Microsoft celebrated the 35th anniversary of its most iconic developments so far, the Windows operating system which was first launched on November 20, 1985. History was created in the process, for the software went on to become one of the most used the world over and touched people’s lives in almost every conceivable manner.
However, all of this started with the Windows 1.0 which was nothing more than a GUI over the Windows DOS platform. However, the first Windows is still special in that it was the first GUI ever attempted in 16-bit. Windows 1.0 was also unique in that it required the use of mouse extensively for its operation.
The first Windows also came with some nice features that would have been considered ahead of its time. Those included a Word processor, file manager, drawing book, an address book, calculator, calendar, notepad, clock and so on. Plus, there was the Reversi strategy board game available as well which allowed for getting used to with the mouse, something of a novelty back then.
However, no matter how impressive, or otherwise the first Windows might seem to be, the fact is, it wasn’t well received when first launched. That was mainly because it was just a GUI on top of the DOS and was not an operating system as such. Rather, the Windows 2.0 launched in 1987 can be considered more of a platform, paving the way for future iterations with each version being markedly improved over its predecessor.
Interestingly, the Windows 1.0 wasn’t exactly cheap, given its $99 at the time. Consider the far more slick and refined Windows 10 at the moment that was initially offered for free but is now available for $139 for the basic Home version. In between, we have had such versions as the Windows 95, 98, Windows XP, and the more recent Windows 7 which attained cult status among users.
The Windows 1.0, however, was declared obsolete in 2001 with Microsoft shutting down all form of support to the software.