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.
The 1990 Windows 3.0 desktop workspace -- and apparently three's a charm! The old 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.
Updated:Caption:James MartinPhoto:Microsoft/Wikipedia user Tyomitch
Behold, the Start button -- a move that would stick around for years to come.
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.