Happy 25th Anniversary Microsoft Windows

22nd November 2010

Yup, time really does fly and today, 20th November 2010 is the 25th anniversary of the launch of Windows 1.0. This was Microsoft’s first stab at a multi-tasking graphical user interface and had four versions. 1.02 was released in May the following year with the final version 1.04 coming out in April 1987.

The GUI, because it wasn’t an operating system at that time, ran on top of MS DOS and didn’t come to the mainstream public’s attention until the release of Windows 3 in May 1990.

Windows 1 was officially unveiled on November 10th 1983 when it was known as “Interface Manager” and it was competing head on with the most popular GUI at the time, GEM.

It’s interesting to note, because Microsoft would never be able to get away with this these days, that some early versions of Windows 1 came bundled with Office apps Word and Excel, presumably to help boost sales.

Clearly the main reason why Windows 1 wasn’t a success was the release of the Apple Macintosh the year before, with a high profile Orwellian advertising campaign.

Windows 1 offered very limited multi-tasking and didn’t include features such as being able to overlay one window on another. Instead, Windows could only be run side-by-side. Layered windows did not appear until Windows 2.

Supplied programs included the Calculator, Calendar, Cardfile, Clipboard viewer, Click, Control Panel, Notepad, Paint, Reversi, Terminal and Write and it’s surprising just how many of those programs have survived to this day.

Anyway, a very happy anniversary Windows from Windows7News and looking back, it surprising how much of the main interface elements in Windows 1 are still used by Windows 7 and will continue to be used for many years to come.

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