Microsoft Windows turns 21!

Believe it or not Windows is 21 years old on Monday. When it was launched in 1985 the PC market was barely out of it's infancy, and whatever you may think of Microsoft it is amazing what they Bill Gates & Co have built in such a relatively short time.

Windows has been through many iterations since Windows 1.0 hit the shelves 21 years ago, with the latest and most advanced (and probably the most expensive) Vista due to be launched soon after 5 years of development.

In honour of Windows birthday and to celebrate it's coming of age, here are 21 things you never knew about Windows, Microsoft and Bill Gates:

  1. Windows 1.0 was released on 20th Nov 1985 and the hardware requirements were 256KB of RAM, DOS 2.0 and two floppy drives, two years late.
  2. The retail price was $100, which is worth about $177 in today's money - the same as Windows XP Home.
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As far as I could ever find out Windows 1.0 was never released due to a serious bug. Windows 1.01 was the first actual release. I may be wrong though, but I've never been able to find proof one way or another. Also Reversi hasn't been part of Windows since 3.0 and Write was dropped after 3.1 (a stub remained that points to wordpad).

So I guess this means Windows is old enough to take out for a drink...!

Here's to you Windows bro! Hope you keep getting better... and maybe lose a few million lines of code bloat!


Windows 1.0 was released on 20th Nov 1985 and the hardware requirements were 256KB of RAM, DOS 2.0 and two floppy drives, two years late.

"Nobody will ever need more than 640k RAM!" -- Bill Gates, 1981
"Windows 95 needs at least 8 MB RAM." -- Bill Gates, 1996
"Nobody will ever need Windows 95." -- logical conclusion

"Nobody will ever need more than 640k RAM!" -- Bill Gates, 1981
This "quote" isn't even close to the original phrasing of this urban legend.
"Windows 95 needs at least 8 MB RAM."
Another myth...the box itself sez 4 megs is the minimum system requirement for Win95.

Neither "quote" is funny, either. This is funny, tho...

"Windows 95: 32-bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16-bit patch to an 8-bit operating system originally coded for a 4-bit microprocessor, written by a 2-bit company that can't stand 1 bit of competition."

It's easy to see how religion came about when so many people peddle blindly statements they came across elsewhere as fact. This is only recent history so you can only imagine what a couple of thousand years would do. Unfortunately we will never eliminate the stupid people from society.

Yeah, ripping it to shreds. But really, I can't see how you think MS is copying except for maybe the fundamental idea of making things "prettier", and seeing as how most companies are doing this, you can't really call it copying, at least not from any one specific source.

My guess is this person is refering to the misguided thought that Microsoft stole the idea of Windows from Apple. If this was the person's thought, most likely they are unaware that the GUI was actually created by PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) and that both MS and Apple saw the GUI at approx the same moment in time (within weeks of each other)

Often many users do not know this piece of history. So be nice to the person, knowledge is not everything that anyone actually understands completely.


Apple licensed PARC's GUI and refined it to bring it to market. Microsoft was more heavily influenced by the Mac OS than Xerox, but it still took them until 1995 to come up with something vaguely resembling Mac OS '84.

21. Over 5 million testers signed up for Vista’s release candidates (I’m wagering the first patch will be released within 3 weeks!)

This was confirmed before the code was signed off. There is a bug in Explorer where the tree selection maintains focus when you are deleting files in the right pane. This will be fixed with a patch update. The first confirmed patch coming as far as I am aware. Confirmed none the less on beta newsgroups.