Happy Birthday Windows!

I thought this would be a good time to recognize Windows’ birthday as it has become the dominant operating system that corporations use around the world, and is the foundation that we build our workplace digital signage (DS) products upon. 

Thirty years ago, on November 20, 1985, Microsoft introduced Windows 1. This was their first operating system with a mouse and graphical user interface.  Although these concepts had been already incorporated into computers from Xerox and Apple, “Win 1” popularized those concepts and silenced the critics who had ridiculed them as toys and for use only by children.

Competitive operating systems of course popped up over the years, with some making it and some not.  Notable ones that didn’t include Visi-On by VisiCorp, TopView by IBM and DeskMate by Tandy (I remember that one… had it on my first at-home Radio Shack computer!). The ones that did make it include Linux, iOS and Android, but the clear first choice by companies is still Windows which is run on over 90% of desktop computers. That’s quite a feat given all that competition, some of which is free.

The screen shot above shows Windows 1, complete with 30 megs of disk space, pull-down menus, a graphical clock and a free game of Reversi… those were the days! And click here for a hilarious video of Steve Ballmer introducing it in vintage infomercial style.

So Happy Birthday Windows… here’s to many, many more!

Screen shot from The Verge.

Frank Kenna III
November 24, 2015

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