Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Aug 2017 23:09 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes

Today, it hit me that iOS is already ten years old. I consider iOS a relatively new and fresh operating system, but can we really say that at ten years old? In order to figure that out, I quickly threw together a little graph to visualise the age of both current and deprecated operating systems to get a better look at the age of operating systems.

It counts operating system age in terms of years from initial public release (excluding beta or preview releases) to the last release (in case of deprecated operating systems) or until today (in case of operating systems still in active development). I've included mainly popular, successful, consumer-oriented operating systems, leaving out more server or embedded oriented operating systems (such as UNIX and QNX), which tend to have vastly different needs and development cycles.

As far as the nomenclature goes, Windows 9x includes everything from Windows 1.0 to Windows ME, and Mac OS covers System 1 through Mac OS 9.2.2. Windows CE is currently called Windows Embedded Compact, but its line also includes Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile, and Windows PocketPC.

Red indicates the operating system is no longer being developed, whereas green means it's still under active development. The only question mark in this regard is Windows CE; its latest release is Embedded Compact 2013 in 2013, and while I think it's still in development, I'm not entirely sure.

This graph isn't a scientifically accurate, well-researched, quotable piece of information - it takes many shortcuts and brushes several questions aside for brevity's sake. For instance, looking at the last official release doesn't always make sense, such as with Windows Service Packs or Mac OS X point releases, and I haven't even been entirely consistent with these anyway.

On top of that, the graph doesn't take months or weeks into account, and just counts everything in terms of years. Linux shouldn't technically be included at all (since it's just a kernel), and you can conceivably argue that, for instance, Mac OS X is older than its initial release in the form of 10.0 since it's so heavily based on NEXTSTEP. Amiga OS is also a bit of a stretch, since its development pace is slow and has even died down completely on several occasions. You could maybe possibly argue that BeOS is still in active development in the form of Haiku, but I consider Haiku a reimplementation, and not a continuation.

In any event, I originally wasn't planning on doing anything with this, but I figured I might as well publish it here since it's an interesting overview.

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Years are messed up??
by number9 on Wed 2nd Aug 2017 01:41 UTC
number9
Member since:
2005-10-25

Thom, have I gone mad? I was using MS-DOS waaaay before Linux, and I started using Linux the year Linus released it to try to get myself off of minix.

I thought MS-DOS was released in 1982 (as in, I was there, man). That would make it 36 years old.

If memory serves, and sometimes it does not, BeOS was released in 1995 as a friend purchased a BeBox in 1995 and made a big deal about the OS...

I think some of these years in the graph are off...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Years are messed up??
by judgen on Wed 2nd Aug 2017 01:56 in reply to "Years are messed up??"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

Technically the initial release of MS-DOS is just a renamed 86-DOS by Tim Patterson, whom cont9inued his work at microsoft after the sale of the software by SCP.

So by that metric DOS in it's unbroken chain would have to be counted from late summer 1980 until MS-DOS8 (realeased in 16 September 2000) so roughly 20 years, give or take a month or two.

I bet that it is listed as 19 years, since there is a month left for it to reach 20 full years. But one might consider Q-DOS as well, and then it reaches above the 20 year mark.

Edited 2017-08-02 01:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Years are messed up??
by jal_ on Wed 2nd Aug 2017 07:48 in reply to "RE: Years are messed up??"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Technically the initial release of MS-DOS is just a renamed 86-DOS by Tim Patterson (...) So by that metric DOS in it's unbroken chain would have to be counted from late summer 1980

I don't think 86-DOS was ever publically released.

until MS-DOS8 (realeased in 16 September 2000) so roughly 20 years, give or take a month or two.

MS-DOS 8 wasn't released as a seperate product, and seperately installable, was it?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Years are messed up??
by sarreq on Wed 2nd Aug 2017 20:41 in reply to "RE: Years are messed up??"
sarreq Member since:
2010-03-14

QDOS (Quick and Dirty OS) was the original name. It was changed to reflect the stodgy nature of IBM.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Years are messed up??
by sarreq on Wed 2nd Aug 2017 20:58 in reply to "Years are messed up??"
sarreq Member since:
2010-03-14

this isn't a list of how old each OS is, it's a list of how long each OS was developed. MS-DOS was born in 1981 with MS/PC-DOS 1.0 and ended development in 2000 with Windows ME. 19 years.

Reply Parent Score: 1

poesiemeister Member since:
2006-04-25

2000? You're forgetting embedded MS-DOS. For example, my Windows phone has a copy of embedded MS-DOS mobile.

MS-DOS Mobile Version 1.0
Copyright (C) Microsoft Mobile 2015

All rights reserved.

C:\>

Admittedly, this was released on 1st April 2015.

Reply Parent Score: 1