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How old are operating systems?
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-08-01 23:09:59

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 2017-08-05 20:45:05
Everything needs a loader.

It would take only minimal work to make Windows 9x boot without DOS.

Besides, there is a HUGE difference between "Windows uses DOS to boot," and "Windows is running on top of DOS"

Once Windows loads, DOS code is ignored, since it is just a bootloader.

The only time DOS is accessed by Windows is when you are using 16-bit DOS TSRs, as a compatibility layer, and even then, DOS is only used just enough to make convince the TSR that DOS is indeed running, even though it isn't.

Based on DOS, though, Windows 9x is not. It certainly doesn't run on top of DOS either.
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RE[8]: Some large inacuracies
By Drumhellar on 2017-08-05 20:50:13
> 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
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RE[6]: IOS and Android
By CATs on 2017-08-06 16:50:58
> > And yes, if you put Audi engine in your Honda, it's no longer Honda.

Actually, no. According to the DMV, it's still a Honda.

What's a DMV? And why would I care what they think?
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RE[6]: IOS and Android
By CATs on 2017-08-06 16:52:37
> > Don't act stupid comparing rims to kernel.

Then don't make retard level comments in the first place.

Well, you were the first one to pretend to be stupid and make ignorant comments. I just followed up to show you how absurd you sound.
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