Nostalgia-wary geeks better not…
FROM PINGDOM: Microsoft Windows 1.0 was launched on November 20, 1985. To be precise, the first release version actually had the version number 1.01. The first version of Windows was only available on floppy disks and you had to install it on top of DOS; Windows 1.0 was essentially an MS-DOS program.
Since Apple owned the right to have overlapping windows in the GUI, Windows 1.0 was stuck with using tiled windows (only dialog boxes could overlap windows).
FROM PINGDOM:The first version of Mac OS came bundled with the first Macintosh personal computers that were introduced on January 24, 1984. At the time it wasn't even known as Mac OS, but simply as the System Software. Apple didn't officially rename it to Mac OS until the release of version 7.6 in 1997 (although the name had started appearing on the boot screen since System 7.5.1).
FROM PINGDOM:Developed by the brothers Thomas and John Knoll and licensed to Adobe in September 1988, Photoshop 1.0 was released exclusively for the Mac in 1990. Thomas Knoll had started working on what eventually became Photoshop as early as 1987, initially as a tool for manipulating scanned images but it soon transformed into a full-fledged image editor. A Windows version of Photoshop was introduced in November 1992.
FROM PINGDOM:Microsoft Word was released for the IBM PC on October 25, 1983. Although it was a character-based DOS program (albeit with mouse support), Word was the first word processor that showed line breaks and typeface markups (bold, italic, etc) directly on screen while editing.
The first Word to run on a GUI was Word for Mac, which was released in 1985 (it's the one in the picture). Word for Windows was released in 1989 with the release of Windows 3.0.
An interesting side note is that MS Word was the first ever program to be distributed on disk with a magazine. A demo copy of Word was included with the November 1983 issue of PC World.
FROM PINGDOM:Microsoft Excel 1.0 was released for the Mac in 1985. It didn't appear on Windows until 1987, after Windows 2.0 had been released. Excel was actually Microsoft's second attempt at a spreadsheet program; it followed the relatively successful Multiplan, a spreadsheet program that was ported to a variety of systems such as MS-DOS, Apple II, Commodore 64 and more.
FROM PINGDOM:Firefox is far younger than the other applications in this article, but we included it since it's so popular today (and to balance out IE a bit). Mozilla released Firefox 1.0 on November 9, 2004, as the intended replacement for the increasingly bloated Mozilla Suite.
It was far from obvious that the browser was going to be called Firefox. During its development the project was first called Phoenix, but had to be renamed due to trademark issues. The new name after that, Firebird, clashed with the Firebird database server project, so finally the name was changed to Firefox, and that one stuck.
FROM PINGDOM: Before we finish this article we'd like to give some credit to Xerox simply because a lot of the concepts for Mac OS, Windows, Word and other GUI-based applications were lifted from or inspired by work done at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research centre) in the 1970s.
The Xerox Alto computer, never sold commercially but in popular use within PARC itself, was the first computer with both a mouse and a graphical user interface. It was operational in 1973, long before Mac OS and Windows made GUIs popular. It was revolutionary, but sadly the management at Xerox failed to realise the potential of the work done at PARC.
Xerox finally made an attempt at commercializing this research with the Xerox Star computer in 1981 but due to a number of factors it never became a success, ultimately losing out to the Mac and PC.