Thirty-five years back on this day, Microsoft Windows, apparently the most widely used and liked operating system, started its journey, to succeed MS-DOS. It was a huge milestone that paved the way for the modern versions of Windows we use today.
The operating system was announced in 1983 by Bill Gates. Two years later, Windows 1.0 started shipping on November 20, 1985.
While Windows 10 doesn't look anything like Windows 1.0, it still has many of its original fundamentals like scroll bars, drop-down menus, icons, dialog boxes, and apps like Notepad and MS paint.
The world of Windows has changed quite a bit since then, but the operating system's launch was a major step in personal computing.
Windows 1.0 was Microsoft's first true attempt at a graphical user interface in 16-bit.
The first incarnation of Windows was a front end for Microsoft's command-line DOS or Disk Operating System. Windows 1.0 provided access to Word processing, drawing, an address book, a calculator, and more.
Windows 1.0 only supported titled Windows and had desktop features like MS-DOS Executive file manager, Notepad, Terminal, Calendar, and Clock. Reversi, a strategy board game, was the first to arrive with Windows 1.0. At the time of its launch, Windows 1.0 was available for $99.
One of the reasons Windows 1.0 was so notable was because it heavily relied on the use of a mouse, which wasn't a common PC input device at the time.
Besides, the game Reversi was integrated into Windows 1.0 to help users get familiar with the mouse input system. The game relied on mouse control to get people used to moving around and clicking elements on the screen.
Microsoft 1.0 got a successor two years later in the form of Microsoft 2.0, which became the first Windows platform for Microsoft's Word and Excel applications.
Windows 1.0 was declared obsolete on December 31, 2001, at which point Microsoft stopped providing support and updates for the system
In comparison to today's tech, Windows 1.0 doesn't look so user-friendly, but at the time, it was quite the accomplishment. Before Windows 1.0, using a PC was much more complex and was mostly left to experts.
When people talk about the start of Windows, they often refer to Windows 3.0 and 3.1. Combined, those versions of Windows sold ten million copies. These versions of Windows were also much more user-friendly.
They were also the first versions of Windows that allowed hardware manufacturers to put Windows onto PCs. While Windows 3.0 and 3.1 were revolutionary, they wouldn't have come to be if it weren't for Windows 1.0.
Each version of Windows has a unique place in history, from the Start Menu of Windows 95 to the modern connectivity of Windows 10, but they all stem from Windows 1.0. For that, we wish Windows a happy birthday.