Microsoft’s Windows operating system turns 25
The Windows operating system celebrated its silver anniversary on Saturday and has become a leading software that powers more than 90 percent of all computers worldwide.
The debut was delayed and discreet, Windows 1.0 offered very little to the computer industry where Apple Macintosh and Windows-based computing was dominated by DOS (“Disk Operating System).
Some experts at the time went so far as to dismiss it because the software developed by Bill Gates and Paul Allen wasn’t cutting edge technology.
“Nobody who used the first version of Windows would have predicted that it would dominate the PC market 25 years later,” said analyst Jon Brodkin recently in an article for the tech magazine ‘Network World’.
This primitive Windows alternated with MS-DOS commands on a system created by Microsoft for IBM -defined by Gates Bill as “a unique software designed for the serious PC user.”
Despite the criticism, the young company, which already had Steve Ballmer as a member, was able to get some companies to install the OS from the factory, a method that began their commercial success for the future.
The creators of Windows worked to improve the OS software and in 1987 they released the Windows 2.0 version designed for Intel 286 processors and included the control panel, desktop icons, graphics quality was improved and it allowed overlapping windows.
This Windows update finally put the program on the top of the market in 1988, and Microsoft became the leader of list of software companies by sales.
Real fame, however, arrived on May 1990 with the launch of Windows 3.0 that coincided with the popularization of personal computers in most industrialized countries.
The new Windows-like appearance was presented and included wallpapers, screen savers, shortcuts to content and card games like Solitaire or Minesweeper.
Microsoft sold over 10 million copies of Windows 3.0 and the Windows 3.1 update it in the first two years, this was a huge success for the company and a preview of what would become the reference software, Windows 95.
Earlier, Gates and company tried their luck with an operating system specifically for businesses, Windows NT, which premiered in 1993, but it would be eclipsed by Windows 95’s launch on August 1995, which became a media show.
Microsoft launched television campaigns to promote it with the music of The Rolling Stones and spun the product as something revolutionary. In the first 5 weeks more than 7 million certified copies of the operating system were shipped around the world in 12 languages, Internet ready and included for the first time the ‘My Computer’ and Recycle Bin icons. At that point in time Windows was on 80 percent of the world’s computers.
Between 1998 and 2000, Microsoft released Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows Millennium Edition criticized for system failures and corrected with a series of software patches.
Windows XP established a modern standard for Microsoft operating systems to the point that nearly a decade after its release it still remains the most popular Windows OS to date.
XP survived the arrival of Windows Vista in 2006, which did not work quite as well despite the millions of units sold, though the XP era seems to have come to an end with Windows 7.
Windows 7, the latest Microsoft operating system came out in 2009 and sold over 240 million licenses in its first year. If this continues at this rhythm, Windows XP will be history in two years.