On November 20, 1985, a small technology company out of Bellevue, Washington launched a 16-bit graphical operating system for the PC. Originally called Windows Premiere Edition.1, it soon became the foundation for the world’s most prevalent operating system and for one of the most dominant technology companies in history.
Now, 25 years later, Microsoft is a household name and co-founder Bill Gates remains the world’s wealthiest person. Back in 1985 though, there was no guarantee of success or knowledge that Windows would dominate the world. It was the beginning of a revolution in computing.
Earlier today, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie resurfaced some of Microsoft’s history in a recent post on his personal blog. In a sealed packet in his office, he uncovered the original press kit for Windows 1.0 and decided to put the documents online. It’s a fascinating look into the beginnings of computing and into a technology that has fundamentally changed our world.
From the company’s original press release:
Microsoft Windows extends the features of the DOS operating system, yet is compatible with most existing applications that run under DOS. Windows lets users integrate the tasks they perform with their computer by providing the ability to work with several programs at the same time and easily switch between them without having to quit and restart individual applications. In addition, it provides a rich foundation for a new generation of applications.
“Windows provides unprecedented power to users today and a foundation for hardware and software advancements of the next few years,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. “It is unique software designed for the serious PC user, who places high value on the productivity that a personal computer can bring.”
Windows 1.0 was the beginning of the Control Panel and the Clipboard, but more importantly it was the beginning of an era that brought personal computing to billions of households worldwide.
[via Seattle PI]
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