Is This True (Windows is 25)?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Axemantitan, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. Axemantitan macrumors 6502

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    #1
    According to this article, Windows was first unveiled to the world in November, 1983. Is this correct? I remember reading that it was 1985 that Windows was first revealed. If this is true, then Windows was revealed to the world before the Macintosh, but still after Lisa.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #2
  3. gilkisson macrumors 65816

    gilkisson

    #3
    It was not an operating system back then, it was only a kinda-sorta GUI running under DOS.

    Matter of fact, it still is...:D
     
  4. Axemantitan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Is that how they were able to get a public demo out so fast? I thought that they bought some Lisas that were for sale and decided to come up with Windows after seeing that. Or did they go to Xerox PARC themselves and start work before the Lisa, or did they see pre-release versions of Lisa and Macintosh that Apple were developing?
     
  5. angelneo macrumors 68000

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    #5
    I think that is specifically for the mouse, point and click thingy we all see on our computers now, if I am not wrong. They already had some sort of GUI (use very loosely here) prior that.
     
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #6
    Windows was an overlay on DOS until Windows 95.

    Windows was beaten to market by GEM, a GUI over DOS created by Digital Research, first sold in 1984.
     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #7
    Actually, Windows was an overlay on DOS up through Windows Me. Although Microsoft claimed that Windows 95 was not based on DOS, this was not true. Beneath Windows 95, lay MS-DOS 7.x, a fully-functional version of the familiar commandline operating system. Just like with every previous version of Windows, it was possible to boot into DOS and never see the Windows GUI. IIRC, the ability to boot into DOS was removed from Windows 98 and Me.

    Windows has its origins back in 1981. However, it was not until it acquired Apple's source code for the Mac that Microsoft actually managed to get Windows to work. Apple agreed to allow Microsoft to use its code for Windows 1.0 in exchange for Microsoft's agreement to release Microsoft BASIC for the Macintosh. Apple also agreed to kill its own superior Macintosh BASIC. These were two very bad mistakes by Apple.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #8
    But this in itself doesn't really mean much (aside from the fact that DOS limitations were held over in Windows' case, like the clunky way in which Win95/98 dealt with long file names). I mean, every version of OS X can be booted into a command line interface without bringing up a windowing interface, and this is nearly universally true for non-embedded Unix implementations.

    Anyway, to me... Windows 95 was the first time that Windows had an even vaguely sensible user interface paradigm. I actually kind of enjoyed Win95 at the time. NT4 was the first time that it actually paired that interface with an even vaguely sensible architecture.
     
  9. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

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    #9
    Windows NT was not an overlay over DOS though, and that was around in 1993 or thereabouts?
     
  10. MisterMe macrumors G4

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    #10
    I think that you misunderstood my point. I am not equating MS-DOS with the command line. I would certainly not make the mistake of equating the UNIX command line with MS-DOS. Neither am I throwing in Windows NT, 2000, XP, or Vista. These are underpinned by NT and trace their lineage through command line OS/2, whose lineage is completely different than that of MS-DOS.

    I am equating MS-DOS with the operating system whose origins lie in Q-DOS, the CP/M rip-off that Microsoft bought from Seattle Microsystems back in the 1980 era. It is that operating system, MS-DOS 7.x, that underpinned Windows 95, 98, and Me much like MS-DOS 6.x underpinned Windows 3.x. Outward appearances to the contrary, Win95 was an evolution, not a revolution.
     
  11. gilkisson macrumors 65816

    gilkisson

    #11
    I think the argument can be made that in its creation and evolution, very little about Windows can be said to be original. GUI concepts were from Apple, and NT (the real core of modern Windows) was from OS/2. Apple and IBM mated, and gave birth to a very strange, but commercially successful, illegitimate "love" child.

    Gates didn't invent, he borrowed and stitched.
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #12
    I do see your point... but I disagree with this. Architecture / OS mechanics aren't the only place you can have a revolution. Windows 95 was a revolution in the human interface of Windows that led down the road they've followed ever since in terms of HI.

    Likewise, OS X, which at debut was in many ways just a new windows manager on top of the same old Unix, was still a human interface revolution -- Apple in one fell swoop took Unix and created the first system on top of it that lots of typical home users could actually not only use but manage / self-administrate. Even a decade later, Linux is struggling to try to replicate this aspect of Apple's success.

    HI is *important* -- it's not just a surface characteristic.
     
  13. Queso macrumors G4

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    #13
    They went to PARC after hearing about Apple's upcoming Lisa interface. However, both Windows 1.0 and the PARC GUI were nothing like the interface that finally came out on the Macintosh. Xerox had icons representing tasks rather than files, so their creation worked more like the icon bar in OpenOffice than the drag and drop file and program based GUI Apple unveiled. Microsoft's original effort was somewhere between the two, allowing basic multitasking but not overlapping windows. What became Windows 2.0 though was basically the Macintosh interface but less pretty, hence the lawsuit.
     
  14. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

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    #14
    Concepts were from Xerox PARC.

    NT was born from VMS / PrimeOS.

    Wasn't Windows 1.0 a tiled version? Overlapping windows didn't happen until 2.1??? and wasn't really comercially acceptable until 3.0 / 3.1?

    I forget the timeline now. DR Dos and Gem were way ahead for their time.
     
  15. gilkisson macrumors 65816

    gilkisson

    #15
    True , PARC is the grandaddy of the GUI.

    NT came about after IBM/Microsoft joined hands briefly to produce OS/2. Bill Gates was quoted as stating the future rides on OS/2. It was sad, really.. OS/2 Warp was for better, more stable, faster, more secure, than its contemporary, Windows 95. But IBM advertised via one Fiesta Bowl, while Microsoft advertised via *everything*. Win95 won, OS/2 died. And NT was born of it.
     
  16. MisterMe macrumors G4

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    #16
    You will get no argument from this Macintosh user of nearly 20 years of the importance of HI. However, HI is not everything. Microsoft used the same GUI for its DOS-based Windows like Win95 and Win98 as it used for its NT-based Windows like Win2000. I would argue that Win98 was the best DOS-based version of Windows ever released. However, it was still DOS-based. Even though Windows 2000, XP, and Vista share similar HI with Win95/98/Me, they are far superior when the rubber hits the road. You saw this when the DOS-based paradigm collapsed under Windows Me.

    As for your assertion that MacOS X is "just another window manager," I think that you go a bit too far. "Just another window manager" would imply that MacOS X is a GUI for the X Windowing System. It is not. MacOS X is both the windowing system and the windows manager. It is far richer than any combination of X Windows and windows manager on any other operating system.

    Discussions like this tend to ignore the relevant timeline. Microsoft and IBM began work on OS/2 in 1985. OS/2 was released in April 1987. Windows 95 was released in 1995 some eight years after the release of OS/2. Windows 95 did not kill OS/2. Bad but well-meaning decisions by IBM killed OS/2. Those decisions limited the adopted of the OS by a market that was largely satisfied with MS-DOS. When Microsoft saw that OS/2 was going nowhere, it stabbed it partner in the back and used its part of OS/2 to develop Windows NT.

    I constantly hear OS/2 fans talk about how great OS/2 Warp was. OS/2 Warp was not the beginning of OS/2, it was the end of it. OS/2 Warp was released in 1994 seven years after the release of OS/2 1.0. Its claim to fame was that it ran Windows apps better than Windows. Can you imagine what would happen if Apple suddenly released a version of MacOS X that ran Windows apps out of the box? No more new MacOS X apps, that's what. OS/2 lingered for another seven years. In 2001, it succumbed to the inevitable.

    I take a backseat to no one in my disdain for Microsoft. However, virtually every decision that contributed to the demise of OS/2 was made by IBM. They were borne out of the fact that IBM never grasped the fact that it had lost control of the personal computer market to the clones and that it could no longer dictate market trends. Today, IBM is completely out of the personal computer market.
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    I understand what you are saying, but this is a debatable technical point. Yes, Windows 95 and its brethren were highly dependent on DOS code, but this code was treated quite differently than it was in Windows 3.x and its predecessors. These earlier versions of Windows were nothing more than DOS shells, so much so that Windows 3.x could be run over MS-DOS or DR-DOS.

    Microsoft did not acquire any Apple source code to my knowledge. Apple did license some interface elements, which as the story goes, were held hostage for the development of Mac software by Microsoft.

    Not to repeat everything on this topic which as been discussed here previously, Xerox PARC didn't really "invent" the GUI -- they assembled a number of concepts which had been explored for some years, mainly in academia, into a working model. Important, yes -- but in reality the GUI had many granddads, of which Xerox was just one.
     
  18. MisterMe macrumors G4

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    #18
    Microsoft did not reverse engineer Macintosh code with Apple's blessing. It was licensed to use the actual code. The code was intended primarily to help Microsoft port Microsoft BASIC to the new platform. The license also allowed Microsoft to use the code for its Windows project--which was going nowhere at the time. However, the license only applied to Windows 1.0 or so Apple claimed. When Microsoft used Apple code in its next release, Apple sued. Apple lost the suit. The court ruled that Microsoft's use of Macintosh code was allowed under their license agreement.
     
  19. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #19
    Not code, according to all of the sources I've ever read on this subject. One of my primary references for this is an excellent and lengthy article by Jim Carlton which ran in Wired more than ten years ago.

    http://stag2.wired.com/wired/archive//5.11/es_apple.html?pg=11&topic=

    Read from about the middle of this page through the next couple of pages.
     
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #20
    This is very true, although time is a factor. Win95 was the first implementation of that HI... NT4 followed up, and I think you're absolutely right, that between NT4 and the subsuming of the "consumer" line into the NT line with Win2k, all the best options were on the NT side of the fence. Win98 was a tolerable stopgap, and WinME was awful -- whereas NT4 was much, much better than Win95. But also in the balance is also that all of these iterations came out years after Windows 95 did.
     
  21. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

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    #21
    Not to argue the point ... well actually yeah, I don't think Cutler was part of the OS/2 team.

    The underpinnings of NT (and the API) are classic VMS. So much so, that it wasn't all that hard to port VMS code to NT. I did work on OS/2 briefly and really don't remember the API being anything like NT.

    Roughly Drafted has a timeline that is more in line with what I remember.

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/4C5CEE4A-94F7-4DA2-A518-B29372AA0839.html
     
  22. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #22
    Yes, it was just a bunch of graphic libraries really. You'd boot dos and then run this program called "windows" by typing "windows" at the dos prompt. The firs version did not allow overlapping windows in would only divide the screen into sections. But what it DID do was through that library provide a common interface to applications so they could draw to the screen withoout needed to know what graphic card you had.

    Before this in the PC world every program had to include it's own graphics driver. Yes the drivers where insie each program.

    I remember, even then I thought it was "way primitive". I'd been using a "real" windowed system for years, we had multiple overlapping windows, remote of one computer's screen on another computer and netwoking and 21 inch color monitors on our Sun workstations but the Windows PC was a novelty because of the price.

    Funny how those Sun workstations ran a version of BSD Unix which even in '85 was a fully mature OS. Now Mac OS X uses that.
     
  23. jodelli macrumors 65816

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    #23
    That was vaporware, basically.
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #24
    The early versions of Windows were sold, just hardly anyone bought them. I remember distinctly looking at Windows (probably 2.0) in a computer store mid-'80s. I already had a Mac, and recall thinking at the time how embarrassing primitive this effort was by comparison.
     
  25. jodelli macrumors 65816

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    #25
    It took Microsoft two years from announcement to release, and Windows 1.0 had changes made to it. The version from 1983 was vaporware, 1.01 wasn't.

    As Microsoft was known to do, the announcement of Windows in 1983 was a preemptive strike against the likes of GEM and VisiCorp who were planning GUI releases of their own.
    Microsoft's product wasn't much beyond the concept stage in 1983 but they didn't want vendors migrating to the other companies, so they demoed what they had.
     

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