Watch Steve Ballmer go nuts in the first Microsoft Windows ad from 1986

Today, November 20th, is the 30th birthday of Microsoft Windows 1.0, the operating system that sparked a PC revolution

Which also means that Windows and I share a birthday. Happy birthday, Windows! Happy birthday, me!

To celebrate the occassion, check out this amazing, first-ever TV ad for Windows 1.0 from 1986, featuring Steve Ballmer. At this point, Ballmer was not yet CEO, but had been with the company for six years as its first-ever business manager. 

In this ad, Ballmer channels his inner informercial pitchman: “That’s right! It’s $US99! It’s an incredible value, but it’s true! It’s Windows from Microsoft!” It’s a hilarious precursor to the manic energy he brought as CEO.

And in case you were wondering, per a Quora answer, the “Except in Nebraska” thing he closes it out with is just because at the time, the Bell Telephone Company monopoly wouldn’t let call centres have 1-800 toll free numbers for both in- and out-of-state calling.

Since Microsoft’s call center was in Nebraska, they could accept calls from the other 49 United States, but locals were out of luck. It was actually a common practice at the time, since Nebraska was a popular call center location. 

For comparison, here’s an ad for Windows 10, released this year. Note the, ahem, improved production values:

And, because it’s never not funny, here’s Steve Ballmer famously chanting “Developers, Developers, Developers” at a Microsoft event years later:

Steve ballmer developersPlay GIFYouTube, Mr. WuebSteve Ballmer gives his famous ‘Developers, developers, developers’ chant.

 

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