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Microsoft Windows 1.01 Turns 27 Years Old

By - Source: SlashGear | B 27 comments

Windows 1.01 is old enough to be married, own a home and have at least one child capable of playing pre-school games on a Windows 8 tablet.

SlashGear points out that Windows celebrated a birthday on Tuesday, as Microsoft's first retail attempt at a multi-tasking graphical user interface-based OS on a PC platform, Windows 1.01, was launched on November 20, 1985 -- 27 years ago.

To put this date into perspective, here's what happened in the same month: Paul McCartney released the song "Spies Like Us", President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time, and the 22nd Space Shuttle Mission concluded with the landing of the Challenger at Edwards AFB.

Development of the popular platform reportedly began sometime around September 1981 when Microsoft started a project called "Interface Manager". The 16-bit platform wasn't revealed to the public until just over two years later, on November 10, 1983, then renamed as "Microsoft Windows".

The initial feedback stemming from the beta's introduction wasn't overly positive, as critics insisted the new platform was too similar to Apple's own Macintosh platform. The company thus went back to the drawing board and made several changes to the user UI over the next two years before the OS went retail as Windows 1.01 on November 20, 1985.

Unfortunately the Windows 1.x market share growth was slow, as Apple's Macintosh remained the platform of choice at the time due to its established presence in the advertising and design sector (and a little help from Adobe). Microsoft didn't release Windows 2.0 until December 9, 1987 – just after Paramount aired the 10th episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (Haven) – which was the first platform to play host to Windows versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

To generate business, Microsoft reportedly bundled a runtime version of Windows with Microsoft Excel and other applications so that consumers could test drive Windows without having to shell out additional funds. Apple's legal hounds eventually came knocking on Microsoft's doors, saying that Windows 2.0 violated copyright law by using the same icons found on Apple's Macintosh OS.

In 2001, around the time Microsoft launched the fifth version aka Windows XP (5.x), Microsoft finally dropped support for both Windows 1.x and Windows 2.x. Now with Windows 8 starting to saturate the market, Microsoft is seemingly facing the same stiff reception it endured with the introduction of Windows 1.0. Will history repeat itself with Microsoft making changes to the platform to address some of the negative feedback it's already received?

We'll find out soon enough.

 

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  • 24 Hide
    mrmaia , November 21, 2012 1:14 PM
    Quote:
    Apple's legal hounds eventually came knocking on Microsoft's doors, saying that Windows 2.0 violated copyright law by using the same icons found on Apple's Macintosh OS.


    So Apple is a b****y lawsuit troll for over two decades? LOL
  • 11 Hide
    ojas , November 21, 2012 1:37 PM
    Windows 1.01 looks more usable than Metro.
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    waxdart , November 21, 2012 1:09 PM
    Oh the 27 year milestone.
  • 24 Hide
    mrmaia , November 21, 2012 1:14 PM
    Quote:
    Apple's legal hounds eventually came knocking on Microsoft's doors, saying that Windows 2.0 violated copyright law by using the same icons found on Apple's Macintosh OS.


    So Apple is a b****y lawsuit troll for over two decades? LOL
  • 4 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 21, 2012 1:19 PM
    Here's a Youtube video of someone upgrading from all the way from Windows 1 to Windows 2000 then to Windows 7 on a VM machine, and running compatibility test using Monkey Island and Doom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPnehDhGa14
  • 6 Hide
    cscott_it , November 21, 2012 1:20 PM
    Even as a boy, I remember all of the feedback against GUI's. My father, said that it was "over-complicating a simple process to make it accessible..... anyone who should use a computer would take the time to LEARN how to use it...". Of course, that old man is a chemical engineer, so I'm not sure how much weight I would give to his argument.

    Still, I've said it time and time again - Whether you like it or not, change is going to happen. GUI's should evolve. What we consider normal should be challenged. Then again, I'm a proponent of "progress for the sake of progress". There are always going to be people who resist change, whether it's minor like the start menu, a kernel revision, or a completely new operating system.
  • 2 Hide
    freggo , November 21, 2012 1:23 PM
    Win = 3^3 :-)

    I know, it's silly, but what is 27 PC years in human years seeing that the generation cycle of Hardware seems to be in the 6 month range, even shorter with browsers, and a bit longer for OSes.

  • 5 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 21, 2012 1:26 PM
    cscott_itEven as a boy, I remember all of the feedback against GUI's. My father, said that it was "over-complicating a simple process to make it accessible..... anyone who should use a computer would take the time to LEARN how to use it...". Of course, that old man is a chemical engineer, so I'm not sure how much weight I would give to his argument.Still, I've said it time and time again - Whether you like it or not, change is going to happen. GUI's should evolve. What we consider normal should be challenged. Then again, I'm a proponent of "progress for the sake of progress". There are always going to be people who resist change, whether it's minor like the start menu, a kernel revision, or a completely new operating system.


    I recall in the history books...:

    A British company turned down the telegram, figuring that messenger boys were sufficient.

    Western Union, formerly a telegram company, turned down the telephone invention.

    The first cars often generated panic. Illinois still has an unrepealed law from like the late 19th century or very early 20th century that required all motorists to call the police station before arriving at their town. Though I don't think it has been enforced for decades.

    Early movies were considered sinful, regardless of what theme they had or etc.
  • 5 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 21, 2012 1:30 PM
    EDIT: And let's not forget about the concept of "Earth is not the center of the universe" that resulted in at least one house arrest and tons of book burning.
  • 0 Hide
    tburns1 , November 21, 2012 1:35 PM
    mrmaiaSo Apple is a b****y lawsuit troll for over two decades? LOL

    I seem to remember a certain sign-on sound being called "sosueme".
  • 11 Hide
    ojas , November 21, 2012 1:37 PM
    Windows 1.01 looks more usable than Metro.
  • -3 Hide
    A Bad Day , November 21, 2012 1:48 PM
    ojasWindows 1.01 looks more usable than Metro.


    Good luck finding drivers and software for Windows 1. I'm pretty sure it would only recognize one core.
  • 0 Hide
    jerrspud , November 21, 2012 1:57 PM
    double post
  • 0 Hide
    jerrspud , November 21, 2012 1:59 PM
    Quote:
    ...December 9, 1987 – just after Paramount aired the 10th episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (Haven) – ...
    .

    This is a disaster. Paramount didn't have network to air this on in 1987. TNG was in syndication :p 
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , November 21, 2012 2:06 PM
    It seems strange that Windows 1 was criticized in 1983 for being similar to the Macintosh, which, as we've all seen the commercial, arrived in 1984.
  • 6 Hide
    jaquith , November 21, 2012 2:15 PM
    Crap I'm old, I still remember DOS 1.01 in the early 80's and 5-1/4" floppies?! :o 
  • 1 Hide
    billgatez , November 21, 2012 2:23 PM
    SpychoIt seems strange that Windows 1 was criticized in 1983 for being similar to the Macintosh, which, as we've all seen the commercial, arrived in 1984.


    The apple Lisa had a GUI and came out in 1983 two months before Windows 1.01.
  • 5 Hide
    thecolorblue , November 21, 2012 2:42 PM
    A Bad DayGood luck finding drivers and software for Windows 1. I'm pretty sure it would only recognize one core.

    woosh.....
    right over your head
  • 5 Hide
    axiler , November 21, 2012 2:44 PM
    I'm surprised I haven't seen a link to this but here goes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk

    Ballmer selling Windows 1.0.
  • 0 Hide
    murzar , November 21, 2012 3:33 PM
    Erm.. happy birthday?
  • 2 Hide
    cookoy , November 21, 2012 3:59 PM
    ah windows and os/2... those were the back-stabbing good old days
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