Highlights: History of Microsoft Windows

Gates and Allen formed a partnership called Microsoft in 1975. Like most start-ups, Microsoft began small, but had a huge vision—a computer on every desktop and in every home. During the next years, Microsoft began to change the ways we work.

In June 1980, Gates and Allen hired Gates’ former Harvard classmate Steve Ballmer to help run the company.

IBM approached Microsoft about a project code-named “Chess.” In response, Microsoft focused on a new operating system—the software that manages, or runs, the computer hardware and also serves to bridge the gap between the computer hardware and programs, such as a word processor. It’s the foundation on which computer programs can run. They named their new operating system “MS-DOS.”

When the IBM PC running MS-DOS shiped in 1981, it introduced a whole new language to the general public.

Microsoft worked on the first version of a new operating system. Interface Manager was the code name and was considered as the final name, but Windows prevailed because it best described the boxes or computing “windows” that were fundamental to the new system. Windows was announced in 1983, but it took a while to develop. Skeptics calles it “vaporware.”

On November 20, 1985, two years after the initial announcement, Microsoft shiped Windows 1.0.

Windows 1.0 required a minimum of 256 kilobytes (KB), two double-sided floppy disk drives, and a graphics adapter card. A hard disk and 512 KB memory was recommended for running multiple programs or when using DOS 3.0 or higher.

Visit: Microsoft for a full read of the article.

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