Is the Linux Operating System Older than Windows?

I recently read online someone saying that “Windows did not come out as an OS til 1995”. Is this person correct?

First some background information about Windows.

The first Windows was Windows 1.0 that ran on-top of MS-DOS. It was released on 20 November 1985. The most popular ancient version of Windows people sometimes talk about is Windows 3.1 (released on: April 6, 1992), not realizing that there were versions of Windows before 3.1.

Microsoft has Windows NT (a stable, secure, really well done OS brand still being used by millions today; not MS-DOS based) that initially was released as Windows NT 3.1 on July 27, 1993. Windows NT has *no* MS-DOS underneath it (in other words, the Windows NT line has nothing to do with MS-DOS at all; people just think it does).

Non-Windows NT Operating Systems:  1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, 98 SE, ME

Windows NT Operating Systems:   Windows NT 3.1, Windows NT 3.5, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10

The first Linux came out by Linus Torvalds in 1991 (he uploaded Linux to a FTP server belonging to FUNET).

Technically Windows as an OS itself did not come out until 1993, however Windows *did* exist as an MS-DOS shell way back in 1985…long before Linux. Also, Windows 1.0 is seen as the first official Windows on the market. 

Linux first came out first as an actual OS in 1991. However Windows NT came out in 1993 (roughly two years after Linux; the guy’s statement about Windows being out as an OS in 1995 was off by two years).

So the answer is: While Linux (1991) is slightly older than Windows NT (1993), it really is not that big of deal since they both are good operating systems to get things done on, and seriously now, who would care anyway 🙂.


Update 10-04-2019:

I recently became aware of someone commenting on this blog post. The person said some of what I wrote was “out of scope” (irrelevant) to what the question was about.

The guy who responded did not seem to have carefully read my post. Otherwise he would have understood my reason for mentioning the older Windows versions.

In short, nothing I said was “out of scope”.

  1. I only mentioned the older, non-NT versions of Windows (e.g. Win98) to give background information to people who may not understand that there is more to Windows than XP (2001) and beyond.
  2. Windows (as an operating system – Windows NT 3.1) did in fact come out in 1993. The guy repeated the same misinformation about Windows coming out as an OS in 1995 😕. Seriously, this information is easily verified online.
  3. Unfortunately several people “up-voted” his comment, even though he gave wrong information about Windows NT and technically misrepresented my article. They obviously did not verify the information he gave, and just assumed he was correct.

Posted in Operating Systems