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Fri Nov 20, 2020, 06:40 AM

35 Years Ago Today; Windows 1.0 is released

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_1.0



Windows 1.0 is a graphical personal computer operating environment developed by Microsoft. Microsoft had worked with Apple Computer to develop applications for Apple's January 1984 original Macintosh, the first mass-produced personal computer with a graphical user interface (GUI) that enabled users to see user friendly icons on screen. Windows 1.0 was released on November 20, 1985, as the first version of the Microsoft Windows line. It runs as a graphical, 16-bit multi-tasking shell on top of an existing MS-DOS installation. It provides an environment which can run graphical programs designed for Windows, as well as existing MS-DOS software. Its development was spearheaded by the company founder Bill Gates after he saw a demonstration of a similar software suite known as Visi On at COMDEX.

Despite positive responses to its early presentations and support from a number of hardware and software makers, Windows 1.0 was received poorly by critics. Critics felt Windows 1.0 did not meet their expectations. In particular, they felt that Windows 1.0 put too much emphasis on mouse input at a time when mouse use was not yet widespread; not providing enough resources for new users; and for performance issues, especially on systems with lower computer hardware specifications. Despite these criticisms, Windows 1.0 was an important milestone for Microsoft, as it introduced the Microsoft Windows line. Windows 1.0 was declared obsolete and Microsoft stopped providing support and updates for the system on December 31, 2001.


A Microsoft Windows 1.0 brochure published in January 1986

History
Microsoft began developing a graphical user interface (GUI) in 1981. The development of Windows began after Microsoft founder Bill Gates saw a demonstration at COMDEX 1982 of VisiCorp's Visi On, a GUI software suite for IBM PC compatible computers. In 1983 Microsoft learned that Apple's own GUI software—based in part on Xerox PARC technology–was much more sophisticated, and decided that its own product would be different.

Microsoft first presented Windows to the public on November 10, 1983. Requiring two floppy disk drives and 192 KB of RAM, Microsoft described the software as a device driver for MS-DOS 2.0. By supporting cooperative multitasking in tiled windows when using well-behaved applications that only used DOS system calls, and permitting non-well-behaved applications to run in a full screen, Windows differed from both Visi On and Apple Computer's Lisa by immediately offering many applications. Unlike Visi On, Windows developers did not need to use Unix to develop IBM PC applications; Microsoft planned to encourage other companies, including competitors, to develop programs for Windows by not requiring a Microsoft user interface in their applications.

Many manufacturers of MS-DOS computers such as Compaq, Zenith, and DEC promised to provide support, as did software companies such as Ashton-Tate and Lotus. After previewing Windows, BYTE magazine stated in December 1983 that it "seems to offer remarkable openness, reconfigurability, and transportability as well as modest hardware requirements and pricing … Barring a surprise product introduction from another company, Microsoft Windows will be the first large-scale test of the desktop metaphor in the hands of its intended users".

From early in Windows' history Gates viewed it as Microsoft's future. He told InfoWorld magazine in April 1984 that "Our strategies and energies as a company are totally committed to Windows, in the same way that we're committed to operating-system kernels like MS-DOS and Xenix. We're also saying that only applications that take advantage of Windows will be competitive in the long run." IBM was notably absent from Microsoft's announcement, and by late 1984, the press reported a "War of the Windows" between Windows, IBM's TopView, and Digital Research's Graphics Environment Manager (GEM). Microsoft had promised in November 1983 to ship Windows by April 1984, but subsequently denied that it had announced a release date, and predicted that Windows would ship by June 1985. During its development and before its windowing system was developed, it was briefly referred to by the codename Interface Manager. Deemphasizing multitasking, the company stated that Windows' purpose, unlike that of TopView, was to "turn the computer into a graphics-rich environment" while using less memory. After Microsoft persuaded IBM that the latter needed a GUI, in April 1987 the two companies announced the introduction of OS/2 and its graphical OS/2 Presentation Manager, which were supposed to ultimately replace both MS-DOS and Windows. In November 1987, Windows 1.0 was succeeded by Windows 2.0. Microsoft supported Windows 1.0 for 16 years, until December 31, 2001 – the longest out of all versions of Windows.



When it (Windows) began... (edited for clarity)

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 06:42 AM

1. Groan!!!

I feel old now.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 06:44 AM

2. Tandy DeskMate was better

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 06:49 AM

3. No. Home PC market began (graphically) with Apple Macintosh. Many PCs preceded that w/out graphics.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 06:51 AM

5. I'm speaking *specifically* about Windows as an OS, not PC's in general

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 08:22 AM

11. As an operating system, it was DOS until Windows NT, and then Windows 2000

Windows 1.0 through 3.1, and Windows 95 (and Windows Me, lol) were graphical environments that sat on top of the DOS operating system. Their operating system with an integrated windowing environment was Windows NT (aimed at commercial clients). Windows 2000 was the first version aimed at personal users, a development of NT.

An operating system runs the whole computer and all the programs on it, not just the display and user interaction.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 03:13 PM

13. Windows 95 was Windows 4.0 running on Dos 7.

I played around quite a bit with DR-DOS / Windows Island of Doctor Moreau hybrids.


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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 04:04 PM

16. The Apple Macintosh was a very expensive toy...

... until it was adopted by commercial publishing industry.

Bruce Horn's resource forks made that happen.

In the early 'eighties my then girlfriend's family engineering firm had a couple of Macs in the reception lobby to look cool, but that's not what they were using on the factory floor for the heavy lifting.

Not to disparage Macs. My daughter-in-law is some sort of Macintosh guru.

I'm a Linux guy.



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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 06:50 AM

4. I ran PC Tools for Dos for years and didn't do any Windows OS until 3.11

until Win 2k, most MS OS pretty much sucked on consumer side

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 07:28 AM

6. This was not a high point in the history of PC OS's

Microsoft eventually re-forged it into a reliable platform, but it took them DECADES to pull it off.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 08:01 AM

7. hubby beta tested it and was at the rollout with Jay Leno and Bill Gates and Steve in Seattle..

...he took my friend who was also a geek and she had never ever even used it before ( except for the short tutorial hubby gave her before they arrived) and the Microsoft team chose her from the entire audience to come up on stage and demo it. Apparently she demo'ed it correctly..

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Response to samnsara (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 08:12 AM

10. ha! nice! I was there, too. One of the "top bug catchers" for the Chicago beta

one of my catches even made the readme.txt file (something about lowering graphics performance with certain Toshiba laptops)

That was a fun trip up there. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. I even met Steve Ballmer at an Incredible Universe the night of launch. The Pres (or some other very high up) of Incredible Universe was there, too, and we talked him into letting us install the Plus Pack on one of the display computers.

Had a meeting on Microsoft's campus the following day and joined a group of volunteers called ClubWin. We monitored the Microsoft Usenet newsgroups to help new users. i focused on home networking and had put together a little document of how to configure a home network of PCs using TCP/IP. We even got sent jackets with a ClubWin logo. wore that for a long time.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 08:03 AM

8. I finally finished Halt and Catch Fire...so good!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 08:10 AM

9. My first time using Windows was version 2.1 in the early 90s

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 10:38 AM

12. I was playing with GSX at the time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEM_%28desktop_environment%29

Microsoft was playing catch-up, they were not the innovator. The first modern graphical operating system were developed by Xerox PARC in the early 'seventies.

I remember playing with a Xerox Star Workstation in 1981. Xerox was demonstrating them at my university. They were expensive!



The first real operating system I used regularly was BSD.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Software_Distribution

As a lowly undergrad I didn't get a lot of time on the expensive graphics terminals, but access to those was one of the reasons I'd be in the computer lab at two in the morning.

My all time favorite computers were the Atari 8 bits. I still have those machines emulated on my Linux Desktop.

As the World Wide Web became popular I started using graphical browsers that ran on Windows. Opera became my favorite browser, back when it cost $35.

I was using a heavily modified version of Windows 98SE and Opera when I first logged onto DU. But Debian Linux was like going home again. Most of my BSD stuff just worked, my finger memory came back, and I decided I wasn't going to deal with any Microsoft or Apple crap any more unless someone was paying me.

Under the hood, Microsoft Windows is still a crufty horror show. It always has been, from version 1, and has steadily evolved into the 12 gigabyte nightmare it is today.

The Apple desktop operating systems were a similar mess until Apple discarded it all and built a new OS from the ground up, based upon a BSD foundation they called Darwin.

Modern smartphones and tablets simply irritate me. I bought an Android tablet because my wife carries one everywhere, along with her smart phone, but I just don't get it. It's bad enough that I have to have to carry a cell phone. My compromise is a little flip phone which I tolerate because it reminds me of a Star Trek communicator.

Beam me up, Scotty!



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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 03:17 PM

14. I have a full set of 3.0 floppies

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 03:29 PM

15. I was in my first year of college when a toking-buddy introduced me to PCs

It was Windows 1 and all I could think was "Man!!! This is THE peak of technology. There's no way tech can be any more advanced than what I'm looking at. Load the bowl again, and show me this ultimate machine that can do ANYTHING" while the Moody Blues and Yes are playing on the stereo.

He also had the first modem I'd ever seen (outside of Wargames) that had the cradle-the-phone-into-the-modem setup, and showed off by sending an email to his brother who lived in Europe. I'm thinking "Star Trek, here we are! Next year, light-speed travel."

So I still sometimes find it weird (in a cool way) how incredibly ubiquitous and common GUIs have become in almost every aspect of my life... and how innocent I was in regards to how it would eventually proliferate my existence, from work to home to car.

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