Windows 1.0 turns 27 years old today

Nov 20, 2012

The release of Windows 8 might be in full swing, but wouldn't it be nice to reminisce about simpler times? It turns out, today is the 27th birthday of Windows 1.0. That's right: the first ever version of Windows was released on November 20, 1985. 27 years is a long time, and it's fun to think about how far along the operating system has come since then.

Windows 1.0 was Microsoft's first attempt at a multi-tasking graphical user interface used in a PC operating system. Development began as far as back 1981, when Microsoft started the project and called it "Interface Manager." It wasn't until two years later when they renamed it to "Windows" and showed it off to the public for the first time.

Of course, Microsoft received a lot of grief, claiming that the company used a lot of the features that were on Apple's upcoming Macintosh user interface, so they ended up changing around a few features before they initially released Windows 1.01 two years later on November 20, 1985. The new OS didn't gain a lot of interest, and market share growth was slow at the start.

Windows 1.0 was quickly succeeded by Windows 2.0 in 1987, which introduced Microsoft Word and Excel to the Windows mix, and third-party developer support was more imminent in the newer 2.0 version. Both Windows 1.0 and 2.0 stuck around for awhile, until Microsoft dropped support for both versions at the end of 2001.

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