Feeds

Microsoft marks Windows' anniversary with Windows 7

Big, dumb icons

Boost IT visibility and business value

Past is prologue. So said Joe Biden during a vice presidential debate slap-down to Sarah Palin after she'd chided him about him going on and on about the past eight years.

It is significant, then, that Microsoft chose the anniversary of Windows to evangelize the new Windows 7 user interface with nods to Windows 1.0, Windows 95, and Windows XP.

Windows 1.0

Back to the future: Windows 1.0 used to inspire Windows 7 ISVs at PDC

It was this week in 1983 that some dufus sporting a scrappy hair cut and representing some company called Micro-whatsit announced the precursor to all those operating systems. Speaking at New York's Helmsley Palace Hotel, Gates unveiled Windows, the 16-bit operating system that ran on IBM PCs.

The pitch came as the competitive climate was intensifying. VisiCorp had previewed VisiOn in 1982 and Apple launched Lisa in January 1983, while just a few years later 1985 would see IBM's TopView, Digital Research's GEM, and the Amiga Workbench. You can get a feel for the times here.

Microsoft's president and board chairman used the New York event to demonstrate a graphical-user interface sporting drop-down menus, mouse support, tiled windows, data transfer between applications, and the ability to simultaneously run multiple applications.

The boy wonder did more than just play his part in ushering in the mass-market PC revolution, though. He unwittingly set the standard for Windows delivery cycles. Gates promised Windows would ship five months later, in April 1984. Which makes November notable for giving Windows its second anniversary: November 20, 1985, was when Windows 1.0 was actually released, priced at a heady $100.

The ghost of that first Windows was present at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) last month, where Softies evangelized Windows 7 as a return to GUIs past using a rudimentary task bar and big icons.

Senior program manager Chaitanya Sareen told ISVs to build applications for Windows 7 that fire up using icons, instead of writing to multiple locations or from the start menu. "The past had some really cool feature ideas you want to resurrect," Sareen told PDC. "We stole from Windows 95, XP, and Vista." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.