Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
Next week, Microsoft will release the first public beta of Windows 8.It will be the biggest change to how Windows looks and feels since the product was invented in 1985.
But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself….
(Special thanks to Marcin Wichary for letting us use some of his screenshots.)
Windows 1.0 came out in 1985. It was basically a simple layer on top of MS-DOS, the character based operating system that ran most PCs then. It was not widely used.
Windows 3.0 was released in 1990. It did a lot more to hide the underlying MS-DOS guts with graphical icons like the Program Manager. Not surprisingly, it became the first really popular version of Windows.
Windows 3.1 came a year later in 1991. It really made Windows the standard on most IBM-compatible PCs back in the early 1990s. It's also the last version that kind of looked like MS-DOS.
Windows 95 came out in August 1995. It was a big break with the past, emphasising the desktop and introducing icons for almost everything. Internet Explorer, the Recycle Bin, and the Start button were all introduced here. The basic design for Windows has hardly changed since.
In 2001, we got Windows XP. It was the first real change to the look and feel of Windows in six years.
Five years later, in 2006, Windows Vista showed up. It was not a hit. The translucent Windows were kind of cool, though.
Then came Windows 7. It's only three years old. It was basically a polish-up of Vista, but much more stable.
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