Monday, November 11, 2013

Bill Gates presented Windows 30 years ago

I may be around since the days of the "old green phosphor CRT monitors" but I can't stop but feel old whenever I come across something like this: Windows 1.0 was presented to the world by Bill Gates.... 30 years ago! And just so you realize how things were different back then (no, not the lack of YouTube to broadcast the event worldwide), this was a product that would only be launched two years later, in 1985. Just imagine if companies would announce things today that would only be available two years in the future - in these days, in two years time that company might not even exist anymore! :)

Back in those days, Windows wasn't even an actual operating system, but more of an interface shell that added graphical "windows" on top of the old trusted MS-DOS. Those were the days where you had to edit autoexec.bat and config.sys files in order to maximize the amount of free ram you had to get the maximum of 640KB free!

Windows 1.0 allowed us to have multiple open programs in different windows, and even - just imagine - the ability to copy and past information from one window to another! However, you weren't able to move windows on top of eachother, so... this was more like a tiled window environment... which surprisingly, is what windows 8 is back to doing once again!

Windows 1.0 already had a calendar, clock, MS Paint, text editor, etc. The same things you'd expect to find in any modern operating system - and it once again prompts us to ask... have things really evolved proportionally to the rate hardware has evolved? Back then, you'd be running Windows on a computer with 1MB RAM, a few MB more in the hard drive, and a CPU that would run at 4 or 8Mhz - and that would be enough for you to do exactly the same kind of things most people do today.

I still hope someone will someday decide to create a brand new OS, where the primary focus is an instantaneous user feedback response, so the user never has to wait for more than the time it takes for a key to pop back up, or for a finger to be lifted from a touchscreen (and that never crashes even in case of bad behaving apps, and that never asks for a reboot, even it the entire system has updated itself.)

... Guess I'll have to wait for a long time more... :)

1 comment:

  1. Ah. I miss those days. You're right we could do everything then that we could do now, except maybe the whole internet thing. ;-) Computers were much easier to understand back then and much more fun to tinker with.


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