Throwback Thursday: A Look Into The First Window(s)

Samantha Banks
Nov 20, 2014

29 years ago today Microsoft Corporation released a program that would come to be known as one of the two most popular software platforms in the world: Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released November 20, 1985 and was the start to a platform that has come farther than its prototype could have ever dreamed. Let's go back to the 80's and see how this cool new product got its start!

You really want to buy it now, don't you?

About Microsoft 1.0

TBT Look Into the First Windows - Load Page

Microsoft Version 1.0 was founded by now famous Bill Gates, and was a 192KB graphical personal computer operating environment that was designed after Gates learned about Visi On, a similar yet short-lived program to Windows 1.0. Microsoft planned to create an operating system that would run without the need of a pre-existing Microsoft user interface on users' computers, and Windows 1.0 was a successful completion of the task. The system required 192KB of RAM storage, and was installed on floppy disks (remember those?). Check it out:

TBT Look Into the First Windows - Floppies

Unfortunately, Windows 1.0 was not received well by critics - the system focused heavily on one of the newest technical innovations that had not yet reached all computers: the mouse. Nevertheless, the system was a crucial stepping stone on the way to Microsoft's success.

The Features

This version of Windows was the first operating system to offer more than one application in the same package. Here's what you got when you bought Windows 1.0:

A calculator

TBT Look Into the First Windows - Calculator

A notebook

TBT Look Into the First Windows - Notepad

A game


TBT Look Into the First Windows - Write

This application can be considered the first ever prototype of Microsoft Word - it's come a long way, right?

And your favorite: MS Paint

TBT Look Into the First Windows - Paint

This was the first ever version of Microsoft Paint, which grew to be come one of the most popular Microsoft applications offered - drawing on a computer?! Unheard of until Microsoft 1.0 - thanks, Bill!

The system also came with a calendar, a clock, and a terminal window. Different windows did not overlap, but were instead viewed in a tile format. The system was a brand new idea that looks silly now, but was top-of-the-line back in the day. Windows 1.0 was succeeded by Windows 2.0 in November of 1987, and was supported until its discontinuation on December 31st, 2001 - it still stands as the longest running version of Windows at 16 years of run time.

Happy birthday to you, Microsoft Windows! We're glad you've grown up!

Post by Samantha Banks