A direct comparison may sound odd to you, but then again, not many know the story behind the Windows 3.0 iteration of Microsoft’s line of operating systems. Let’s just say that that version number, released in 1990 had quite a colorful history.
The third major release of Windows actually came into being when a bunch of Microsoft programmers tried some independent adventuring and whipped up a concept that impressed the executives enough to commission it as an official project.
The concept boasted a significantly revamped user interface — not unlike the special emphasis on the UI afforded to Windows 8, between things like the Start Screen and Live Tiles.
But while 3.0 was a success, it actually was the update (Windows 3.1) released in 1992 that brought along a number of lasting improvements and enhancements. Features like the debut of Windows Registry, support for TrueType fonts, and backwards compatibility with older versions of the OS.
And finally, icons were much more detailed and could be dragged and dropped.
These may seem like trivial changes now, but so lasting was their impact that most of them still continue to this day. Windows 3.0 may have been a bold new beginning, but it was the successor, 3.1 that stole hearts.
Windows 3.0 was the foundation — Windows 3.1 the institution.
Same could well be the case between Windows 8 and Windows Blue. Microsoft has even reportedly labelled the update 8.1, as subtle (or not so subtle) hint to the days of past perfect.
All signs point to a similar retread. The recent leaks show several new features and enhancements to old ones that reveal Windows Blue may well be something that really make a case not just for itself, but the Windows 8 platform too, on the desktop as well as the tablets.
Oh, and wondering how the Windows 3.1 story ended?
So successful was the year of Windows 3.1 for Microsoft that Forbes Magazine awarded it the distinction of the “Most Innovative Company Operating in the U.S.”, all the while Windows itself became the most popular GUI based operating system in the world.
Closest thing to a fairy tale in the technology world, I say.