Thirty years ago and in the month of May Microsoft released the Windows 3.0 with a graphical interface that represented a dramatic leap over its predecessors in terms of capability and popularity. This is what made them Windows 3.0 separately.
Windows 3.0: The first successful version of Windows
In the early days IBM compatible computers had the Microsoft MS-DOS, an operating system based on the Command Prompt and could usually run only one program at a time. As computers became more powerful in the early 1980s, multitasking was a huge leap in technology. The magazines talked about the increase in productivity that resulted from the possibility of running two applications simultaneously.
At the time, computer-based graphics and mouse ideas were pioneered in Xerox Alto, had begun to enter the personal computer industry. Having tried several early GUI based operating system approaches, the Microsoft released in 1985 its own mouse-based graphical interface, the Windows 1.0. It ran over MS-DOS and provided a bitmap display with non-overlapping application windows.
Neither Windows 1.0 nor the Windows 2.0 proved to be successful in the market. Then came the 1990s Windows 3.0, another GUI shell that ran over MS-DOS. It allowed the multiple work of both MS-DOS programs and specially written applications of Windows. Unlike previous versions of Windows, proved successful, selling over 10 million copies. This was followed by support for third-party applications and so the Microsoft strengthened its dominance in PC operating systems.
But what were the elements that made them Windows 3.0 unique and successful.
The New Program Manager
In today Windows, the Start menu provides a quick and easy way to organize and launch installed applications. In Windows 3.0 this work was performed by the Program Manager, which was also the main interface (shell) for Windows.
As a shell, the Windows 2.0 had used MS-DOS Executive, which was basically a list of files without support for application icons. In comparison, the "big" 16-color icons in Windows 3.0 looked like a revelation, bringing details that matched expensive Macintosh color computers to relatively inexpensive computers.
Also, the management program was easy to use. Compared to MS-DOS alone, or its MS-DOS Executive shell Windows 2.0, the management program provided a very user-friendly interface. Users could easily find and launch applications, and for the most part they were protected from accidentally destroying files.
The Solitaire has associated his name with Windows. The famous collaboration took place for the first time in 1990 when the Microsoft sent its first edition Solitaire after Windows 3.0. With its detailed cards the Solitaire brought a good example of their graphical capabilities Windows. And of course, it was also a great way to kill time at work.
The Solitaire displayed card faces designed by Susan Kare, which has previously designed many graphics and fonts for the Macintosh. He also designed many icons for them Windows 3.0. Η Microsoft used Kare card graphics up to Windows XP, replacing the final ones in Vista.
Better memory management and real multitasking
The Windows 3.0 included advanced memory management that allowed them to use large amounts of RAM, so they could run larger programs and multiple tasks (for the first time). In Windows 3.0, users could run multiple MS-DOS applications simultaneously, which was magical at the time.
A new "XNUMXD" look
It seems strange nowadays, but their buttons Windows 3.0 represented serious steps in the graphics of a computer at that time. They included shadows and highlights that gave the illusion of depth, and as a result, most people referred to those buttons as "3D".
Overall, the appearance of Windows 3.0 was clean and professional, with detailed icons, neat window settings and nice fonts. For the first time, the Windows matched (and unquestionably surpassed) the visual aesthetics of Mac OS, which was considered the GUI benchmark of the time. This visual sense helped to make the Windows 3.0 so popular.
Economical compared to Macs
The Windows 3.0 were a turning point in the development of compatible computers, as they were installed on capable machines, had a good graphical appearance, all the peripherals involved and overall had a fairly low cost. In 1990, you could buy a low-performance PC Windows 3.0 for less than $ 1000, while the cheaper Macintosh cost about $ 2400. With a computer, a mouse and a copy of Windows for $ 149, you could make a machine that looks almost like a Mac, but much cheaper.
The more people buy a platform, the more companies want to grow on it, and that’s exactly what happened in Windows 3.0. While third-party support was initially small, many software developers eventually backed it Windows 3.0, including Aldus with popular software Aldus PageMaker. For office productivity, the Microsoft released excellent editions of PowerPoint, Word and Excel for Windows 3.0. You could do real work on Windows 3.0.
And finally, CHESS.BMP
Anyone who had worked with them Windows 3.0 can not forget the then wonderful high resolution wallpaper of 16 colors (640 × 480!).
Based on the resolution 640x480, the Microsoft included CHESS.BMP, a graphic "video" depicting some chess pieces flying in the air over a seemingly endless chessboard. Screen saver has come to Windows 3.1 so CHESS.BMP at Windows 3.0 was a little fun.
Happy Birthday, Windows 3.0!