Throwback Thursday: the audience at Higher Tabardville Vistaplex are waiting for their film to start.
The queues are building up outside the Vistaplex multi-screen cinema in Higher Tabardville. This time, they are not queuing up for the latest instalment of the Star Wars franchises. Instead, they have come to see a Microsoft movies retrospective. A flashback of features on the operating system since 1985.
Microsoft Windows has been part of our computing scene for over three decades and, given its longevity, has left a legacy of adverts, startup themes, and aesthetic changes. It has seen off Amiga Workbench, Atari TOS, OS/2, and GEOS in its 31-year history. Its enduring appeal has inspired our latest blog post.
The first version to make a breakthrough was Windows 3, which coincided with the dominance of 16-bit computing. Then came 3.1, which marked a real upward trajectory in Microsoft’s fortunes. By then, multiple chains like Dixons, Comet, and Currys starting giving more shelf space to IBM Compatible PCs and the take-up of Windows 3.1 duly increased. Prices of IBM clones fell, making the Atari ST and Amiga systems less attractive to business customers.
Today’s blog post is a video flashback of the Windows operating system since the start. We begin our season of Microsoft movies with a word from a future Microsoft CEO.
1. Windows 1.0 advertisement (1985)
For the first piece of our selection, we see Steve Ballmer giving Windows 1.0 the hard sell. In our flashback, we see the soon-to-be Microsoft CEO selling us the joys of an operating system with a card file database and its multitasking abilities. He ends the clip – market trader style – shouting about its price. A measly $99. Which in 2016 prices is equivalent to $483.36 (or £334.71) – enough to buy a Google Chromebook or a budget laptop with Windows 10.
2. Windows 1.0 demonstration (2007)
Posted in 2007, this flashback footage shows us how Windows 1.0 ticks. As with most bundled software at the time, a demonstration or guided tour was part of the package. This one, in a succinct manner, gives a good visual grounding of what was state-of-the-art in 1985.
3. Windows 1.0 demonstration (2007)
In this clip from August 2015, we take a look at how the operating system developed over a 30-year period. Our third flashback includes pre-production versions of Windows, such as Chicago (which led to Windows ‘95) and Longhorn (which led us to Vista in 2007).
4. Windows Start-Up Music (2007)
For our final clip, we have turned the geek dial up to 14. This time, with a selection of Windows sound effects through the ages. Before 1992, you could use any version of Windows without supposedly extraneous sound effects. For us, the high point of Windows alert sounds may be Brian Eno’s start music for Windows XP.
Before we go…
If you enjoyed our little flashback from the olden days of Windows, feel free to share this post and share your memories. We will be delighted to hear them.