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.