I saw this "Chain of Fools" video yesterday that is brilliant in what it does. The producer uses VMware to show every update to Windows since the very first DOS release more than 20 years ago.
It's fantastic in that it shows some of the more historic developments of the technology such as the original grey bar that first appeared in DOS and remains a core feature today.
Some of the other interesting tidbits:
- Windows 3.1 is the first version to ask for a person's name and company.
- DOS Shell could be opened in Windows 95.
- Usability markedly increased also with Windows 95.
- Windows 98 took 90 minutes to install, compared to 30 minutes for Windows 95. Windows Vista took two hours to install.
- Color scheme changed with Windows XP.
- Windows 7 still has a number of legacy apps, including Card File and Calendar.
In conclusion, the upgrades shows a continuous upgrade compatibility for 20 years. The run would have been 23 years If the color formatting had not changed with Windows XOP, Vista and Windows 7.
The upgrades give a historical context to upgrading Windows. As much as Microsoft gets maligned, its uniformity is to be admired.