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40 years ago, Microsoft released the first version of Windows
" I'm talking about a time that people under twenty can't possibly know..."
On November 10, 1983, an event is organized by Microsoft at the Helmsley Palace Hotel in New York. The company was not as well known as it is today, but its popularity had grown considerably after it had signed a partnership with IBM: Microsoft had indeed been chosen by the company to equip its IBM PCs with its operating system, MS-DOS. No, this was not yet Windows, and Bill Gates, not yet in his thirties, organized this event in New York precisely to announce the imminent arrival of Windows.
MS-DOS was a rudimentary operating system, and in no way comparable to the Lisa OS, the system designed by Apple to accompany the release - in January 1983 - of its Lisa computer, one of the very first personal computers to feature both a graphical interface and a mouse for operation. Microsoft's MS-DOS inevitably paled in comparison with the Lisa OS's debauchery of visual effects. So Bill Gates came up with the idea of converting to "windows" on a "desktop", all controllable with a small cursor moved with the mouse.
The first version of Windows was therefore announced by Microsoft on November 10, 1983, but this was no more than a declaration of intent. In reality, Windows was only released two years later, on November 20, 1985, and it was not version 1.0, withdrawn due to an error, but 1.01. It was only a minor success - limited to the United States - but it launched Microsoft into this new field of graphical operating systems. The following year, in May 1986, Windows 1.02 internationalized the software, and Windows 2.0 was launched in November 1987.
However, even with this second version, Windows struggled to gain a foothold, and it wasn't until Windows 3.0, launched on May 22, 1990, that Microsoft finally achieved real success with its graphical operating systems. The rest you may know: Microsoft decided to completely hide MS-DOS - Windows was just a graphics overlay that had to be launched from DOS - for the release of Windows 95 on August 24, 1995, with a great deal of publicity and a Rolling Stones song(Start me up) for what remains one of the biggest launches in the software industry.