Microsoft Windows Turns 25

Believe it or not Windows is turning 25 years old on November 20th. When it was launched in 1985 the PC market was barely out of its infancy, and whatever you may think of Microsoft as a company,  it is amazing what Bill Gates & Co has built in such a relatively short time.

Windows has been through many iterations since Windows 1.0 first hit the shelves 25 years ago, with the latest and most advanced Windows 7 its current flagship product. Windows 8 is already in development.

Microsoft 1981

 In honor of Windows birthday, here’s a dozen interesting facts you probably never knew about Windows, Microsoft and Bill Gates:

1. Windows 1.0 was released on Nov 20th 1985 and the hardware requirements were 256KB of RAM, DOS 2.0 and two floppy drives, it was also two years late to market – sound familiar?

2. The retail price was $100 which equals about $213.00 today – about the price of Windows 7 Ultimate.

3. Microsoft sent out a press kit featuring a squeegee and a washcloth to announce the launch of Windows 1.0, a full two years before the product was launched.

4. If Bill Gates had gotten his way, he would have called it “Interface Manager”.

5. Windows 1.0 was only out for two weeks before it had to be patched to fix bugs (sound familiar?).

6. Windows 1.0 included a large number of utilities that are still part of Windows today – Calendar, Notepad, Terminal, Calculator, Clock, Windows Write and Windows Paint, Control Panel, and the Reversi game.

7. Support for Windows 1.0 was weak, and even Microsoft’s own applications didn’t support it. In fact, Excel and Word didn’t work with Windows until 1987 and 1989.

8. Windows 3.1 was the first stable release, which led to many hardware manufacturers preloading it on their computers. This proved to be the major turning point in Windows history and world domination.

9. Windows 3.1 (Pre-release name Janus) was released in March of 1992. In its first few months on the shelf it sold over 2 million copies (including upgrades). The Windows 3.1x OS’s were groundbreaking technology for their time and they paved the road for today’s modern Microsoft environments.

10. Since 1986 Microsoft’s stock has soared hundredfold and it’s estimated that Microsoft has created 4 billionaires and over 12,000 millionaires during that time. Not bad for a garage startup.

11. Erik Noyes from Charles Schwab came up with the phrase Blue Screen of Death “BSoD” in 1991.

12. Bill Gates scored 1590 on his SAT. Paul Allen, scored a perfect 1600.

 Happy Birthday Billy!

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