11
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows ME]]
 
| [[Windows ME]]
 
| 4.9
 
| 4.9
| Millennium, Georgia(?)
+
| Millennium
| Released in 2000
+
| 2000
| Support ended on 2006-07-11
+
| 2006-07-11
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="5" | <h3>Windows NT family</h3>
+
! colspan="6" | <h3>Windows NT family</h3>
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Name
 
! Name
 
! Version
 
! Version
! Codename
+
! Code name
! Released
+
! Release date
 +
! Support end date
 
! Notes
 
! Notes
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows NT 3.1]]
 
| [[Windows NT 3.1]]
 
| NT 3.1
 
| NT 3.1
| NT OS/2
+
| Razzle, NT OS/2
| Released in 1993
+
| 1993
| Support ended on 2001-12-31
+
| 2000-12-31
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows NT 3.5x]]
 
| [[Windows NT 3.5x]]
 
| NT 3.5x
 
| NT 3.5x
 
| Daytona
 
| Daytona
| Released in 1994
+
| 1994
| Support ended on 2001-12-31
+
| 2001-12-31
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Windows Cairo]]''
+
| ''[[Microsoft Cairo]]''
 
| rowspan="2" | NT 4.0
 
| rowspan="2" | NT 4.0
 
| Cairo
 
| Cairo
 +
| N/A
 
| N/A
 
| N/A
 
| Never released
 
| Never released
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows NT 4.0]]
 
| [[Windows NT 4.0]]
| Shell Release Update, Hydra
+
| Shell Release Update
| Released in 1996
+
| 1996
| Support ended on 2004-06-30
+
| 2004-06-30
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 2000]]
 
| [[Windows 2000]]
 
| NT 5.0
 
| NT 5.0
 
| Memphis NT, NT 5
 
| Memphis NT, NT 5
| Released in 2000
+
| 2000
| Support ended on 2010-07-13
+
| 2010-07-13
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ''[[Windows Neptune]]''
 
| ''[[Windows Neptune]]''
 
| NT 5.5
 
| NT 5.5
 
| Neptune
 
| Neptune
 +
| N/A
 
| N/A
 
| N/A
 
| Never released; merged with other projects to form Whistler
 
| Never released; merged with other projects to form Whistler
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| rowspan="3" | NT 5.1
 
| rowspan="3" | NT 5.1
 
| Whistler
 
| Whistler
| Released in 2001
+
| 2001
| First NT for home users; support ended on 2014-04-08
+
| 2014-04-08
 +
| First NT for home users
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs]]
 
| [[Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs]]
 
| Eiger, Monch
 
| Eiger, Monch
| Released in 2006
+
| 2006
| Support ended on 2014-04-08
+
| 2014-04-08
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Embedded 2009]]
 
| [[Windows Embedded 2009]]
 
| Quebec
 
| Quebec
| Released in 2008
+
| 2008
| Standard edition support ends on 2019-01-08; Point of Service edition support ends on 2019-04-09
+
| 2019-01-08 (Standard)<br>2019-04-09 (PoS)
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Server 2003]]
 
| [[Windows Server 2003]]
 
| rowspan="3" | NT 5.2
 
| rowspan="3" | NT 5.2
 
| Whistler Server, .NET Server
 
| Whistler Server, .NET Server
| Released in 2003
+
| 2003
| Support ended on 2015-07-14
+
| 2015-07-14
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Small Business Server 2003]]
 
| [[Windows Small Business Server 2003]]
 
| Bobcat
 
| Bobcat
| Released in 2003
+
| 2003
| Support ended on 2015-07-14
+
| 2015-07-14
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Home Server]]
 
| [[Windows Home Server]]
 
| Quattro
 
| Quattro
| Released in 2007
+
| 2007
| Identifies itself as version 6.0 but is based on Server 2003; support ended on 2013-08-01
+
| 2013-08-01
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Windows Longhorn]]''
+
| [[Windows Vista]]
| rowspan="3" | NT 6.0
+
| rowspan="2" | NT 6.0
 
| Longhorn
 
| Longhorn
| N/A
+
| 2006
| Development was reset in 2004-08-20 to make way for Vista
+
| 2017-04-11
|-
+
| Development was reset on 2004-08-20
| [[Windows Vista]]
 
| Longhorn Omega-13
 
| Released in 2006
 
| Support ended on 2017-04-11
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Server 2008]]
 
| [[Windows Server 2008]]
 
| Longhorn Server
 
| Longhorn Server
| Released in 2008
+
| 2008
| Support ends on 2020-01-14
+
| 2020-01-14
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 7]]
 
| [[Windows 7]]
| rowspan="5" | NT 6.1
+
| rowspan="6" | NT 6.1
| Blackcomb, Vienna, '7'
+
| Windows 7
| Released in 2009
+
| 2009
| Support ends on 2020-01-14
+
| 2020-01-14
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Server 2008 R2]]
 
| [[Windows Server 2008 R2]]
| Server '7'
+
| Windows Server 7
| Released in 2009
+
| 2009
| Support ends on 2020-01-14
+
| 2020-01-14
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
| [[Windows MultiPoint Server 2010]]
 +
| Solution Server
 +
| 2010
 +
| 2020-07-14
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
| [[Windows Embedded 7]]
 +
| Quebec
 +
| 2010 (Standard)<br>2011 (PoS)
 +
| 2020-10-13 (Standard)<br>2021-10-12 (PoS)
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Home Server 2011]]
 
| [[Windows Home Server 2011]]
 
| Vail
 
| Vail
| Released in 2011
+
| 2011
| Support ended on 2016-04-12
+
| 2016-04-12
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Thin PC]]
 
| [[Windows Thin PC]]
 
| Thin PC
 
| Thin PC
| Released in 2011
+
| 2011
| Support ends on 2021-10-12
+
| 2021-10-12
|-
+
|
| [[Windows Multipoint Server 2010]]
 
| Solution Server
 
| Released in 2010
 
| Support ends on 2020-07-14
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 8]]
 
| [[Windows 8]]
| rowspan="2" | NT 6.2
+
| rowspan="3" | NT 6.2
| '8' (Chidori?)
+
| '8'
| Released in 2012
+
| 2012
| Support ended on 2016-01-12
+
| 2016-01-12
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Server 2012]]
 
| [[Windows Server 2012]]
 
| Server '8'
 
| Server '8'
| Released in 2012
+
| 2012
| Support ends on 2023-10-10
+
| 2023-10-10
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
| [[Windows Embedded 8]]
 +
|
 +
| 2013
 +
| 2016-01-12 (Industry)
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 8.1]]
 
| [[Windows 8.1]]
| rowspan="2" | NT 6.3
+
| rowspan="3" | NT 6.3
 
| Blue
 
| Blue
| Released in 2013
+
| 2013
| Support ends on 2023-01-10
+
| 2023-01-10
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Server 2012 R2]]
 
| [[Windows Server 2012 R2]]
 
| Server Blue
 
| Server Blue
| Released in 2013
+
| 2013
| Support ends on 2023-10-10
+
| 2023-10-10
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
| [[Windows Embedded 8.1]]
 +
|
 +
| 2013
 +
| 2023-07-11 (Industry)
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 10]]
 
| [[Windows 10]]
 
| NT 10.0
 
| NT 10.0
 
| Threshold
 
| Threshold
| Released in 2015-07
+
| 2015-07-29
| Support ended on 2017-05-09
+
| 2017-05-09
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="5" | <h4>Windows 10 updates (NT 10.0)</h4>
+
! colspan="6" | <h4>Windows 10 updates (NT 10.0)</h4>
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Name
 
! Name
 
! Version
 
! Version
! Codename
+
! Code name
! Released
+
! Release date
 +
! Support end date
 
! Notes
 
! Notes
 
|-
 
|-
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| 1511
 
| 1511
 
| Threshold 2
 
| Threshold 2
| Released in 2015-11
+
| 2015-11-10
| Support ended on 2017-10-10
+
| 2017-10-10
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 10 version 1607|Windows 10 Anniversary Update]]
 
| [[Windows 10 version 1607|Windows 10 Anniversary Update]]
 
| rowspan="2" | 1607
 
| rowspan="2" | 1607
 
| Redstone 1
 
| Redstone 1
| rowspan="2" | Released in 2016-07
+
| rowspan="2" | 2016-08-02
| Support ended on 2018-04-10
+
| 2018-04-10
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Server 2016]]
 
| [[Windows Server 2016]]
 
| Threshold Server
 
| Threshold Server
| Long-Time Servicing Channel release; support ends on 2027-01-11
+
| 2027-01-11
 +
| Long-Time Servicing Channel release
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 10 version 1703|Windows 10 Creators Update]]
 
| [[Windows 10 version 1703|Windows 10 Creators Update]]
 
| 1703
 
| 1703
 
| Redstone 2
 
| Redstone 2
| Released in 2017-04
+
| 2017-04-05
| Support ends on 2018-10-09
+
| 2018-10-09
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 10 version 1709|Windows 10 Fall Creators Update]]
 
| [[Windows 10 version 1709|Windows 10 Fall Creators Update]]
 
| rowspan="2" | 1709
 
| rowspan="2" | 1709
 
| rowspan="2" | Redstone 3
 
| rowspan="2" | Redstone 3
| rowspan="2" | Released in 2017-09
+
| rowspan="2" | 2017-10-17
| Support ends on 2019-04-09
+
| rowspan="2" | 2019-04-09
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Windows Server version 1709|Windows Server version 1709]]
+
| [[Windows Server version 1709]]
| Semi-Annual Channel release; support ends on 2019-04-09
+
| Semi-Annual Channel release
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 10 version 1803|Windows 10 April 2018 Update]]
 
| [[Windows 10 version 1803|Windows 10 April 2018 Update]]
 
| rowspan="2" | 1803
 
| rowspan="2" | 1803
 
| rowspan="2" | Redstone 4
 
| rowspan="2" | Redstone 4
| rowspan="2" | Released in 2018-04
+
| rowspan="2" | 2018-04-30
| Support ends on 2019-11-12
+
| rowspan="2" | 2019-11-12
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Windows Server version 1803|Windows Server version 1803]]
+
| [[Windows Server version 1803]]
| Semi-Annual Channel release; support ends on 2019-11-12
+
| Semi-Annual Channel release
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows 10 version 1809|Windows 10 October 2018 Update]]
 
| [[Windows 10 version 1809|Windows 10 October 2018 Update]]
| rowspan="3" | TBD
+
| rowspan="3" | 1809
 
| rowspan="3" | Redstone 5
 
| rowspan="3" | Redstone 5
| rowspan="3" | Released in 2018-10
+
| rowspan="3" | 2018-11-13
|  
+
| rowspan="2" | 2020-05-12
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Windows Server version 1809|Windows Server version 1809]]
+
| [[Windows Server version 1809]]
 
| Semi-Annual Channel release
 
| Semi-Annual Channel release
 
|-
 
|-
 
| [[Windows Server 2019]]
 
| [[Windows Server 2019]]
 +
| 2028-10-10
 
| Long-Time Servicing Channel release
 
| Long-Time Servicing Channel release
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Windows 10 19H1|Windows 10 ''19H1'']]
+
| [[Windows 10 version 1903|Windows 10 May 2019 Update]]
 +
| rowspan="2" | 1903
 +
| rowspan="2" | 19H1
 +
| rowspan="2" | 2019-05-21
 +
| rowspan="2" | 2020-12-08
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
| [[Windows Server version 1903]]
 +
| Semi-Annual Channel release
 +
|-
 +
| [[Windows 10 version 1909|Windows 10 November 2019 Update]]
 +
| rowspan="2" | 1909
 +
| rowspan="2" | 19H2, Vanadium<ref name="vanadium">https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-comes-after-windows-10-19h1-vanadium/</ref>
 +
| rowspan="2" | 2019-11-12
 +
| rowspan="2" | 2021-05-11
 +
| Cumulative update for Windows 10 May 2019 Update.
 +
|-
 +
| [[Windows Server version 1909]]
 +
| Cumulative update for Windows Server version 1903; Semi-Annual Channel release.
 +
|-
 +
| [[Windows 10 20H1|Windows 10 ''20H1'']]
 
| rowspan="2" | TBD
 
| rowspan="2" | TBD
| rowspan="2" | 19H1
+
| rowspan="2" | 20H1, Vibranium<ref name="vanadium"/><ref>https://twitter.com/h0x0d/status/1125409514193281024</ref>
 +
| rowspan="2" | N/A
 
| rowspan="2" | N/A
 
| rowspan="2" | N/A
| To be released in 2019
+
| To be released to manufacturing in 2019-12
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Windows Server 19H1|Windows Server ''19H1'']]
+
| [[Windows Server 20H1|Windows Server ''20H1'']]
| Semi-Annual Channel release; to be released in 2019
+
| Semi-Annual Channel release; to be released to manufacturing in 2019-12
 
|}
 
|}
  
 
=== Planned versions that were never finished ===
 
=== Planned versions that were never finished ===
 
==== Cairo era ====
 
==== Cairo era ====
* '''[[Windows Cairo|Cairo]]'''  
+
* '''[[Microsoft Cairo|Cairo]]'''
: Version: NT 4.00
+
: Version: NT 4.00 in 1995, earlier versions unknown
: Developed 1993-1995, scheduled for release in 1995?
+
: Developed 1992-1995, scheduled release date unknown
: Development started but project was later scrapped
+
: Development started but project was later scrapped, many of its features released as part of other versions
  
 
==== Nashville era ====
 
==== Nashville era ====
Line 319: Line 410:
 
: Version: 4.10
 
: Version: 4.10
 
: Developed 1995, scheduled for release in 1996
 
: Developed 1995, scheduled for release in 1996
: Development started, project goals later transferred to Memphis and IE4
+
: Development started, project goals later transferred to Memphis and Internet Explorer 4
  
 
==== Neptune era ====
 
==== Neptune era ====
Cancelled in 2000-01 and replaced with the Whistler project that would later become Windows XP
 
 
* '''[[Windows Neptune|Neptune]]'''
 
* '''[[Windows Neptune|Neptune]]'''
 
: Version: NT 5.50
 
: Version: NT 5.50
: Developed 1999, scheduled for release in 2000
+
: Developed 1998-1999, scheduled for release in 2001
: Already in development before getting cancelled
+
: Cancelled in 2000-01 and replaced with the Whistler project that would later become Windows XP
  
 
* '''[[Windows Triton|Triton]]'''
 
* '''[[Windows Triton|Triton]]'''
: Version: NT 5.50?
+
: Version: Unknown
 
: Scheduled for release in 2001
 
: Scheduled for release in 2001
: Never left the drafting board, supposed to be a minor update to Neptune
+
: Never left the drafting board, supposed to be a minor update to Neptune, canceled in 2000-01
  
 
* '''[[Windows Odyssey|Odyssey]]'''
 
* '''[[Windows Odyssey|Odyssey]]'''
 
: Version: NT 6.00
 
: Version: NT 6.00
: According to antitrust documents it was already in development before getting cancelled in 2000-01.
+
: According to antitrust documents it was already in development before getting canceled in 2000-01.
  
 
==== Whistler era ====
 
==== Whistler era ====
Line 344: Line 434:
  
 
* '''[[Windows Blackcomb|Blackcomb]]'''
 
* '''[[Windows Blackcomb|Blackcomb]]'''
: Version: NT 6.0?
+
: Version: Unknown
 
: Scheduled for release in 2005
 
: Scheduled for release in 2005
: Originally a major update to Longhorn.
+
: Originally a major update to Longhorn. Allegedly later renamed to Vienna.
  
==See also==
+
== See also ==
 
* [[Desktop Composition Engine]]
 
* [[Desktop Composition Engine]]
 
* [[Desktop Window Manager]]
 
* [[Desktop Window Manager]]
 
* [[File Explorer]]
 
* [[File Explorer]]
* [[Microsoft DOS|MS-DOS]]
+
* [[MS-DOS]]
 
* [[UX.Unleaked]]
 
* [[UX.Unleaked]]
* [[Visual Styles]]
+
* [[List of Windows visual styles]]
 
* [[Windows CE]]
 
* [[Windows CE]]
 
* [[WinFS]]
 
* [[WinFS]]
 
* [[Windows Phone]]
 
* [[Windows Phone]]
 
* [[Windows Sidebar]]
 
* [[Windows Sidebar]]
* [[Windows Source Code]]
+
 
* [[Microsoft Midori]]
+
== References ==
 +
<references/>
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Microsoft Windows| ]]
 +
[[Category:Operating systems]]
 +
[[Category:Microsoft]]

Revision as of 21:43, 12 November 2019

Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft since 1983. The latest released version as of 2019-11 is Windows 10 November 2019 Update.

The first versions of Windows were an operating environment and graphical shell for MS-DOS. Windows 95 and later used MS-DOS for booting and kernel initialization. NT-based versions of Windows use a redesigned kernel and do not rely on MS-DOS.

History

16-bit Windows

Windows 1.01, the very first version of Windows released

Microsoft Windows debuted to the world during the Fall COMDEX 1983 computer expo as an operating environment running on top MS-DOS. The final version of the product with the version number of 1.01 was later released on 1985-11-20 and did not gain much popularity. Windows 1.0 was a cooperative multitasking desktop environment with a tiling window manager. The first versions of Windows used the MS-DOS Executive, which was a simple file manager, as a shell, which is generally the first application ran on startup providing the user experience. Other applications included in the first version of Windows included Calculator, Cardfile, Clipboard Viewer, Clock, Control Panel, Notepad, Paint, Reversi, Spooler, Terminal, and Microsoft Write. Three minor updates were released in the two following years adding support for more hardware.

A major update called Windows 2.0 was released in 1987 adding features such as overlapping windows. This version also introduced support for the Video Graphics Array and PS/2 mouse. A separate edition called Windows/386 was introduced that took advantage of the virtual 8086 mode of the then-new 386 processor to multitask MS-DOS applications under Windows; this would later become known as the 386 Enhanced Mode and become the cornerstone of Windows 9x. In later revisions of the Windows 2.0 environment, the original edition was renamed Windows/286.

Windows 3.0 was released in 1990 and became the first widely successful version of Windows. The new features included a revamped user experience consisting of the Program Manager, which allowed easy management of installed applications. A new File Manager was also included to replace the former shell, which was now deprecated. Under the hood, the new Standard Mode was introduced, which took advantage of the protected mode of the 286 and 386 processors. The previously separate 286 and 386 editions of Windows were unified into one version. This version of Windows was able to operate in three modes: Real mode intended for computers with the original 8088/8086 processor, Standard mode using the protected mode feature of the 286 processor, and 386 Enhanced mode combining the improved protected mode of the 386 with its ability to create and manage virtual 8086 machines for MS-DOS applications.

A major update dubbed Windows 3.1 followed in 1992 with the brand new red-green-blue-yellow Windows logo resembling a flag. The user interface was refreshed in this release, including new colorful icons. This version of Windows removed the real mode of operation and the MS-DOS Executive application. It was accompanied with a variant called Windows for Workgroups (WfW) 3.1 with an integrated networking capability, which later received a larger update bringing its version number up to 3.11, introducing 32-bit disk access and also removing the Standard mode of operation. The regular variant of Windows also received the 3.11 update, which was essentially the kernel of Windows for Workgroups 3.11 backported to Windows 3.1.

A 32-bit TCP/IP stack was ported from an early version of Windows 95 and released in 1994 as a downloadable plugin for Windows for Workgroups 3.11, providing early testing for the 16/32-bit compatibility features of the next version of Windows.

Windows 9x

Windows 95, the first version with the Desktop, Start menu, and taskbar

On 1995-08-24 Microsoft released Windows 95 also known under its codename "Chicago" with a brand new user interface with a Start menu, taskbar, and the desktop, as provided by the new Windows Explorer. Its hybrid 16/32-bit architecture made it possible to make and run 32-bit Windows applications and drivers while keeping a great degree of compatibility with already existing 16-bit ones. Among other improvements in this version was the support for long filenames through an extension to the FAT16 file system.

Windows 95 was the first release of Windows to be packed together with a specific MS-DOS version, however, the old operating system was used only as a bootloader and a compatibility layer for ancient device drivers. Most MS-DOS user applications were either extended with Windows code or entirely replaced with a Windows version, keeping only the ones that were required to run without Windows, e.g. during the OS installation, such as FDISK and FORMAT.

During its lifetime Windows 95 saw several larger updates dubbed the OEM Service Releases (OSR) that were released only to computer manufacturers, specifically OSR 1.0, OSR 2.0, OSR 2.1, and OSR 2.5. A Service Pack was also released that updated an RTM copy of Windows 95 to the OSR 1.0 level. In 1997 a USB Supplement was released for OSR 2.x that added support for the then-new Universal Serial Bus interface.

The classic Windows line received a major update on 1998-06-25 with the release of Windows 98 codenamed "Memphis". It was the first version to integrate Internet Explorer deeply into the operating system's user interface as a part of the Windows Desktop Update. Many parts of the UI started using HTML and Internet Explorer's rendering engine to present a web-like user interface. A feature called Active Desktop made it even possible to set a webpage as the desktop background. Under the hood Windows 98 introduced the new Windows Driver Model, which enabled the use of the same drivers on Windows 9x as well as on the radically different Windows NT based operating systems.

A year later, Windows 98 received an update which was called the Second Edition, which included a new version of Internet Explorer, added Internet Connection Sharing and improved USB support.

In 2000, Windows ME (Millennium Edition), the last release of the classic Windows line was released. It carried over the improvements made to the user interface in its NT-based counterpart, Windows 2000. Windows ME is based on Windows 98, however, access to the real mode MS-DOS was restricted in order to decrease boot time among other changes to the kernel. It was infamously known for its stability problems partially caused by the rushing of its release following the cancellation of the Neptune project. It was replaced by Windows XP in 2001, ending the era of classic Windows.

Windows NT

Windows NT (New Technology) is the current iteration of Windows. It is built on the NT hybrid kernel, which was originally intended for use in OS/2 3.0 but was adapted for a 32-bit version of Windows after the Microsoft - IBM split. The first release based on the new kernel was Windows NT 3.1, which was launched in 1993 and was equivalent to Windows 3.1 released two years earlier. All NT-based releases up until Windows 2000 were intended primarily for business use. With Windows XP, the NT series replaced the classic Windows series, creating a single operating system for consumers and businesses. Windows Phone 8 is the first Windows Phone release to be based on the NT kernel. The most recent version of Windows based on the NT kernel is Windows 10. Following the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has switched to a system of more frequent smaller updates to Windows.

Look and feel

Windows allowed customization of its user interface since its first versions. Windows 1.0 and Windows 2.x allowed the user to change the color scheme in their Control Panel, however, there was no selection of pre-made color schemes and the user only had the option to reset to the default scheme, which was provided by the installed video driver. This was improved with Windows 3.0 and its new Colors control panel, which added several color schemes for the user to choose from, however, the Windows default preset was still dependent on the type of the graphics card installed. Windows NT 3.1 and Windows NT 3.5x also featured the same Color control panel applet, however, drivers no longer had the ability to override the default color preset.

Windows 95 introduced a new 3D look inspired by NeXTSTEP which initially only made use of solid colors. This was subsequently refined in Windows 98 and Windows 2000 with the possibility to use 2-color gradients for the taskbar. Windows XP introduced a proper theming engine, allowing the use of bitmaps for various user interface elements and saw the first proper visual style, called Luna, come in to use, but users could still switch to Windows Classic if they so chose. Windows Vista introduced the hardware-accelerated Desktop Window Manager, which allowed for advanced effects such as translucent title bars used by the new Windows Aero theme. For users whose hardware couldn't handle Aero, Windows Vista included the software rendered Windows Basic theme.

With Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, the Aero theme was revamped and the Aero Lite theme replaced the Basic theme for lower-end computers. In Windows 10, the Aero theme was revamped again, but the Aero Lite theme remained. Windows 10's November Update saw the option to enable colors on title bar. Finally, with Windows 10 build 18282, the new Light theme was introduced.

Source code

In 2004, incomplete copies of the source code of Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 leaked to the Internet. These leaks were illegal, as the Windows source code is both a trade secret and copyrighted, and as so is protected by law. However, Microsoft has released parts of the source of the Windows Server 2003 kernel for research purposes.

In 2017, The Register and other technology journals reported about a leak of the Windows 10 Shared Source Kits, which are available to qualified customers, enterprises, governments, and partners for debugging and reference purposes, to BetaArchive. Following the controversy, BetaArchive removed all source code content from its archives, which also included the aforementioned incomplete copies of the Windows source code, and adopted a policy of not accepting any more source code material.

In 2018, the source code of the Windows NT File Manager (winfile) was released on GitHub under the open source MIT license. This was later followed in 2019 by the Windows 10 Calculator application.

Timeline

"Classic" Windows family

Name Version Code name Release date Support end date Notes
Windows 1.0 1.0x Interface Manager 1985 2001-12-31 First release of Windows
Windows 2.x 2.x None 1987 2001-12-31 Introduced overlapping windows
Windows 3.0 3.0 None 1990 2001-12-31 Introduced Program Manager
Windows 3.1x 3.1x Sparta (WfW 3.1)
Snowball (WfW 3.11)
1992 2001-12-31
Windows 95 4.0 Chicago 1995 2001-12-31 Introduced Desktop, Start Menu and Taskbar
Windows Nashville 4.1 Nashville N/A N/A Never released
Windows 98 4.1 Memphis 1998, 1999 (SE) 2006-07-11
Windows ME 4.9 Millennium 2000 2006-07-11

Windows NT family

Name Version Code name Release date Support end date Notes
Windows NT 3.1 NT 3.1 Razzle, NT OS/2 1993 2000-12-31
Windows NT 3.5x NT 3.5x Daytona 1994 2001-12-31
Microsoft Cairo NT 4.0 Cairo N/A N/A Never released
Windows NT 4.0 Shell Release Update 1996 2004-06-30
Windows 2000 NT 5.0 Memphis NT, NT 5 2000 2010-07-13
Windows Neptune NT 5.5 Neptune N/A N/A Never released; merged with other projects to form Whistler
Windows XP NT 5.1 Whistler 2001 2014-04-08 First NT for home users
Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs Eiger, Monch 2006 2014-04-08
Windows Embedded 2009 Quebec 2008 2019-01-08 (Standard)
2019-04-09 (PoS)
Windows Server 2003 NT 5.2 Whistler Server, .NET Server 2003 2015-07-14
Windows Small Business Server 2003 Bobcat 2003 2015-07-14
Windows Home Server Quattro 2007 2013-08-01
Windows Vista NT 6.0 Longhorn 2006 2017-04-11 Development was reset on 2004-08-20
Windows Server 2008 Longhorn Server 2008 2020-01-14
Windows 7 NT 6.1 Windows 7 2009 2020-01-14
Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 7 2009 2020-01-14
Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Solution Server 2010 2020-07-14
Windows Embedded 7 Quebec 2010 (Standard)
2011 (PoS)
2020-10-13 (Standard)
2021-10-12 (PoS)
Windows Home Server 2011 Vail 2011 2016-04-12
Windows Thin PC Thin PC 2011 2021-10-12
Windows 8 NT 6.2 '8' 2012 2016-01-12
Windows Server 2012 Server '8' 2012 2023-10-10
Windows Embedded 8 2013 2016-01-12 (Industry)
Windows 8.1 NT 6.3 Blue 2013 2023-01-10
Windows Server 2012 R2 Server Blue 2013 2023-10-10
Windows Embedded 8.1 2013 2023-07-11 (Industry)
Windows 10 NT 10.0 Threshold 2015-07-29 2017-05-09

Windows 10 updates (NT 10.0)

Name Version Code name Release date Support end date Notes
Windows 10 November Update 1511 Threshold 2 2015-11-10 2017-10-10
Windows 10 Anniversary Update 1607 Redstone 1 2016-08-02 2018-04-10
Windows Server 2016 Threshold Server 2027-01-11 Long-Time Servicing Channel release
Windows 10 Creators Update 1703 Redstone 2 2017-04-05 2018-10-09
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update 1709 Redstone 3 2017-10-17 2019-04-09
Windows Server version 1709 Semi-Annual Channel release
Windows 10 April 2018 Update 1803 Redstone 4 2018-04-30 2019-11-12
Windows Server version 1803 Semi-Annual Channel release
Windows 10 October 2018 Update 1809 Redstone 5 2018-11-13 2020-05-12
Windows Server version 1809 Semi-Annual Channel release
Windows Server 2019 2028-10-10 Long-Time Servicing Channel release
Windows 10 May 2019 Update 1903 19H1 2019-05-21 2020-12-08
Windows Server version 1903 Semi-Annual Channel release
Windows 10 November 2019 Update 1909 19H2, Vanadium[1] 2019-11-12 2021-05-11 Cumulative update for Windows 10 May 2019 Update.
Windows Server version 1909 Cumulative update for Windows Server version 1903; Semi-Annual Channel release.
Windows 10 20H1 TBD 20H1, Vibranium[1][2] N/A N/A To be released to manufacturing in 2019-12
Windows Server 20H1 Semi-Annual Channel release; to be released to manufacturing in 2019-12

Planned versions that were never finished

Cairo era

Version: NT 4.00 in 1995, earlier versions unknown
Developed 1992-1995, scheduled release date unknown
Development started but project was later scrapped, many of its features released as part of other versions

Nashville era

Version: 4.10
Developed 1995, scheduled for release in 1996
Development started, project goals later transferred to Memphis and Internet Explorer 4

Neptune era

Version: NT 5.50
Developed 1998-1999, scheduled for release in 2001
Cancelled in 2000-01 and replaced with the Whistler project that would later become Windows XP
Version: Unknown
Scheduled for release in 2001
Never left the drafting board, supposed to be a minor update to Neptune, canceled in 2000-01
Version: NT 6.00
According to antitrust documents it was already in development before getting canceled in 2000-01.

Whistler era

Version: NT 6.0
Developed 2001-2004, scheduled for release in 2003-2006
Initially supposed to be an interim release between Whistler and Blackcomb, the project objectives eventually included a lot of features originally intended for Blackcomb. Development was reset in 2004.
Version: Unknown
Scheduled for release in 2005
Originally a major update to Longhorn. Allegedly later renamed to Vienna.

See also

References