Today is a big day for Microsoft’s Windows operating system. For those who do not remember, November 10th, 1983, was the day that a young Bill Gates introduced Windows 1.0 to the world as an operating system that would help start the PC revolution and change the way we use computers to this day. Today, we celebrate the 30th birthday of Windows.
On this day in 1983, Microsoft’s Bill Gates first unveiled the Windows operating system for PCs. It wasn’t actually until November 20th 1985, however, until the first version was officially released to manufacturing. The screenshot above is what the graphical interface of Windows 1.01 looked like. Colorful, flat, lots of white space. It kind of sounds like how you’d describe some popular mobile interfaces today.
When it was presented at a swanky New York event, the first version of Windows required two floppy disk drives and 192KB of RAM. That sounds downright ancient compared to the specs we see in phones and tablets. Windows 1.0 offered dropdown menus, tiled windows, mouse support, device-independent graphics, and the ability to run multiple applications at the same time. That’s essentially the same approach of today’s desktop and mobile operating systems.
Gates actually promised the very first version of Windows would be out by early 1984, but setbacks delayed the launch until more than a year later. By this time Apple had already released Lisa, with other competition coming from VisiOn and IBM’s TopView, the latter of which was announced in 1984.
Once Windows 1.0 was made available, it was met with mixed reviews, with one New York Times article in particular bashing the sluggish performance of Windows on a system with 512KB of RAM. The reviewer at the time compared Windows’s performance to “pouring molasses in the Arctic.” Today you can upgrade to 32GB of RAM and higher in desktop computers, showing the extreme progress of technology over the years.
WINDOWS 1.0 (1985)
- Where it all began: Windows 1.0 introduced a GUI, mouse support, and important apps.
WINDOWS 2.0 (1987)
- Windows 2.0 continued 16-bit computing with VGA graphics and the first versions of Word and Excel.
WINDOWS 3.0 (1990)
- Windows 3.0 included a better UI with new Program and File managers. Minesweeper also arrived with the 3.1 update.
WINDOWS NT 3.5 (1994)
- Windows NT 3.5 was the second release of NT, and it really marked Microsoft’s push into business computing with important security and file sharing features.
WINDOWS 95 (1995)
- Windows 95 was one of the most significant updates to Windows. Microsoft moved to a 32-bit architecture and introduced the Start menu. A new era of apps emerged, and Internet Explorer arrived in an update to Windows 95.
WINDOWS 98 (1998)
- Windows 98 built on the success of Windows 95 by improving hardware support and performance. Microsoft was also focused on the web at its launch, and bundled apps and features like Active Desktop, Outlook Express, Frontpage Express, Microsoft Chat, and NetMeeting.
WINDOWS ME (2000)
- Windows ME focused on multimedia and home users, but it was unstable and buggy. Windows Movie Maker first appeared in ME, alongside improved versions of Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer.
WINDOWS 2000 (2000)
- Windows 2000 was designed for client and server computers within businesses. Based on Windows NT, it was designed to be secure with new file protection, a DLL cache, and hardware plug and play.
WINDOWS XP (2001)
- Windows XP really combined Microsoft’s home and business efforts. Windows XP was designed for client and server computers within businesses. Based on Windows NT, it was designed to be secure with new file protection, a DLL cache, and hardware plug and play.
WINDOWS VISTA (2007)
- Windows Vista was poorly received like ME. While Vista introduced a new Aero UI and improved security features, Microsoft took around six years to develop Windows Vista and it only worked well on new hardware. User account control was heavily criticized, and Windows Vista remains part of the bad cycle of Windows releases.
WINDOWS 7 (2009)
- Windows 7 arrived in 2009 to clean up the Vista mess. Microsoft did a good job of performance, while tweaking and improving the user interface and making user account control less annoying. Windows 7 is now one of the most popular versions of Windows.
WINDOWS 8 (2012)
- Windows 8 was a drastic redesign of the familiar Windows interface. Microsoft removed the Start menu and replace it with a fullscreen Start Screen. New “Metro-style” apps were designed to replace aging desktop apps, and Microsoft really focused on touch screens and tablet PCs. It was a little too drastic for most desktop users, and Microsoft had to rethink the future of Windows.
A free point release to Windows 8 introduced in October 2013, Windows 8.1 marked a shift towards yearly software updates from Microsoft and included the first step in Microsoft’s U-turn around its new visual interface. Windows 8.1 re-introduced the Start button, which brought up the Start screen from the desktop view of Windows 8.1.
WINDOWS 10 (2015)
- Back to the Start: Windows 10 brings back the familiar Start menu, and introduces some new features like Cortana, Microsoft Edge, and the Xbox One streaming to PCs. It’s more thoughtfully designed for hybrid laptops and tablets, and Microsoft has switched to a Windows as a service model to keep it regularly updated in the future.
Related : Windows 10 – Features
Source : The Verge