25 years with Windows: What’s your story?

Anniversary of Version 1.0 release takes us back to the future

This month marks an important landmark in the computer industry – the 25th anniversary of the Windows 1.0 operating system. Love it or loathe it, you can’t deny the significant impact Windows has had on the way we use computers.

The year was 1985. Apple had already wowed the world with the release of the Macintosh the year before, but PC users were already chomping at the bit for the new Windows 1.0 operating system since the limited release of its predecessor, Interface Manager, the previous year.

Sure, it was just a shell operating over DOS and seemed less sleek graphically than its Macintosh counterpart, but look at the colors! And it had Reversi!


Related coverage:

The good, the bad, the kludgy: A brief history of Microsoft OSes


It was a magical time for computer operators. “Back to the Future” had just come out that summer, so we were pretty dazzled by “flux capacitors” and “Mr. Fusion.” But despite having the future thrown at us from all angles, too many of the computer-using population were still doing what they’d always done – entering line commands. For people who were part of a cutting-edge industry, we could be surprisingly set in our ways at times.

So, it took a few versions before Windows really caught on. Then, about the time Microsoft forsook version numbers for release years (if it had been hardware they’d have started using made-up words), people started standing in long lines in the middle of the night to be one of the first to get the newest version. And they have been ever since.

Only now, at the negative-fifth anniversary of the future that Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrive at in Part II, Microsoft has gone back to version numbers, with Windows 7. Heavy.

Please share your experiences with Windows over the past quarter-century, and let us know which of the many flavors you most loved (or hated). We’d like to put them all together before the official anniversary, Nov. 20.

 

About the Author

Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.

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