Microsoft Windows after 25 years: A visual history

Windows has come a long way since 1985. Where will it go next?

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Windows 1.0: Where it begins

Release date: Nov. 20, 1985

An outgrowth of MS-DOS, Microsoft announced Windows in 1983 and finally released it on Nov. 20, 1985. (See related story.) System requirements for the 16-bit Windows 1.0 included MS-DOS version 2.0, two double-sided disk drives or a hard disk, a graphics-adapter card, and at least 256K of memory. Although this first version was a little-used alternative to Apple's Macintosh, Microsoft actually continued to offer support for Windows 1.0 until Dec. 31, 2001, a few months after the release of Windows XP.

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[ See also: Flops and vapor: 10 ways Microsoft tried and failed to rule mobile ]

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