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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RE[6]: Some large inacuracies
by Drumhellar on Fri 4th Aug 2017 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Some large inacuracies"
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Linux still needs something to load it into memory. If Windows is a DOS-based operating system simply because DOS acts as a bootloader for it, why isn't Linux a GRUB based operating system, or an EFI based operating system? After all, the only thing DOS does is load the Windows kernel into memory and start executing it. When that happens, Windows nukes DOS and takes control of the system.

In other words, why does the bootloader define the whole operating system in one case, but not in others?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Some large inacuracies
by sarreq on Sat 5th Aug 2017 11:33 in reply to "RE[6]: Some large inacuracies"
sarreq Member since:
2010-03-14

DOS only loads Windows if it's told to by either AUTOEXEC.BAT, or from the DOS prompt. Otherwise DOS only loads itself, in a fully ready and usable state.

Linux is the same in that respect. Linux only loads itself, unless it's told to load a CLI or GUI. The only real difference is, if you don't tell it to load a CLI or GUI, you can't really do much.

Edited 2017-08-05 11:34 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

DOS only loads Windows if it's told to by either AUTOEXEC.BAT, or from the DOS prompt.


Not with 9x, or at least specifically, Windows 98, where a fresh install has empty AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files.

It boots straight into Windows

Reply Parent Score: 2