Think back to the early 1990s, and the computer you used in class or at work probably looks drastically different than the laptop you’re using today.
We’ve come a long way from the ageing, chunky monitors we used to play “The Oregon Trail” in elementary school.
And, as computers have become slimmer and more sleek, so has the software that goes along with it.
Here’s a look at how Windows has changed throughout the years.
When Windows 3.0 debuted in 1990, it became the most widely used version of the software yet. Microsoft sold 10 million copies of Windows 3 in its first two weeks. With Windows 3.0, Microsoft significantly enhanced the software's performance, improved app icons, and added 16 new colours to its graphics.
With Windows ME, or Millennium Edition, Microsoft added new media-focused features such as Windows Movie Maker. It was also the first version of Windows to support System Restore, which allows you to reset your system's preferences to before a certain date. Windows ME faced some harsh criticisms when it hit the market, however. PCWorld listed it in their list of the Worst Tech Products of All Time countdown, and ABC's review criticised it for being difficult to install.
Windows XP was praised for its cleaner aesthetics and smooth performance. 'You'll hear few complaints about the operating system itself, especially when it's compared with previous versions,' David Pogue wrote in The New York Times' review back in 2001. 'No matter what you think of Microsoft, using Windows XP on a new or very recent PC feels sure, swift and satisfying. And that's a big deal.' Microsoft also says that it emphasised security with Windows XP.
Windows 8 is Microsoft's most recent version of Windows. Microsoft completely changed the user interface of Windows 8 from the traditional desktop to a tiled, touch-friendly design. The goal was to optimise the OS for tablets, but Windows 8 has seen lukewarm reception at best. The software has been criticised for its complicated interface and lack of a Start menu, which Microsoft is rumoured to bring back with Windows 9.