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Recalling Windows 1.0 At 25 Years

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the if-you-knew-then dept.

Microsoft 384

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..."

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Windows 1.0 was barely usable (5, Insightful)

ranulf (182665) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161060)

Overlapping windows were patented by Apple, so they couldn't be implemented.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (3, Insightful)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161064)

i don't even remember anything before 3.1 because it was a waste of money to even buy before that in Windows.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161120)

3.0 wasn't bad. I ran it on my 8086 for a while. It was pretty easy to break, 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. It ran moderately well in 640KB of RAM, as long as you didn't try running too many programs at once (where 'too many' is more than 2-3, or more than one large program). My father's company got their first license for free with a program called MetaDesign, a diagramming program. The company that made it decided that it was easier to write it for Win16 and bundle a copy of Windows than it was to write their own 2D graphics and windowing toolkit.

The software was crap not the hardware (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (2, Informative)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161652)

3.0 was where I came in, and it wasn't that much worse than 3.1 (I dimly recall that the first practical application we had that required Windows was the control and analysis software for a lab instrument). This site has a nice history of GUIs, including early versions of Windows:

http://toastytech.com/guis/index.html [toastytech.com]
http://toastytech.com/guis/indexwindows.html [toastytech.com]

My first GUI was actually Suntools, several years before I tried a Mac (or Windows 3):

http://toastytech.com/guis/sv35.html [toastytech.com]

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161470)

Even at 3.1, Windows was a bit clunky. That's what my first PC came with (I jumped to Win 3.1 from a Commodore 64), and honestly, I just didn't use it much. I set the system to just boot to a prompt by default.

All good games back then were for DOS. I spent a lot of time on BBS systems where the best terminal programs were for DOS too. My word processor? I'll admit that I had a pirated copy of Wordperfect 5.1 that I used for years after getting my Windows system - also in DOS.

Multitasking on Windows back then was a joke, and for single apps, Windows just felt so much slower than DOS that I didn't like using it. It wasn't until Windows 95 that I started spending more time in Windows than in DOS.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (4, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161082)

Agreed. I remember trying out Windows 1.0 and thinking: this is it? Yuck. Even the initial releases of GEM [wikipedia.org] were better than Windows 1.0. It wasn't until 3.0 that Windows started being usable.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (4, Funny)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161176)

Hey, but the thing that makes Windows Windows [angband.pl] was already there, even if it looked less organized than in later version.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161308)

Damn, you could view the Matrix directly with Windows 1.0?

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (3, Funny)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161400)

...there's way too much information to decode the Matrix. You get used to it, though. Your brain does the translating. I don't even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, redhead.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161546)

Wow, the fonts look almost as bad as on OpenSolaris!

GEOS was better than windows 1.0 (3, Informative)

voss (52565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161274)

Remember that Commodore 64 program? :)

Re:GEOS was better than windows 1.0 (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161494)

I had it on a disk (my C64 was bought USED and game with a huge box full of software for me to play around with and sort through), but after loading it and looking at it I quickly found that I couldn't find a use for it.

Of course, a major reason behind that was likely that I didn't actually have the C64 mouse add-on :D.

Re:GEOS was better than windows 1.0 (3, Insightful)

mprinkey (1434) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (3, Informative)

BrightSpark (1578977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161296)

Yup, I used Dosshell (ascii menuing system) on my IBM-Compatible (MS-DOS of course, not PC-DOS) rather than use anything that needed a mouse until I got my 286. Still, this was a vast improvement over the old 1983 Commodore64 and the tape drive, where a saved game or document was accessed by fast forwarding a standard audio cassette to a preset number you had written down, then type load" and play! Which in turn beats a stack of punch cards, typing blind with no monitor and asking an nice operator to pop your disk pack into a large washing machine for you :-) Happy days. Tell the young people of today that, and they won't believe yer!

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (2, Interesting)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161426)

I never had to do punch cards... but I do remember the audio cassettes. Hard to believe we did things like that!!!

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (3, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161192)

We had Windows 2.

It seemed utterly pointless at the time. Dad had his office suite (Symphony for DOS!) that didn't need it, games didn't run out of it. The only time I ever loaded up windows was when I wanted to play reversi. And that wasn't very often because let me tell you, I sucked at reversi when I was 9.

I guess I didn't really get the point of windows until we got our next PC, years later, which had a P75 in it and ran Win 3.11
And I still used DOS more often because you had to boot into DOS mode to get Mechwarrior 2 running...

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (4, Interesting)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161194)

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.

Windows only became truly useful once the Windows/386 variant of Windows 2.1 came out. I hardly ever used the GUI part of it, but its support for multiple virtual DOS sessions with built-in EMS was a great feature at the time. The early Windows GUI apps were generally a joke. I used mostly DOS apps in virtual consoles until Windows95 came out.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (1)

porter235 (413926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161198)

Windows 1.0 was a complete joke - it didn't even support overlapping windows.

Personally I have learned to HATE overlapping windows and would love to have a tabbed & tiling window manager for Windows. (Need to use it at work) I now find that I work with two monitors with one application maxed on each.

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161276)

What happens if you need to run more than two applications? Do you buy another monitor?

Must be costly to browse deeper than two directories with the explorer and separate windows...

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (1)

porter235 (413926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161310)

1) I don't ever need to see more than 2 explorer windows at a time. (SRC and DESTINATION)

2) This is why I want a tabbed and tiling WM! :)

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (1)

flnca (1022891) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161462)

Have you ever tried to use the tiling function that's built-in in Windows? Windows always had that function. In Windows 7, you simply right-click on the task bar and choose the menu item. :)

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (1)

Jesse_vd (821123) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161492)

At least windows 7 now lets you snap a program to the left or right half of any monitor and move it around easily with the Win+Left and Win+Right commands (or just drag it to the outer boundaries, but this doesn't work for the inside where your monitors meet)

Re:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (4, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Windows 1.0 was barely usable (3, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161516)

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.

PageMaker (3, Informative)

aaronrp (773980) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161576)

Aldus PageMaker 3 ran under Windows 2. It came with the run-time version of Windows (that could only be used with that one application), but ran properly under the full Windows 2. We used it for typesetting in college. At the time, PageMaker was the "it" program.

I think the original Balance of Power game ran under Windows 1 run-time.

Hmmm (1, Insightful)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161028)

Yep, it sucked then and it still sucks, kind of like network television.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161058)

Windows 7 is pretty awesome.

Re:Hmmm (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161116)

If you can stomach the UI and call not crashing all the time an achievement, I guess you can say it's awesome.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161156)

Credit where it's due. For Microsoft, a product not crashing all the time is a huge achievement.

Re:Hmmm (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161272)

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

Re:Hmmm (1, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161620)

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.

Another GUI failure (1)

judoguy (534886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161044)

Anyone remember IBM's TopView? I still have the floppies just because it was so bad, I hate to get rid of them. Might be worth something someday to the museum of dead end software.

Re:Another GUI failure (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161108)

I remember it being text based, multitasking, and used quite a bit... and not a failed GUI, for starters it would have to have graphics

Re:Another GUI failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161246)

As *I* recall, TopView was task-switching only, not multitasking. Your description more aptly describes DESQview.

Re:Another GUI failure (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161560)

well I guess that depends, if you ran it on a PC (I guess you can run it on a pc) or XT then yes it would only switch, on an AT it would run programs concurrently

Re:Another GUI failure (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161430)

What, it was so bad that you dare not get rid of it lest it fall into the wrong hands?

I know that feeling.

Amiga (1, Troll)

pyster (670298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161048)

Apple? Lets not re-write history. Amiga OS was the DOMINATE gui of the 80s. Apple's GUI was complete garbage; AND IT DIDNT MULTI TASK.

Re:Amiga (4, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Amiga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161126)

Apple did it first, which was the point of the summary.

Re:Amiga (1, Troll)

SirThe (1927532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161386)

Apple did it first, which was the point of the summary.

No they didn't, Apple ripped off Xerox.

Re:Amiga (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161674)

No they didn't, Apple paid Xerox money and Xerox gave them stuff.

Re:Amiga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161388)

Xerox.

Re:Amiga (0, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161128)

Amiga didnt even come out till 1987 and by then there was more than a half dozen revamps to the mac and mac os totaling in the millions of machines

lets not confuse the facts with misty eyed nostalgia, Amiga rocked, to bad no one bought many

Re:Amiga (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161172)

"lets not confuse the facts with misty eyed nostalgia"
Says the one who can't check facts himself and indulges in wrong nostalgia instead.

Check the facts yourself: Amiga was launched in 1985. [wikipedia.org]

Facts. Easy to check these days, Osgeld.

Re:Amiga (-1, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161622)

thanks douche, I searched the Amiga 500, since they did not exist in my part of the country I didnt even know there was one before the 500

so much for DOMINATING THE 80's!!!!

Re:Amiga (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161142)

The first Macintosh was released in 1984, Windows 1.0 and Amiga each came out in 1985. When Windows 1.0 came out, which is the context of this article, Apple was the dominant force and the Amiga had still only moved a handful of units.

Re:Amiga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161230)

DOMINANT not DOMINATE

Imagine if Commodore had licensed AmigaOS (2, Insightful)

voss (52565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161338)

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

Re:Amiga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161362)

I'd say the AmigaOS was the best functioning GUI out there for the time, with the early X-Windows UI coming in after that. The most popular, no. What was relatively laughable now was the ability to do other tasks while the machine was formatting a floppy. Almost any other type of machine (except UNIXes) would have everything halt while the floppy was being formatted.

I still wonder what computer history would be like had Amiga had a marketing guru on board that knew what to do with the product... I could see Amiga competing head to head with SGI in the 1990s, then get into the enterprise as a desktop OS after that, with built in emulation for MS-DOS and Windows so legacy applications would work.

There were some decent UIs out there (although AmigaOS and MultiFinder for System 6 were the only ones with any real multitasking capability [2]). Tandy PCs which were IBM compatible had DOS in ROM [1] with a decently usable shell.

The one thing I don't miss about the Amiga was the rabid fanboism. People talk about the chatter about Linux/Microsoft/Apple/etc. advocacy, but on the days of USENET before Eternal September and Canter/Siegel, all it took was one mention about some weakness about the platform, and you would get loads of followup posts questioning one's ancestry, education, breeding, grasp of language, grasp of basic concepts like breathing, sexual prowess, etc.

[1]: 20 years later, why can't we have PCs with an OS on the BIOS to aid recovery, or at least allow the machine to function as a thin client until the hard disk gets replaced?

[2]: MultiFinder was a hack, but most application writers used WaitNextEvent() anyway to let desk accessories work, so it wasn't hard to allow a utility to hand control of the CPU and such to another full application.

Re:Amiga (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161424)

Mac OS was great, much better than Amiga OS until Workbench 3 anyway. Workbench 3 worked well, but Mac OS still looked better. I used to play about in Mac OS on my A1200 using Shapeshifter.

I once had a program that allowed you to texture the windows in Workbench (each new window you opened would have a random texture in its borders). It was slow as ass, but it looked great. Wish I has something similar for Ubuntu. I haven't really looked into alternative window managers or anything yet.

Recalling Windows? (5, Funny)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161062)

A bit too late for a recall of 1.0 right?

Re:Recalling Windows? (1)

rudolfel (700883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161188)

maybe they want to fix the bugs

Re:Recalling Windows? (0, Troll)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161292)

turns out the Accelerate and Brake procedures in Toyota's ran on top of Windows 1.0

Re:Recalling Windows? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161304)

That *WAS* the first thing I thought when I read the headline for the post. Laughed my arse off, which was a good thing as there was a lot of arse to get rid of.

Re:Recalling Windows? (2, Funny)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161654)

A bit too late for a recall of 1.0 right?

I know! At this rate, it'll be 2031 before Vista is finally recalled...

Open Hardware (4, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Open Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161184)

Microsoft just rode the wave of open IBM hardware specifications for the business PC.

Um, what? The PC wasn't open. It got copied. That's not the same thing.

Re:Open Hardware (4, Informative)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161522)

If you bought IBM's technical manual for the PC, you got full schematics and source code for the BIOS. It might not be free, but it was very open.

Re:Open Hardware (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161190)

From TFS:

No one who used this first version was likely to have predicted that Windows would completely dominate the PC market 25 years later...

It wasn't that far-fetched to predict that a MicroSoft product would dominate, since, as you say:

Microsoft just rode the wave of open IBM hardware specifications for the business PC

Re:Open Hardware (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161498)

I dunno - the knives weren't just pointed at DR-DOS. All this came out in the first antitrust trials - any OEM wanting to sell so much as a single box without Windows either paid for Windows anyway or had to pay full price. And the OEM price was such a deep discount that foregoing that discount would effectively block that OEM from selling Windows PCs at a competitive price.

Before Microsoft went all-out on the "let's kill everything on the PC that isn't DOS/Windows" crusade, there was a thriving market for all sorts of applications, many of which either bundled their own GUI, bundled GEM or simply didn't have a GUI at all.

Re:Open Hardware (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161330)

...open IBM hardware specifications...
Don't you mean when Compaq pried it open [microsoft-watch.com] ? I heard there was quite a battle over that.

Re:Open Hardware (2, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161370)

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

Re:Open Hardware (2, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161536)

I don't think he was really alluding to the CP/M license debacle. That was several years earlier.

During that they did KINDA screw over the creator of QDOS (the source that became MS-DOS), but that's business.

What was worse was the intentional compatibility errors Microsoft introduced over the years to keep competitor's software and/or OS's from being compatible, hence further driving the purchase of MS software.

The old classic phrase from the 80's is the major example: "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run."

Re:Open Hardware (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161642)

The old classic phrase from the 80's is the major example: "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run."

Read Raymond Chen's blog to see how ludicrous this idea is. Microsoft put a lot of effort into backwards compatibility, often at the expense of good design. This slogan is complete nonsense: Lotus 1-2-3 was the killer app for MS DOS and if they'd shipped a version where it didn't work then it would have been commercial suicide. Lotus was on the beta program for DOS and bugs that prevented 1-2-3 from working were considered show-stoppers for new DOS versions. [proudlyserving.com]

Here's what it looks like (4, Informative)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161074)

My brother has way too many old PCs and software. Here's a page with screenshots of all the old Widows stuff: http://www.selectric.org/winhist/index.html [selectric.org]

Re:Here's what it looks like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161162)

All the old Widows??

Article was confused (2, Interesting)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161102)

It ignored the positioning of Windows as a stepping stone to OS/2 as well as the timing and feature migration between them.

On another note entirely, it would've been interesting of DesQView or GEM had won the "Better DOS than DOS" game.

Article was ridiculously bad (3, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161148)

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...

Re:Article was ridiculously bad (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161224)

Windows XP was descendet from Windows NT which in turn has its roots in VMS and BSD.

Re:Article was ridiculously bad (2, Informative)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161298)

Your history is off too. The VMS roots are even on their face only very lightly there (no code, they just hired a kernel team composed significantly of ex-VMS kernelfolk and some aspects of the VMS design went in), the BSD roots are hardly there at all, and the OS/2 roots were predominant.

Oh God, more revisionist history? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161104)

"Apple had already brought graphical user interfaces to computers with Macintosh"

More like stolen from Xerox, who was inspired by Alan Kay's ideas, who probably was at THE demo : DOUGLAS ENGLEBART [youtube.com]

What's next? Apple invented the keyboard? The mouse? The bit? Gimme a break.

What about GEOS for the Commodore 64? GEOS [wikipedia.org]

I mean when it came out it looked better than Windows and did more. Too bad Commodore was unable to get its act together on the hardware side.

Re:Oh God, more revisionist history? (2, Informative)

jbengt (874751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161212)

More like stolen from Xerox, . . .

Actually, IIRC, Apple paid (un-necessarily, as it turns out) for the use of Xerox Parc ideas.

Re:Oh God, more revisionist history? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161290)

>> IIRC
No. You did not remember/recall it correctly.

Re:Oh God, more revisionist history? (2, Informative)

vbraga (228124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161422)

Xerox received compensation for it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PARC_(company)#Adoption_by_Apple [wikipedia.org]

The first successful commercial GUI product was the Apple Macintosh, which was heavily inspired by PARC's work; Xerox was allowed to buy pre-IPO stock from Apple in exchange for engineer visits and an understanding that Apple would create a GUI product.

Re:Oh God, more revisionist history? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161554)

You're like one of those trolls who rants that Gore didn't invent the internet, when no one ever said he did.

No one claimed that Apple invented the GUI, only that they had turned it into a popular product.

Re:Oh God, more revisionist history? (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161612)

GeOS was awesome.. we had 2 5.25" drive and one 3.5" drive on our 64.. using the 3.5 for "data swap".. that made GeOS very bearable...

I remember the time (4, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161106)

Our office used Gem Desktop [wikipedia.org] . We were amazed at how primitive Windows was by comparrison, with no overlapping windows, etc.

Re:I remember the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161244)

Yeah, I remember how everything (including Gem) was primitive compared to Workbench [wikipedia.org] .

Siemens Collage (1)

David Off (101038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161588)

I remember using GEM back in 1986. It was quite good.

Interestingly it looks similar to a Unix Window System I worked on for Siemens around the same time called Collage (I think). This ran on the Siemens Sinix variant of Unix. I wrote a spreadsheet for Collage and there was a word processor. The system ran on the MX2 / X20 mini computers as well as MX500 multiprocessor systems. One model was a dinky little desktop about the size of a small form factor PC and ran using the National Semiconductor 32 bit processor range. It is was a kind of NeXT Pizzabox before its time. The big advantage of Collage was that it didn't crash all the time.

There doesn't seem to be any Wikipage on Collage so I guess it is lost in the midst of time.

Tandy Deskmate FTW (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161118)

Had a few Radio Shack computers in the early 90's, and Tandy Deskmate was included. It wasn't too bad. Sort of clunky but usable.

The grandfather (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161160)

Apple was not the first company to offer a computer GUI. Xerox offered the Star workstation [wikipedia.org] in 1981 but it was not a commercial success. In exchange for Apple stock [cognitivevent.com] , Apple designers were granted a tour of Xerox PARC as well as rights to use some of the PARC research. Apple would use this know how along with their own research to build Lisa then the Mac.

Re:The grandfather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161456)

Apple was not the first company to offer a computer GUI. Xerox offered the Star workstation [wikipedia.org] in 1981 but it was not a commercial success. In exchange for Apple stock [cognitivevent.com] , Apple designers were granted a tour of Xerox PARC as well as rights to use some of the PARC research. Apple would use this know how along with their own research to build Lisa then the Mac.

That's one of the most complete and concise summaries of the Xerox-Apple relationship I've ever read.

I expect you'll be modded down shortly. Because, as everyone knows, Apple STOLE teh GOOEY!

Consumer protection at its finest (-1, Flamebait)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161170)

They're finally issuing a recall for that PoS software (and I don't mean point-of-sale)! Yay!

Oh, wait, they want us to remember Windows 1.0. I think it's a bit like a psychologist wanting kids to remember what the nice Catholic priest did to them - somehow I'm not convinced this is worth the effort.

Re:Consumer protection at its finest (0, Flamebait)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161200)

The nice priest just baptized them... wait a minute, I don't think that was _water_!

Recalling Windows? (1)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161178)

You mean, like Toyota recalls cars?

Yes, I recall (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161186)

When talking about my technical history, I like to joke that I've been using Windows since version 3.0, and trying to use it since version 1.0.

I bought Win1 and really did try to make use of it, as a task switcher if nothing else. It had potential. So I upgraded to Win2 when it came out because it looked like a big step forward (it supported 286 protected mode!), but still fell back on DESQview, which lacked a GUI of its own, but handled task switching adequately. I only ran Win2 when I needed it for an app. But again I upgraded to Win3, because I could see it had potential. Win3 was the first version that I actually ended up running most of the time, because it finally had competent task-switching capabilities (thanks to the 386) to support my DOS apps, and enough Win apps to make it useful.

Wow (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161210)

I remember when I got into computers as a student. The campus labs were running off of a DOS menu that would allow you to go to your unix account to do all sorts of things, various DOS programs or go into Windows 3.0. The machines were a mix of 386 and 486 boxes. Windows 3.0 ran so poorly was such PITA and added so little value to what people were trying to accomplish most lab patrons stuck with DOS programs and their shell accounts. That was Windows 3.0. I can only imagine how frustrating using Windows 1.0 must have been.

Obligatory squeegee link (4, Interesting)

thatseattleguy (897282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161214)

And they announced it to the world...by sending out boxes with squeegees [sambadance.com] ?

(said items probably a hell of a lot more useful than the actual Windows 1.0 software ever was...)

Windows 1.0 review (4, Informative)

sfraggle (212671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161220)

A while ago, I scanned in [flickr.com] a review of Windows 1.0 that I found in an old magazine. It's quite interesting to read - the subtitle is "brightening up MS-DOS", and it is described as taking only four seconds to switch applications, compared to 30 seconds to start Microsoft Word from scratch! Glad to see some things never change.

The more interesting article (3, Interesting)

TTL0 (546351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161256)

Considering that MS did not invent the GUI, Spreadsheet, Word Processor, Browser, Mobile OS, or anything else they might well known for, it would be more interesting to read about just what the heck these people *have* been doing for 25 years.

Re:The more interesting article (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161344)

Considering that MS did not invent the GUI, Spreadsheet, Word Processor, Browser, Mobile OS, or anything else they might well known for, it would be more interesting to read about just what the heck these people *have* been doing for 25 years.

Money. Apparently that's good enough for them and the shareholders...

Re:The more interesting article (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161626)

Generally speaking, playing catch-up with what everyone else was doing 3-5 years previously while furiously marketing their product so heavily that unless you went to great lengths to inform yourself, you'd never know it.

Wndows Recalled? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161284)

Finally. I think that they should have recalled it much earlier.

News? (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161354)

After 25 years? I'm having trouble getting the point of this story...

And Ballmer's response: Sell sell sell! (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161378)

Windows 1 is 25 years old and what does Ballmer do? He sells a bucket load of MS shares [reuters.com]

Coincidence ... or NOT!!!!!!!

Windows 25th (2, Interesting)

VampireFrost (1770554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161450)

What would be nice is if Microsoft would release every version of Windows up to but not including Windows XP for like $100 on a DVD. I had most on floppy disk but some of them don't work no more. Even though most Windows(DOS) could be considered abandonware.

Long live... (1)

forge33 (1923156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34161648)

Abandonware! Love collecting old versions.

1980s were a more romantic time (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34161692)

No one who used this first version was likely to have predicted that Windows would completely dominate the PC market 25 years later...

Well, that dominance was more due to how it was sold (making deals with OEMs to preload in order to keep users out of the decision-making process) rather than the product itself. And in the 1980s we were all younger (even you, my dear reader) and more naive, so the the idea of "the best" not winning, seemed kind of strange.

Back then it was all about tech, so by 1984, hackers weren't even thinking about the x86 platform anymore because the ones with real money to spend had all gone to 68k and the rest were still pushing the limits of their older (usually 65xx) 8-bit machines. In 1986 I had to get a job, and the one I found involved MSDOS programming. It surprised me because I didn't know those type of computers were around anymore; I thought they had been a brief item of interest 5 years earlier, quickly passed by all the wonderful innovation of the early 1980s.

Who knew, indeed, that we would throw it all away. It wasn't until the mid/late 1990s that x86 started catching up to mid 1980s tech -- except for clockspeed. x86 was all about clockspeed, a weird one-dimensional measure that ignored everything else that made, say the Amiga, so fucking great.

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