Software

1991: The Year We All Got GUI (photos)

1: Microsoft DOS

 

In 1991, PCs predominantly ran on Microsoft's DOS Operating System. Unlike today, where the GUI (Graphical User Interface) is taken for granted in PCs for the OS and applications, the GUI and the OS were separate products. Extremely primitive by today's standards, DOS was a 16-Bit character-mode OS and had no built-in multitasking capabilities. It also used an unjournaled 16-bit directory-based filesystem, FAT, which was used on both floppy and hard disks and had an 11 character limit for filenames, hence the "8.3" file format with names such as AUTOEXEC.BAT. 
 
In addition to Microsoft's DOS, IBM had it's own version, PC-DOS, that ran specifically on its PS/2 personal computers. Digital Research, which pioneered in the late 1970's with the forerunner to DOS, CP/M, also released its own DOS-compatible OS, DR-DOS, and eventually ended being owned by Novell and later, SCO.
 

14 comments
bill.fleury
bill.fleury

The Borland Turb C++ screenshot is way too new for this group- note it's running on Windows 95!

pgree
pgree

I was running GEOs on a C=64 before that. Don't even bring up how much farther advanced my Amigas were by that time. MS is always late to the party.

filligree_uk
filligree_uk

This was around in 1985, a preemptive multitasking kernel and way better than Windoze......

hug.login
hug.login

No, I'm happy how GUI's evolved and how they are today, even if they eat up my CPU power :-)

emarques
emarques

Ah, brings back memories! This article / photo gallery seems more like a flashback in computer history.

edwardtisdale
edwardtisdale

We should call this article, How Microsoft added a UI to DOS

radar_z
radar_z

Actually the first Mac came out in 1984. The title should have been "1991 - The Year the Rest of Us Got GUI."

rbortiz
rbortiz

In 1986 or 87 Mac 512 was already GUI

TNT
TNT

I agree, I was running PC/GEOS on my x86 and 286 machines back in the day. It had a very clean GUI, worked with all DOS applications and came with an office suite that was compatible with Word, WordPerfect, WordStar... And it ran in 640k of RAM. Ah the good old days... *sigh*. Did I mention it was way better than Windows 3.1? I didn't give it up until Windows 95.

greytoma
greytoma

yep, I had an Amiga 500 in 1988 what a great machine, color, stereo sound and gui no HD just floppy sssslowww but kept going till 1994 when I sold it for $400.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I actually worked on a Xerox Star at one point. My client was a PR firm for a big corporation. One partner had a Mac, the other a PC. Their client was a big corporation, wanted to send files to the Mac partner to be published - time sensitive press announcements. The Xerox had no comm software, but their version had a dos emualtor. I installed a freeware com program in the DOS window. I wrote a script to dial the Mac at the PR firm and send a file. Fun times. For the record, the Xerox GUI was kinda klunky compared to the Mac OS. But they did have these huge monitors, great for doing word processing and seeing the whole page at once.