Happy birthday! It's been 35 years since the launch of Windows 1.0

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What you need to know

  • Today is the 35th anniversary of the launch of Window 1.0.
  • Windows 1.0 was the first graphical user interface for MS-DOS.

Windows 1.0 launched 35 years ago today. Two years after its announcement, Windows 1.0 started shipping on November 20, 1985. The world of Windows has changed quite a bit since then, but the operating system's launch was a major step in personal computing.

Windows 1.0 was the first graphical user interface for MS-DOS. In comparison to today's tech, Windows 1.0 doesn't look so user-friendly, but at the time, it was quite the accomplishment. Before Windows 1.0, using a PC was much more complex and was mostly left to experts.

When people talk about the start of Windows, they often refer to Windows 3.0 and 3.1. Combined, those versions of Windows sold ten million copies. These versions of Windows were also much more user-friendly. They were also the first versions of Windows that allowed hardware manufacturers to put Windows onto PCs. While Windows 3.0 and 3.1 were revolutionary, they wouldn't have come to be if it weren't for Windows 1.0.

At the time of publication, it's still early in Redmond, so we haven't seen anything about the birthday from Microsoft yet. We did find a birthday post from Microsoft in German from earlier this year. Steven Sinofsky, the former President of the Windows division at Microsoft, did share a tweet commemorating the occasion.

Each version of Windows has a unique place in history, from the Start Menu of Windows 95 to the modern connectivity of Windows 10, but they all stem from Windows 1.0. For that, we wish Windows a happy birthday.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.