IT & Network Infrastructure : How Microsoft Windows 3.0 Dragged the IBM PC into the Graphics Age
Microsoft introduced Windows 3.0 on May 22, 1990. This is the desktop operating systems that finally succeeding in bringing the IBM standard PC world into age of the graphical user interface. Before this time, most people using IBM standard PCs ran Microsoft's MS-DOS or the nearly identical IBM-branded PC-DOS operating system that limited users to running what today could only be considered a primitive command-line interface to enter program instructions. There was no reason to use a mouse with an IBM PC, because PC applications were simply masses of text displayed on green or amber screens. There were two earlier versions of Windows, but they were not widely adopted. Most people who wanted to work with a true graphical interface bought the Apple Macintosh. And it was mainly the Macintosh and the manifest advantages of a GUI that drove Microsoft to develop Windows. The release of Windows 3.0 was essentially the culmination of more than six years of Microsoft research and development to bring a Mac-like graphical interface to PCs. It's been a graphical world ever since and most people born less than 20 years ago probably haven't a clue what it would be like to control a computer without a GUI. This eWEEK slide show illustrates what the advent of windows 3.0 meant to the personal computing world.