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Windows 2.0

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Title: Windows 2.0  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Microsoft Windows, Comparison of Microsoft Windows versions, Windows 1.0, Windows 2.1x, History of Microsoft Windows
Collection: 1987 Software, Microsoft Windows
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Windows 2.0

Windows 2.0
A release of the Microsoft Windows operating system
Screenshot of Windows 2.0
Developer Microsoft
Source model Closed source
Released to
December 9, 1987 (1987-12-09)
License Commercial software
Preceded by Windows 1.0 (1985)
Succeeded by Windows 2.1x (1988)
Official website
Support status
Unsupported as of December 31, 2001

Windows 2.0 is a 16-bit Microsoft Windows GUI-based operating environment that was released on December 9, 1987 [1] and is the successor to Windows 1.0.


  • Features 1
  • Application support 2
  • Legal conflict with Apple 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Windows 2.0 allowed application windows to overlap each other unlike its predecessor Windows 1.0, which could display only tiled windows.[2] Windows 2.0 also introduced more sophisticated keyboard-shortcuts[3] and the terminology of "Minimize" and "Maximize", as opposed to "Iconize" and "Zoom" in Windows 1.0.[4] The basic window setup introduced here would last through Windows 3.1. Like Windows 1.x, Windows 2.x applications cannot be run on Windows 3.1 or up without modifications since they weren't designed for protected mode.[5] Windows 2.0 was also the first Windows version to integrate the control panel.[2]

New features in Windows 2.0 included VGA graphics (although 16 colors only). It was also the last version of Windows that did not require a hard disk. The Windows 2.x EGA, VGA, and Tandy drivers notably provided a workaround in Windows 3.0 for users who wanted color graphics on 8086 machines (a feature that version normally did not support). EMS memory support also appeared for the first time.[6]

Application support

The first Windows versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel ran on Windows 2.0.[2] Third-party developer support for Windows increased substantially with this version (some shipped the Windows Runtime software with their applications, for customers who had not purchased the full version of Windows).[4] However, most developers still maintained DOS versions of their applications,[2] as Windows users were still a distinct minority of their market. Windows 2.0 was still very dependent on the DOS system and it still hadn't passed the 1 megabyte mark in terms of memory.[7]

There were some applications that shipped with Windows 2.0. They are:

Legal conflict with Apple

On March 17, 1988, Apple Inc. filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, accusing them of violating copyrights Apple held on the Macintosh System Software.[10] Apple claimed the "look and feel" of the Macintosh operating system, taken as a whole, was protected by copyright and that Windows 2.0 violated this copyright by having the same icons. The judge ruled in favor of Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft in all but ten of the 189 patents that Apple sued for. The exclusive ten could not be copyrighted, as ruled by the judge.[2]


  1. ^ "A History of Windows". Microsoft. Microsoft. 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "History of Microsoft". Download. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "The History of Microsoft Windows operating systems". Webopedia. Webopedia. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Windows 2.0". SBP Romania. SBP Romania. 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Tim Robinson (26 August 2002). "Virtual 8086 Mode". OSDev. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Seth Sibangan (7 August 2013). "Kellys". SlideShare. Seth Sibangan. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Windows 2.0 definition". The Free Dictionary. The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Windows 2.03". Toasty Tech. Toasty Tech. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Windows Version History". Microsoft Support. Microsoft. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "1980 - 1989: An Industrial Milestone". The Apple Museum. Retrieved September 4, 2009. 

External links

  • GUIdebook: Windows 2.0 Gallery – A website dedicated to preserving and showcasing Graphical User Interfaces
  • Microsoft Windows history
  • Microsoft article with details about the different versions of Windows
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