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Microsoft Windows 1.0, where it all began (pictures)

It's been almost 30 years since Microsoft launched the first version of the prolific Windows operating system, launched on November 20, 1985.

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James Martin

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1 of 13 Screenshot by Remember the dot

Windows 1.0, where it all began

Microsoft Windows 1.0, seen here, was released in November 1985. Unfortunately for Microsoft, it failed to inspire -- especially when compared with the more user-friendly graphical user interface developed by Apple for the Macintosh.
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2 of 13 Microsoft

Windows 2.0

Windows 2.0 was released two years later, in December 1987. The best that can be said for this incarnation was that Windows remained a work in progress.
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3 of 13 Microsoft/Wikipedia user Tyomitch

Windows 3.0

The 1990 Windows 3.0 desktop workspace. Apparently, three's a charm! The adage about Microsoft needing three times to get it right was never more true. It offered better multitasking of older MS-DOS-based apps through the introduction of virtual memory. For the first time, Windows also garnered serious support from the software development community.
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4 of 13 Microsoft

Windows 95

Behold, the Start button -- a move that would stick around for years to come following its appearance in Windows 95.
5 of 13 Microsoft

Windows NT

Windows NT was the first 32-bit version of Windows.
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6 of 13 CNET

Windows 98

Released on June 25, 1998, Microsoft called Windows 98 the first version of Windows designed specifically for consumers. Windows 98 was also the last version based on MS-DOS.
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7 of 13 Microsoft/Wikipedia user Astroview120mm

Windows 2000

Windows 2000 was a renamed version of Windows NT that added extra speed and stability. It was aimed at large businesses.
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8 of 13 Micorsoft/Wikipedia user Koman90

Windows ME

Windows Millennium Edition, or ME, was seen as a stop-gap release between Windows 98 and XP.
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9 of 13 Microsoft

Windows XP

Windows XP was one of the most popular versions of Windows, and ditched the plain gray color scheme for blues and greens.
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10 of 13 CNET

Windows Vista

Windows Vista brought numerous improvements but also required beefier hardware and came with some stringent security that soured consumers and businesses alike.
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11 of 13 CNET

Windows 7

Windows 7 brought a more refined look and a trimmed-down user interface.
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12 of 13 Microsoft

Windows 8

Microsoft made an aggressive move with Windows 8, which was released in October 2012. The new interface and tiled Start screen came with a steep learning curve that prompted a backlash from some users.
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13 of 13 Microsoft

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 brings a handful of new features that make the OS work better on smaller tablets and let desktop users boot straight to the "desktop" mode.

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