Microsoft has been in the desktop OS game for more than 3 decades. The software giant’s proprietary operating system, Windows, was launched in 1985 by Microsoft to provide a more intuitive interface for PC users to interact with the computer.
Windows 1.0 was released in November 1985 and was the first version of the 33-year-old operating system. Windows 1.0 was named so due to the computing boxes, or “windows” that represented a fundamental aspect of the operating system. Before Windows, we had the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS) which was literally a black screen where you can type commands for the computer to carry out. You can still get a feel of MS-DOS when you use the command line in your Windows PC.
The use of windows to display information on desktop operating systems laid the foundation for the beautiful interfaces we now enjoy on our PCs. Windows were particularly valuable in creating multitasking environments which allowed the user to execute several programs at once. By dividing your display into windows, you can see the output from all the programs at the same time.
In order to help people get used to the Windows 1.0 interface, Microsoft created a game called Reversi that relied on mouse control which helped to get people acquainted with moving the mouse around and clicking onscreen elements.
In 1987 Microsoft released Windows 2.0, which was designed for the Intel 286 processor. This version added desktop icons, keyboard shortcuts, and improved graphics support.
Many versions of Windows have been released afterwards, each improving on the goal of the first Windows – making the computer easier to use.