Happy Birthday: Windows turns 25 today

By on November 20, 2010, 1:00 PM
Today, on November 20, 2010, Microsoft Windows turns 25 years old. On November, 20 1985, Microsoft released Windows 1.0, a 16-bit graphic user environment that was considered to be state-of-the-art at the time. In the two and a half decades that followed, Microsoft became one of the wealthiest companies in the world as Windows turned into the de facto operating system installed on over 90 percent of computers worldwide.

Windows 1.0 fit on just two double-sided floppy disks and needed 256K of RAM (512K if you wanted to run more than one program at a time). It wasn't until Windows 3.0 that the operating system really started to take off, but this is where it all began:

Here's a timeline for the releases of Microsoft Windows operating systems:

  • Windows 1.0: November 20, 1985
  • Windows 2.0: December 9, 1987
  • Windows 2.10: May 27, 1988
  • Windows 2.11: March 13, 1989
  • Windows 3.0: May 22, 1990
  • Windows 3.1: April 6, 1992
  • Windows for Workgroups 3.1: October 27, 1992
  • Windows NT 3.1: July 27, 1993
  • Windows for Workgroups 3.11: November 8, 1993
  • Windows NT 3.5: September 21, 1994
  • Windows NT 3.51: May 30, 1995
  • Windows 95: August 24, 1995
  • Windows NT 4.0: August 24, 1996
  • Windows 98: June 25, 1998
  • Windows 98 SE: May 5, 1999
  • Windows 2000: February 17, 2000
  • Windows Me: September 14, 2000
  • Windows 2000 Advanced/Datacenter Server Limited Edition: August 29, 2001
  • Windows XP: October 25, 2001
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition: October 31, 2002
  • Windows Server 2003: April 24, 2003
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004: September 30, 2003
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005: October 12, 2004
  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition: April 25, 2005
  • Windows Fundamentals (for Legacy PCs): July 8, 2006
  • Windows Vista (for Business use): November 30, 2006
  • Windows Vista (for Home use): January 30, 2007
  • Windows Home Server: November 7, 2007
  • Windows Server 2008: February 27, 2008
  • Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: October 22, 2009

The software giant has managed to sell 240 million copies of the latest version of its client operating system, Windows 7. The company is just starting to push its new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, but the sales are nowhere near the same level.

Let us end by saying a "Happy Birthday!" to Microsoft. May the next 25 years of computing be just as exciting as the world goes mobile.





User Comments: 43

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Uvindu said:

Happy Birthday WIndows! Hope the future releases keep getting better abd better. I hope that in 25-years we will look back at windows 7 and laugh about how we thought it was a great operating system with great features, in the same way we look at windows 1.0 now

maestromasada said:

Happy Birthday too!! After 25 you lose the magic as you are approaching the 30s, then in the 40s you lose your head, and from them on you are just a grumpy old chap that only remembers the good old time on the early 20s, XP come back!!!

Nima304 said:

Happy birthday, Windows! I agree with Uvindu, just wait until Windows 7 becomes as primitive as Windows 1.0 is now.

AllEyezOnMe said:

Happy 1/4 Century Birthday, Windows, I first used Windows 3.0 on a Gateway 2000 standlone desktop pc many many moons ago, keep up the great work.

Guest said:

Man, all those bright and exotic colors they used back in the day. lol

Guest said:

Been with Windows since 3.0, a bumpy ride...

3.0 glitches, 3.11 was the best of that OS

95 had glitches...98SE was the best of that version

XP, for me was rock solid

Vista...well, let's just say it was different.

Win7, it's like a toaster oven, it just works.

gobbybobby said:

Happy birthday MS been a long ride, you have changed the face or maybe the entire world with your Products and thats not an overstatement.

peterbezemer said:

happy birthday, have been using it since win 2.0, now I am running win 7, (which is actually win 6.1)

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Thanks for making me feel old, Emil.

Oh yeah - happy birthday Windows!

NeoFlux said:

Uvindu said:

I hope that in 25-years we will look back at windows 7 and laugh about how we thought it was a great operating system with great features

In 25 years, I think, humanity will be discovering bronze (again, maybe) ...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

In 25 years, I think, humanity will be discovering bronze (again, maybe) ...
Are you sure you don't mean stone tools?

NeoFlux said:

captaincranky said:

Are you sure you don't mean stone tools?

rock does not need to be discovered because rock will never die ...

treeski treeski said:

Happy Birthday Windows

Uvindu said:

neoflux said:

captaincranky said:

Are you sure you don't mean stone tools?

rock does not need to be discovered because rock will never die ...

(If) The world ends in 2012

Everything is destroyed, the planet has disintegrated

It will take thousands of years for there to be a new planet with just the right conditions

Then once there is a planet with perfect condition, life will start in the sea and slowly evolve over thousands of years

Finally there will be humans and then after a while we will discover bronze and etc etc

So in 25 years, now that I thought about it, there will be *drum roll*

...

DUST!

That's only if 2012 happens though. (Sorry to go off topic)

WinXPert WinXPert said:

rock does not need to be discovered because rock will never die ...

Is that the music according to Niel Young.

anyways happy bday windows

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Happy Bloody Birthday Windows

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Is that the music according to Niel Young.

anyways happy bday windows

No, Niel said. "It's better to burn out, than it is to rust"....! Or, maybe he said the rock thing too...not sure..

TitoBXNY TitoBXNY said:

Thank you Microsoft for making me a smarter person. On my 9th PC build. Favorite build was 98. Least favorite was Millennium. Win7 rocks.

SSaywell said:

Happy Birthday Windows, Thanks - Feels bit weird saying thanks to software but hey

motrin said:

Happy Birthday Mr. Windows

Ssendi said:

Really a lot of improvements that teaches us a lot!!!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Thank you Microsoft for making me a smarter person. On my 9th PC build. Favorite build was 98. Least favorite was Millennium. Win7 rocks.
Actually, I think it's Windows that's becoming smarter, and making us look good in the process.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Interesting take Emil, reminded me how much I disliked Windows 1.0, not until Windows 3.1 came along when I truly switched from DOS (not that it went away obviously). At least it was slightly more reliable than the only Mac I ever used in those days which would breakdown for no apparent reason every few weeks. Although it (Win 3.x) had its own quirks, e.g. installing sound card or even mouse could turn out to be a real hassle, but once you got over these it wasn't a bad OS (if one can call it) at all at that time.

On a side note, I don't believe in Nostradamus's rubbish, there are better things to spend your time on than wasting it on reading his hallucinations.

bugejakurt said:

Happy Birthday! May all your future OS releases be just as promising as Windows 7 was.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

On a side note, I don't believe in Nostradamus's rubbish, there are better things to spend your time on than wasting it on reading his hallucinations.
For example, learning to masturbate properly. Then they too would be able to see what's coming, at least in a manner of speaking.... .

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

For example, learning to masturbate properly. Then they too would be able to see what's coming, at least in a manner of speaking.... .

Okay .......... I guess its better not to discuss these comings and goings, because we are supposed to make discussions on technology related topics here. But I wouldn't disagree with the metaphor you went with to elaborate your point.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Archean said:

On a side note, I don't believe in Nostradamus's rubbish, there are better things to spend your time on than wasting it on reading his hallucinations.

2012 is actually the end of the mayan long calender and a lot of the "hype" comes from that, but I agree with your general sentiment nevertheless. =p

satty said:

It windows opensource..? free..? Why should we wish "happy"

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@mad

Yes I know that but thanks nevertheless for reminding me, I think there is a more chance of any of the nearby red giants exploding in a supernova (e.g. Betelgeuse/Antares etc.) then whatever that fool have said in what I say 'hallucinations'.

Guest said:

Windows introduced in 1985 revolutionised the computer world, it is bcoz of windows, the world has this fast got used to computers. Think of alternatives, the mac---was everyone in the world rich enough to get a mac? or are they now?. the linux- it was lacking standardisation across different versions so as is now. windows and their way of liscensing and their not so strict action against piracy, surely revolutionised the word of tech.

Johny47 said:

Windows is older than I am hahaha =P

And 'On November, 20 1985, Microsoft released Windows 1.0, a 16-bit graphic user environment that was considered to be state-of-the-art at the time.' aaaaaaahahaha 16 bit graphics? you don't even need a graphics card today for almost HD graphics because most motherboards come with it as standard... how far they've come =)

At least they had brilliant music back then(80's) =D

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The world already ended on 1999, then 2000, then 2001 (Becuase it was the real year 2000 or something like that) and on and on and on...

Happy Bday hope you lower your price =)

fpsgamerJR62 said:

In 2035, the grand children can talk about Grandpa gaming on an ancient Microsoft OS called Windows 7.

mosu said:

Happy Birthday Microsoft and thank you!

matrix86 matrix86 said:

maestromasada said:

After 25 you lose the magic as you are approaching the 30s, then in the 40s you lose your head, and from them on you are just a grumpy old chap that only remembers the good old time on the early 20s

In other words, in another 25+ years, we'll be using "Windows CaptainCranky"? Lol Tell it to open My Computer (since everything will be voice controlled) and get a message that says "open it your own damn self!"

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

In other words, in another 25+ years, we'll be using "Windows CaptainCranky"? Lol Tell it to open My Computer (since everything will be voice controlled) and get a message that says "open it your own damn self!"

My sentiments exactly. The same would be true for,"My Documents", My Pictures", and last but not least, "My Music". Or perhaps, I might choose the ever so slightly more succinct, but more emphatic, "go **** yourself"!

All kidding aside, if you asked me to run, "Limewire Pirate Edition", I'd pull my own plug, or trip the house circuit breakers.

Then when it got close to Christmas, all my blue screens would read, "BAH HUMBUG".....!

Emin3nce said:

Happy birthday,

now send my business enough free copies of windows 7 to get us off your bodgy vista clients.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

All kidding aside, if you asked me to run, "Limewire Pirate Edition", I'd pull my own plug, or trip the house circuit breakers.

I guess considering the rate of unemployment + increase in number of poor in the developed world, I think you should be worried about having to name it 'Windows at World's End - Pirate Edition'.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

We've settled that. The world ends in the year 2012, but we all put our consciences into our PCs, and they live on forever, sticking their USB and Esata plugs into one another with erotic abandon, blissfully unaware that you can catch, "CAIDS" from some dirty old Emachine..

Or as the children call it, "hooking up".

dummybait said:

Uvindu said:

neoflux said:

captaincranky said:

Are you sure you don't mean stone tools?

rock does not need to be discovered because rock will never die ...

(If) The world ends in 2012

Everything is destroyed, the planet has disintegrated

It will take thousands of years for there to be a new planet with just the right conditions

Then once there is a planet with perfect condition, life will start in the sea and slowly evolve over thousands of years

Finally there will be humans and then after a while we will discover bronze and etc etc

So in 25 years, now that I thought about it, there will be *drum roll*

...

DUST!

That's only if 2012 happens though. (Sorry to go off topic)

kinda like Y2K right ? lol....Are you Y2k ok? lol

Uvindu said:

Sorry to cause this discussion to go off track! I said if (in brackets) when I was talking about 2012. I think that we should all think "The world won't end in 2012" and it won't happen. Stop thinking about it concentrate more on other stuff like ... life.

Concentrating too much on one thing can change its outcome ........... Quantum Theory and Meditation

I am going to wake up on the 22nd of december 2012 and laugh at everyone who had fears of death. I am going to call everyone and yell, "I'M ALIVE!!!"

Lol

Britrogue Britrogue said:

God, I can't believe they've been around that long! I suddenly feel so old!

hood6558 hood6558 said:

Many of my generation (I'm 54) would say that Microsoft and the PC revolution are what is causing the collapse of civilization, and from a certain perspective, they're right. So what happens when everyone is illiterate and spends all their time tweeting, texting, and playing violent games on the giant screen TV when they're not using it to watch inane sit-coms? Why, the imploding of western economies as no one produces anything here anymore except debt! Maybe technology should be restricted like tobacco and alcohol until adulthood to keep it from rotting young brains. No, that wouldn't work, just creates another black market commodity. My plan is to enjoy my fast Windows 7 computer and my games until the raging hordes of hungry unemployed Yuppies strip the land of everything useful, then try to hole up in the woods somewhere and ride out on solar power, shooting any marauders who would try to take my place. Look what happened to Rome, the greatest civilization on Earth, and they didn't even have Microsoft to help speed up the collapse.

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