A Blast From Microsoft’s Past: Windows 1.0

Microsoft’s Windows operating system is close to many of our hearts and it seems like it’s been around forever! The world got its first glimpse of what would become the most revolutionary development in home computing on 20th November 1985, when Microsoft launched the almighty Windows 1.0.

Thrifty Gates

The soon to be most-favoured operating system did not have the best reception when it was first released, and – believe it or not – was actually criticised for relying too heavily on mouse input. The aim of Microsoft’s Windows 1.0 was to make personal computers a product that the masses could afford. By doing this Bill Gates managed to undercut competitors such as Apple and IBM that came with price tags of around $10,000! These were unfathomable for the average Joe to purchase, but with Microsoft’s Windows 1.0 at just $99, well, how could the consumer resist? Clever Bill! This extremely competitive pricing allowed Windows to launch straight to the head of the pack and become the leaders of the PCs.

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A Blast From Microsoft's Past Windows 1.0

What you got for your money

The first version of Windows 1.0 included many features that we would now simply laugh at, but this was pretty advanced stuff, and most of these are still to this day included in all of the Windows operating systems. If you were to purchase Microsoft’s latest and greatest product in 1985 you could expect Paint, Notepad, Calculator, Clock, Card File, MS-DOS file management, Windows Writer, Calendar and (yes, there is another feature!) a game called Reversi!

We found an advert for the brand spanking new Windows 1.0, and we don’t think it is over the top at all! Check it out here and see for yourselves just how amazing Windows 1.0 was when it was first released.

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Since then…

The technology giant that is Microsoft created an operating system that has since gone from strength to strength. Dominating the world’s computer operating systems market with over 79% of the total market share in September 2014 this statistic combines all of the current Windows operating systems including Vista, XP, 7, 8 and 8.1. Windows has become the standard operating system for most businesses, so when thinking of starting a development project many people opt for developing Windows applications in order to create a product that is easy to use and familiar for employees and customer alike.

The new Windows 10

From Windows 1.0 to Windows 10, Microsoft has developed an operating system that has a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy. From PCs to laptops, smartphones to tablets, Windows 10 is ‘one application platform for all devices’. Microsoft is reintroducing our beloved ‘start button’ and after the disappointment from the enterprise community on Windows 8.1, executive vice president of the Operating Systems Group (OSG) Terry Myeron, stated on stage on 30 September 2014 that “Windows 10 is going to be our greatest enterprise platform ever.”

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Long Live Windows!

After nearly 30 years of Windows, we can’t get enough! Although there will always be criticism from consumers, techies and experts, Microsoft’s Windows is the operating system that we hold most dear to us.

Karen Harding is the Marketing Manager for an Essex based software development and digital marketing company – Objective IT. Karen and the team like to look back at Microsoft’s humble beginnings to see how far they have come.