Windows 25 years old today

November 20th, 2010 by alacy

November 20, 1985 Microsoft release (unleashed) Windows 1 upon the world. I remember it, it was useless. Well with it and a $1000 computer you had all the functionality of a $2 pack of cards. You could play solitaire.

It wasn’t until Windows 3 that it was stable enough to really “use”. The quotes are because it crashed a lot, but work could be done.  At that time at work I had windows 3, for a while. But later we got IBM’s OS/2 which hardly ever crashed. At home I ran Desqview a windows like system, but was much better at running regular DOS programs inside “windows” than the real windows was.

But change of jobs and improvement in the number of programs written to run in windows and the system at work and at home was windows 95. Number of crashes dropped to average of about 1 a day.  That is I didn’t have a crash every day, some days had none, others had 3 or 4. It was the price paid to use windows 95.

I skipped windows 98, Windows 2000, windows ME, then both home and at work got Windows XP.  It was/is very stable, only crashs once every few months.  The system at work is still running it. I have no experience with Vista, but I don’t know anyone that was pleased with it. In the name of security and stablity it apparently continuely asks for verification of any change any program makes.

Now the home system has Win 7. I just got it this week an so I don’t know how stable it is. But based on the past history each version being more stable than the last I have high hopes for it.

5 Responses to “Windows 25 years old today”

  1. steve Says:

    I remember Desqview. It was the first environment that truly let me run a word processor (Wordperfect 4.2) and a Bible program (Quickverse 1.0) at the same time.

    Once, just for fun, I ran Windows 2.1 in a window in Desqview.

    I didn’t mind Vista. I think that it was often placed on machines with inadequate hardware to run it. I have it running on a laptop and it very seldom crashes. I upgraded to a new lappy with Windows 7 because I wanted more horsepower. Quickverse 2010 has many reference books and I have dozens of them open all at once. Windows 7 handles it nicely if you have the hardware to carry it.

  2. alacy Says:

    Well I never used Vista, but the complaints I heard were not about stability. They were about the constant interruptions as it asked about should a program be allowed to do “X”. Also on hardware that was suppose to be good enough for Vista, it took a lot longer to do stuff than XP. The latest reviews I read show that on the same hardware a Win 7 beats both XP and Vista. So I am glad I skipped Vista.

  3. steve Says:

    Those interruptions could be turned off. I did that early. I think Seven does the same thing. It’s always blacking my screen and asking me to give permission to let something upgrade or update. It’s really not that annoying. People just took time to get used to it.

    And the hardware problem was associated with the drivers for Vista being slow to arrive. However, those drivers are often the same as the ones you need for Seven, right? So Seven’s advantage, besides being more stable, is that people were already used to giving admin permission for changes to occur and that drivers were already written.

    No doubt, Seven is just plain better than Vista. But Vista wasn’t the failure that everyone says it was. I think that lots of that hype was driven by that hipster in the Mac commercials. And I think MS loved the bad press Vista received. Seven sold very well as a result. The same thing happened with Windows ME. It got bad press, though it was just 98 with a System Restore function built in, and MS turned that into grand sales for XP.

    Of all of them, I think XP was the best OS they every developed.

    But what do I know? 🙂

  4. alacy Says:

    According to Computer World

    Vista’s most reviled feature is User Account Control (UAC), Microsoft’s method for keeping your computer safe. Unfortunately, many Vista users felt that UAC was so inconvenient that they turned it off entirely.

    In Windows 7, UAC finally gets out of your way and strikes the right balance between security and usability. Far fewer prompts appear, and the ones that do appear pop up only for good reason.

    As for me Win 7’s UAC hasn’t bothered me. But I did run across some Win 7 security that seems weird. I was transferring files from my old XP via my network. I tried to get my mail files and Win 7 stopped and popped up and said it couldn’t transfer one of the files. I tried several things including turning UAC off and it wouldn’t get the files. So I went to the XP and tried to push the file from the XP to Win 7. That worked. So Win 7 security prevents someone from getting a particular file. But someone on a XP can push that same file and Win 7 allows it and doesn’t warn the Win 7 user.

  5. steve Says:

    Perhaps one of the reasons I didn’t mind the security stuff on Vista was because of my use of Ubuntu.