Windows

The Windows splash screen is dead - long live the splash screen

Microsoft Windows has been around longer than Mark Zuckerberg, and we have the splash screens to prove it.

Quick question: In what year was Microsoft Windows 1.01 released? Here's a hint: Vinyl was still the material of choice for recorded music.

If you said 1985, you are correct. That's right, we are approaching the 30th anniversary of Microsoft Windows. I doubt anyone using Windows 1.0 back then would have made the bet that Windows would be the dominate operating system for personal computers in 2011.

I started to reminisce about the long string of Microsoft Windows versions and remembered that Greg Shultz put together a gallery of all the Windows splash screens throughout the years. As a DOS batch file master, I shunned the first few versions of Windows in favor of the old command-line way of doing things. My first Windows version was 3.0.

However, in many ways, using Windows 3.0 qualified you as an early adopter. I remember working for a company in the early 1990s that purchased brand-new PCs running Windows 3.11 for Workgroups. The first thing the employees did every morning was open the command prompt -- essentially we ignored the GUI. That is, except for me -- I eventually convinced my bosses that the work we were doing could be done more efficiently if we used this Windows stuff instead of a DOS prompt.

Seeing the Windows 3.11 splash screen in Greg's gallery awakened those memories. To show what a different time it is we live in, consider that Windows 8 may not have a splash screen at all because it takes only about 10 seconds to load. Change really is the only constant.

Were you an early adopter of Microsoft Windows? Do you recognize the Windows splash screens from the gallery? What version of Windows was your first version of Windows?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

11 comments
mfhathome
mfhathome

I remember using version .99, it was back in '84/85. I'm not sure if it was publicly released. I worked in an R&D environment back in '85 and often received 'early' consumer releases. The packaging was clearly marked as version .99 but I think the splash screen I think was 1.0 or 1.01. Ah, the good old days, green screen graphic cards and 10MB HD..........oh, yeah and 5.25in floppy disks! ps- we also had a Lisa for a while ;)

mark16_15
mark16_15

It was a multitasking program/GUI for DOS.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The first that you owned or the first you had to work with. :D Many people will have a very different number. :D I still have nightmares about MS DOS 1 and I didn't have to work with that most of the time. It was only when the Play Side of the Business screwed up so badly that they dragged a Tech from the Main Frame Side into the Place Kicking and Screaming to fix what they didn't understand or comprehend. I needn't say that we didn't understand it either but could generally speaking make it work. :^0 Col

wpeckham
wpeckham

Not DPS, DOS. We need an edit function here guys.

wpeckham
wpeckham

I used some dedicated PCs prior to Microsoft: Interact Model J, etc., some CP/M machines, and I owned an ALTOS MPM-II with 5 MEG hard drives and a quad-density 5.25" floppy. My first Microsoft OS was DPS version 1.1. I tried Windows version 2, and was convinced it would NEVER catch on. No one would put up with something so slow and kludgy. Ok, no one is ALWAYS right...

Slayer_
Slayer_

Sure it required DOS to launch it, but then Windows took over hardware and memory access, DOS then closed in the background. When Windows crashed, you didn't drop back to DOS. If you told it to exit to DOS, it had to reload DOS. command.com was still a DOS emulation.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

even W98 was still wrapped around DOS underpinnings. NT was the first version that wasn't built over DOS.

admiraljkb
admiraljkb

First first was a Commodore PET, and AppleII, and MSDOS 1 or 2, can't remember that far... First professionally I think it ended up being MS-DOS 4.01 and Desqview! Then Windows 3 and DOS5, and OS2 1.1 and it went on from there.

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys

this did not post where iintended....PTB please delete thanks

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

In the early '90s I frequently proclaimed that personal Internet pages would soon join the CB radio in returning to obscure niche uses.

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys

I miss Win2K, it was my favorite :| . I do everything I can to make an OS look and "feel" the same but with Win7, all i can do is make everything classic view; I really don't like all the big buttons and flashy-ness. I think the term is "keep it simple stupid" ;)