Windows 3.0 Celebrates Its 23rd Birthday

All eyes are currently fixed on Windows 8, its upcoming refresh, or how and where the Surface tablets are debuting. But it was 23 years ago that Microsoft launched one of its most important products.

Windows 3.0, undoubtedly one of the most important revamps of the Windows platform, launched on May 22, 1990.

Unassumingly called Windows 3.0, this operating system was built in a bid to aid Redmond in its fight against Apple, as the fruity company had by then designed an operating system what more intuitive and easier to use than other solutions available in the market at that time.

As The Register notes, Windows 3.0 was the first Windows version that brought the highly advanced (for its time) File Manager. This together with a reworked interface that included notable redesigns of the Control Panel and other menus made this version of Windows a distinguished success.

It also included Notepad, Paintbrush and Solitaire — applications that continue strong to this day.

The system requirements for Windows 3.0 are enough to give you a chuckle. The OS required a PC with MS-DOS 3.1, mere 6 megabytes of free space, and an arresting 384KB of RAM.

As we look forward to what the future holds for the Windows platform, particularly everything new Windows 8.1 brings forward, the earlier relics are nevertheless worth celebrating. And speaking of relics, not many hold more significance than Windows 3.0.

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