Windows 1.0: looking back at the OS that started it all

Windows nears its fourth decade

The spike of the 90s

Windows 1.0 in itself wasn't considered the best OS by any means and the fact it was delayed by two years right off the bat makes sure it will be forever be remembered as the "vaperware" than many referred to it as, due to the fact it was delayed for so long. Its influence goes a lot further than that and in just releasing the OS it had set itself on the road to success.

One of the largest spikes in the personal computer market occurred in the years following 1991, which was 12 months after the third incarnation of the OS, Windows 3.0, was released. The new version was the precursor to Windows 3.1 that was widely credited with being responsible for helping gaming on PCs to be catapulted into the mainstream.

The PC game boom meant that everyone had to have a personal computer and most of these machines were running – you've guessed it – Windows 1.0/2.0/3.x/95 and so on.

Applications also had a huge role to play in the success of the system and the small list of programs bundled with the original Windows 1.0 was just the start as the OS lived and died by the applications it supported.

The ongoing success of Windows 1.0 and subsequent versions were reliant on programs such as Aldus Pagemaker 1.0 and Microsoft Excel, which both opened up PCs to a new breed of user. Fast-forward to the modern day and phone manufacturers and customers, when talking of the Windows Phone OS, regularly cite the lack of apps on it as a reason to complain.

Windows 1.0 stood the test of time and Microsoft offered supported for its debut outing for 16 years – the most for any version of the OS that has ever seen a release. The challenge for Microsoft now is whether it should harp back to those sepia tinged days when it was starting out in order to try and climb the seemingly insurmountable mountain built up by Apple and Google.

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