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Microsoft turns 30 years old

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 11 Nov 2013 10:09 User comments (6)

Microsoft turns 30 years old Microsoft's Windows operating system turned 30 on November 10th, after first being unveiled in 1983 by founder Bill Gates.
The story goes a little bit further back, when Gates and friend Paul Allen started what was then called 'Micro-Soft' in an Albuquerque garage in 1975. By 1980, IBM asked Microsoft to create an OS for its PC, and the company purchased the operating system QDOS, before changing it to MS-DOS before licensing it to IBM.

MS-DOS was hard to use, and required a good knowledge of the command line, so the company began working on a better graphical interface that used a mouse and on-screen icons, menus and scroll bars.

Windows was then announced in 1983 and eventually version 1.0 was launched in November 1985. Windows 2.0 came later, in December 1987, followed by Version 3.0 in May 1990. Windows 3.1 became a huge commercial success, selling 10 million copies.

In 1993, the company revealed the first 32-bit OS, Windows NT, which became a basis for later versions. Windows 95 added the Start button, taskbar and built-in Internet support for dial-up networking. In 1998, Windows 98 added USB and DVD support, and was the last version of the OS to be based off of DOS.

By 2001, the first real modern OS was unveiled, Windows XP, which would eventually become the best selling operating system of all-time. It also included a 64-bit model, a Media Center edition and Tablet PC editions. Windows Vista was a flop 5 years later, but Windows 7 revived the brand in 2009. As of today, Windows is now in version 8.1, the first version of the OS to be built for the touchscreen.

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6 user comments

111.11.2013 10:27

Very nice recap here.

211.11.2013 14:41

Decent recap...forgot windows ME and the mobile/embedded versions (the first versions to be built for touchscreen), but then I think most people who worked with these have repressed them anyway.

Also, Windows was not created because DOS was hard to use; that's why DOS Shell was created. Windows was created mostly for the standardized user interface...before Windows most applications that needed a GUI had their own GUI that didn't exist in any other application (or at least didn't exist in applications from their competitors). This often made learning curves harder, it made development harder, and (most importantly to microsoft) applications were not reliant on Microsoft code, so they were easily ported to other, better operating systems as well as working right out of the box on other DOS distros.



311.11.2013 14:46

So WINDOWS turns 30yo, not MICROSOFT.

And even then, Windows 1 and 2 don't really count, do they?

411.11.2013 18:20

Oh, the good old days of ms-dos and trying to manage your 512k ram by using boot disks only to load up mouse and sound to run some of those memory-eating games on floppy's...

512.11.2013 6:37

Originally posted by doowop72:
Oh, the good old days of ms-dos and trying to manage your 512k ram by using boot disks only to load up mouse and sound to run some of those memory-eating games on floppy's...
Yes i remember those days, hymem.sys and the rest. The Windows 1 verses Gem, then jump straight to Windows 3, only to find later that Windows 3.11 was better

612.11.2013 10:42

Originally posted by zxe:
Originally posted by doowop72:
Oh, the good old days of ms-dos and trying to manage your 512k ram by using boot disks only to load up mouse and sound to run some of those memory-eating games on floppy's...
Yes i remember those days, hymem.sys and the rest. The Windows 1 verses Gem, then jump straight to Windows 3, only to find later that Windows 3.11 was better
...And also that Dos Shell was still better than windows 3.11 for almost everything. I also remember running software for 5 years strait without a single glitch or restart, the streak only being broken by a prolonged power outage that let the battery backup run out.

The amazing thing is that in spite of the command-line interface, normal folks figured out DOS without much issue, and found that DOS Shell got in the way for all but a handful of very specific tasks. They might not have known every command or every switch for the commands that they did know, but they got around just fine...and a 30 page "DOS for Dummies" book could turn an absolute novice into a system administrator. Normal folks don't figure out Windows 8 without issue; and it has a touch GUI (well, the start page does anyway; once you launch most apps you need a mouse or at least a stylus)...even once they buy the book or watch the youtube videos they are still hardly more than novices. Heck, even system administrators had a learning curve going from windows 7 to windows 8, trying to figure out where things were and that common applications that were once on the start menu now require shortcuts to be created.


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