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ANNIVERSARY: Happy 20th Microsoft Windows Birthday
Posted by Arne Hess - on Sunday, 20.11.05 - 12:49:24 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 11283x
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Exactly 20 years ago, on November 20th 1985, Microsoft released the first version of its Windows add-on for MS-DOS: Windows 1.0 and today, 20 years later and after we have seen Windows 3.0/3.11, Windows NT, Windows 95/98/ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP, we even work mobile thanks to Windows Mobile for Pocket PCs and Smartphones.
When Windows 1.0 was released, nobody took care about TCP/IP (even not with Windows 3.11 - who remembers Trumpet Winsock also? ) but it was the time of the Commodore VC20/C64, "WarGames" and therefore the time of (if you really was a techie/80's Geek) acoustic couplers. Also it was the time where programs had to be "IBM Compatible".
However, on November 20th, Windows 1.0 went on sale across North America for a suggested retail price of US$ 99 only and for sure it was shipped on 5¼ floppy disks:

Bellow you can read the original press release from 1985:



For more information contact:


Microsoft -- Marty Taucher or Mary Batterson (206) 828-7400
The Waggener Group -- Pam Edstrom (503) 245-0905


Microsoft Ships Windows Retail


BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON--November 20, 1985--Microsoft Corporation announced today the retail shipment of the Microsoft Windows operating environment to dealers and distributors.


Microsoft Windows extends the features of the DOS operating system, yet is compatible with most existing applications that run under DOS. Windows lets users integrate the tasks They perform with their computer by providing the ability to work with several programs at the same time and easily switch between them without having to quit and restart individual applications. In addition, it provides a rich foundation for a new generation of applications.


"Windows provides unprecedented power to users today and a foundation for hardware and software advancements of the next few years," said Bill Bates, Chairman of Microsoft. "It is unique software designed for the serious PC user, who places high value on the productivity that a personal computer can bring." In addition, the retail product includes a set of desktop applications which helps the user to manage day-to-day activities. These are based on the Windows interface which simplifies program interaction. As a special introductory offer, Windows Write (a writing program) and Windows Paint (a drawing program) will also be included in the package. The suggested retail price is $99.


Microsoft Windows an Integrating Environment
The Microsoft Windows environment allows users to integrate their applications. With Windows, users can run several applications at the same time. Users can start up and switch between standard applications such as Lotus 1-2-3, dBASE II, and Microsoft Word without having to quit one program before going on to the next. For example, it is easy to move from a spreadsheet program to a charting program, to a word processing program, and back to the spreadsheet program with a couple of keystrokes or click of a mouse. This greatly reduces the time normally required to switch from one application to another, allowing the user to interrupt an activity and return to it exactly where it was left off.


In addition, users can easily transfer information from their applications by copying portions of text or graphic information to the Windows Clipboard and then modifying or combining them in a Windows application. For example, a user can copy a chart or graph from a program like Lotus 1-2-3 into Windows Paint. There, details and highlights can be added for an even more effective presentation. The resulting chart can be copied into Windows Write and combined with information from dBASE II. This capability allows the user to consolidate data from a variety of standard and Windows applications.


640K Barrier Broken
Windows allows the user to run more applications than will normally fit in the 640K limits of the PC especially with a hard disk or memory expansion card, such as the Intel Above Board. If there is insufficient space to load a program, Windows will automatically attempt to swap out an application that is not in use.


A foundation for a New Generation of Applications
Microsoft Windows is a graphical-based user interface. It includes standard features like drop-down menus, scroll bars, icons, and dialog boxes. These provide a common user interface for a new generation of applications. Programs written to take advantage of its powerful facilities are not only easy to use, but are also easier to learn. Once the user understands the basic elements of the interface he has the essential elements necessary to interact with any Windows application.


Windows Applications
Windows provides a set of versatile desktop applications that offers increased productivity for the serious PC user. Included is a DOS file management program, that provides easy access to common DOS commands. With it the user can display a directory of files, copy files, delete files, or format a disk--even while working with other programs. Also included are a calendar, card file, notepad, calculator, clock, telecommunications program, and more. As a special introductory offer Windows Write and Windows Paint will be included at no additional charge. These applications take advantage of the Windows interface and can be used interchangeably with the user's standard applications. (Further details are included in the Windows applications press release).


Device Independence
Microsoft Windows has been designed so that it can be used with a variety of hardware peripherals. The retail release works with the IBM Color Graphics Adapter, IBM Enhanced Color Adapter, and the Hercules Graphic Card (or compatibles). Windows also supports a number of printers and plotters including the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet, Epson FX-80, IBM Graphics Printer, IBM Proprinter, Okidata 192 and 193, and the Hewlett-Packard 7470A and 7475 plotters.


The interface can be operated from the keyboard or with a pointing device such as the Microsoft Mouse (serial or bus version) or Mouse Systems Mouse.


High Productivity Today and Tomorrow
For today's PC user, Windows is the ideal productivity environment. It lets users integrate the applications programs that they want to work with by providing the capability of running and switching between multiple applications. In addition, it also provides facilities for consolidation of text and graphics information from a variety of applications. The retail version also includes a collection of desktop management tools as well as Windows Write and Windows Paint.


Because Microsoft Windows runs both standard and Windows applications, it provides a smooth bridge between today's popular software and tomorrow's powerful graphical-based applications software. It gives users enhanced productivity with their existing software now, while allowing them to add more as the software and hardware industry evolves.


Microsoft Windows will run on the IBM and Compaq personal computers and requires a minimum of 256K, two double-sided floppy disk drives, and a graphics adapter card. A hard disk and 512K memory is recommended for running multiple applications or when using DOS 3.0 or higher.


Microsoft Corporation manufactures and sells a wide range of software operating systems, languages, application programs, books, and hardware for the microcomputer marketplace. For more information on Microsoft Windows, call (206) 828-8080. Or write for more information to Microsoft Corporation, Customer Relations Department, 10700 Northrup Way, Box 97200, Bellevue, Washington 98009.


# # # #


Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
1-2-3 is a trademark of Lotus Development Corporation.
dBASE II is a registered trademark of Ashton-Tate.
Above is a trademark of Intel Corporation.
IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
Hercules is a trademark of Hercules Computer Technology.
Epson is a registered trademark of Epson America, Inc.
Compaq is a registered trademark of Compaq Computer Corporation.

Thanks Windows for 20 years, you are the grandfather of Windows Mobile and for sure you wasn't perfect, as much as Windows Mobile isn't perfect today but you are the choice of many million users around the world. Looking forward your latest grandchild "Windows Vista" as well as the developments in the Windows Mobile area.

Cheers ~ Arne

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