Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft GUI Operating Systems Windows

Recalling Windows 1.0 At 25 Years 384

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the if-you-knew-then dept.
alphadogg writes "When Microsoft released the very first version of Windows nearly 25 years ago, on Nov. 20, 1985, it was late to the game and little used. Apple had already brought graphical user interfaces to computers with Macintosh more than a year earlier, while DOS systems dominated the market for IBM and IBM-compatible PCs. No one who used this first version was likely to have predicted that Windows would completely dominate the PC market 25 years later..."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Recalling Windows 1.0 At 25 Years

Comments Filter:
  • by ranulf (182665) on Monday November 08, 2010 @10:32AM (#34161022)
    Windows 1.0 was a complete joke - it didn't even support overlapping windows. Even Windows 2.0 in 1987 was pretty bad. About the only thing worth getting it for was the new Word-for-Windows, a WYSIWYG upgrade to Word 6.
  • Hmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OneSmartFellow (716217) on Monday November 08, 2010 @10:32AM (#34161028)
    Yep, it sucked then and it still sucks, kind of like network television.
  • by obergfellja (947995) <obergfelljaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 08, 2010 @10:37AM (#34161064)
    i don't even remember anything before 3.1 because it was a waste of money to even buy before that in Windows.
  • Open Hardware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RichMan (8097) on Monday November 08, 2010 @10:38AM (#34161072)

    Microsoft just rode the wave of open IBM hardware specifications for the business PC. A little knife in the back of things like DRDOS and Microsoft had no competition.

  • Re:Amiga (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymusing (1450747) on Monday November 08, 2010 @10:44AM (#34161122)

    Uh... Apple's GUI was not complete garbage. I agree Amiga was better, but don't dismiss Apple entirely. And the Mac OS eventually did multitask (cooperatively) when Multifinder [wikipedia.org] came out in 1987.

    Also "dominate GUI of the 80s" is kind of like saying the Tesla is the dominant model of electric cars. It might be true (I have no idea), but the electric car market is a small slice of the larger automobile market. Most computers in the 80s were simply not GUI-run. The Amiga was cool but never quite got commercial traction.

  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Monday November 08, 2010 @10:48AM (#34161148) Homepage Journal
    Article was more than confused. On page 1 we've got "Windows 1.0", which is extremely rare, had a bunch of fatal bugs, and was quickly supplanted with 1.01. On page 2, we've got "Windows 2 was, I believe, still in DOS, [...] Windows 3 was the first GUI one that I remember seeing." which is catastrophically nonsense, and then the same 'expert' says "I preferred OS/2 back then. I thought it was a much better operating system. I think it was better technically."

    They just grabbed some random programmers off the street instead of going to actual experts :\ We also have people talking about Windows XP as if it were descended from Windows 1.0 and not OS/2. So crappy...
  • by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:03AM (#34161258)

    Windows 1.0 was a complete joke

    Mayhaps it was mayhaps it wasn't; but one thing I do know: This article is a joke.

    "Windows 2 was, I believe, still in DOS," Easterling says. "Windows 3 was the first GUI one that I remember seeing."

    Why even write the article if you're going to be talking with people so unfamiliar with the software. You're arguing semantics whether it was in or on DOS for it wasn't until XP that the consumer line stopped using it. Kind of like Apple and BSD w/ their shiny UI.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:05AM (#34161272)

    Windows stopped crashing after windows 98. I'm not Microsoft's fault that you can't maintain an OS.

  • by voss (52565) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:12AM (#34161338)

    We might all be running a unix based AmigaOS and listening to our Apods ;-)

  • Re:Open Hardware (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:16AM (#34161370) Homepage Journal

    Rode the wave as in was hired by IBM because negotiations with Digital Research for a CP/M license (saying this as charitably as I can) went nowhere. Digital Research wasn't backstabbed - they were arrogant idiots who lost by purposefully pointing their nose at the ground and applying full thrust.

    MS actually had a lot of competition, they just had three things that let them win:
    1) They were good enough (not necessarily or often better)
    2) They were very persistent
    3) They had very good marketing/business-savvy

  • by mprinkey (1434) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:27AM (#34161506)

    GEOS was great on the C64, but the PC version was excellent. I used Geoworks Ensemble as an undergrad on my 286. It had a functional word processor and desktop tools. And it allowed DOS applications to run under it pretty smoothly...I remember using the symbolic math program Derive under DOS and then writing up the results in the word processor. It was significantly better than Microsoft's (or even Apple's) offerings at the time. Too bad it didn't catch on.

  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:28AM (#34161516) Homepage

    I'm not going to disagree with the premise you make - that Windows 1.0 was a complete joke - but your 'supporting evidence' is a bit of hokum, IMO.

    Why would 'overlapping windows' be a good thing, exactly? Tiling I can see - just now, Windows is finally getting the ability to effectively tile windows. But overlapping? That begs the introduction of features to help deal with display short-comings - like the tear-off corners a person has to use to resize said window.

    Aside from this fact, why would the ability to overlay or tile windows be of any importance when your resolution is negligible and your screen even less so? We're talking about displays only slightly larger than what we find on tablets today, and at significantly lower resolution.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by AHuxley (892839) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:40AM (#34161620) Homepage Journal
    The cost of producing a less crashing OS is now balanced by the value of networked tracking and ads.
    A consumer crashing on one PC at home was not worth the coding time.
    Best to put that cash into marketing the next version of Windows.
    A world wide network of consumers not viewing ads due to Windows crashes, is now worth fixing.
  • by dbIII (701233) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:41AM (#34161630)

    but most of that was due to the machine not having an MMU, so even the best written program couldn't prevent other code from breaking it

    Programmers on the versions of the ARM platform without a MMU do OK today without that happening. The difference back then is the multiple programs were attempting to run without the OS being capable of letting them do so properly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:10PM (#34161932)

    Arghh! Stop listing "no overlapping windows" as the main fault with Win 1.0. That's actually a feature! A great one!
    It's like complaining that some early ford had "doors that closed properly - lame!"
    It isn't a feature to hide a little bit of each window under some other window, and require you to manually position them. It's a bug.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:15PM (#34162000) Homepage Journal

    When Windows 1.0 came out you had a lot of options.
    The Commodore Amiga was right around the corner. It was much more advanced and had real multitasking, stereo sound, and advanced graphics.
    The Atari ST was also just coming out. It was inexpensive and also had a good UI.
    Better doesn't all ways win.
    People stuck with DOS because it ran Lotus 123 and DBase, and WordPerfect.
    People used PCs to develop vertical applications because you could use TurboPascal ,TurboC , TurboBasic, and QuickBasic. You also had a lot of code like Borlands TurboEditor Toolbox, DatabaseToolbox, and Communications Toolbox.
    The other reason was marketing and Press coverage. The magazines of the day couldn't afford to offend the PC market. Would you rather get ad revenue from 30 PC makers or Commodore, Atari, and Apple?
    People will talk all about the benefits of the PCs openness but that was pretty much bull back then. The Amiga and ST where cheaper and more powerful than the average PC. Commodore and Atari at the time published all the pin outs and software specks needed to do anything you wanted much like Apple did back in the Apple II days.

  • by Rich0 (548339) on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:30PM (#34162160) Homepage

    And yet, you speak of 30 PC makers, and only a single vendor for the other options. Almost by definition, it was a more open platform. Indeed, if I dug around in my parent's basement I might just find my commented copy of the original PC BIOS source in the IBM PC Technical Reference manual.

    I do agree that the other platforms were much more open at the time. That was almost a necessity, however, as you don't have all kinds of OS APIs to isolate hardware. If you wanted to draw a line on the screen you just edited the video RAM, or sent IO calls to the video chipset. That is, unless you wanted to write your whole app in BASIC or whatever the vendor supplied in ROM.

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday November 08, 2010 @04:52PM (#34165926) Homepage Journal

    Why would 'overlapping windows' be a good thing, exactly? Tiling I can see - just now, Windows is finally getting the ability to effectively tile windows. But overlapping? That begs the introduction of features to help deal with display short-comings - like the tear-off corners a person has to use to resize said window.

    And yet the other popular consumer GUI OSes of the time, namely AmigaOS and MacOS, had no trouble with it.

    Aside from this fact, why would the ability to overlay or tile windows be of any importance when your resolution is negligible and your screen even less so? We're talking about displays only slightly larger than what we find on tablets today, and at significantly lower resolution.

    I don't even know how to properly respond to this. Had you never used any of the contemporary OSes that supported such things? I promise you that it was very handy, even on a 640x200 (!!!) Amiga with an ancient monitor. It never would have occurred to me that someone would have described the lack of that ability as a feature.

What this country needs is a good five cent microcomputer.

Working...