Microsoft Windows. The world’s most popular operating platform. Under fire from mobile and open source alternatives, but still keeping it strong after nearly three decades.
Windows 1.0 launched exactly 29 years ago — on November 20, 1985.
Although based on MS-DOS, this premiere version became the first operating system to come with a graphical user interface for users. Meaning they no longer had to type commands to operate their computers, and instead simply moved a mouse on the screen.
This early version also came with many of the elements we now find in the OS, from windows and menus to icons and dialogs. Several of the apps that were part of this first build also survive.
Upgraded and enhanced, Notepad, Paint, Calculator and more are still going strong.
And the system requirements?
All you needed to run Windows 1.0 was 256KB of storage space, a graphics adaptor card, two double sided floppy disk drives and up to 512KB of space in order to run the applications.
Microsoft steadily improved the platform, paving the way for Windows 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 then Windows 95, 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, and finally Windows 7.
Windows 8, however, brought along dramatic changes. The modern platform received some polish with Windows 8.1, and now we have the release of Windows 10 to look forward to next year.
The journey still continues, and although some versions of Windows experienced better sales results and welcome reception than others, there is no denying that every new build arrived with a remarkable amount of buildup and excitement.
Fitting, for the number one desktop operating platform in the history of computers.
Happy birthday, Windows, and here’s to you!