Microsoft Windows, the operating system that rose to dominance of the home and business PC market turns 25 years old today. Windows 1.0 was released on November 20, 1985, and at first didn't catch on as well as Microsoft had hoped. Two years later Microsoft would release Windows 2.0, and then Windows 3.1 which got the ball rolling.
Windows 1.0 started as a graphical user interface for MS-DOS back in September 1981 and at the time named "Interface Manager." Bill Gates would later on present this development to the public on November 10 1983 where it was renamed "Windows." The name "Windows" comes from the name given to the graphic elements of individual tasks which could be moved around. Microsoft was very proud of their product, but others weren't ready to jump on the bandwagon yet, or even think there was going to be a bandwagon.
Carnegie Mellon IT guy Nathaniel Borenstein didn't see Windows as anything special, and according to Gizmodo even had this to say when demoed the GUI: "We laughed, just laughed them out of the place because we had a vastly superior window manager of our own, and these guys came in with this pathetic and naïve system. We just knew they were never going to accomplish anything."
Two years later Windows 1.0 shipped, but not as much more than a user interface to DOS with very limited functionality, including the inability to overlap windows. Over at Apple, in 1984 Mac OS was released, which was a functional, yet command line lacking OS. Microsoft had to play catch up and make something that wasn't strictly a GUI to MS-DOS, but that would have features of its own too.
Microsoft Windows would come to be respected in the workplace with Windows 3.1, and then even more at home with the release of Windows 95. From there the next major improvement came with Windows NT which operating systems Windows 2000 and Windows XP through Windows 7 are based on, and included a new file system, NTFS.
Windows has certainly come a long way in usability, concepts, looks, innovation, and even popularity from its early days. Here is to another 25 good years, you've earned it!