Happy birthday, Windows

Do you remember your 25th brithday? (Are you even that old?) We remember ours. It was great, we had a big party and then got in a blazing row with the neighbours when they came round at 4am to complain about the noise.

Anyway! Whether Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer had a similar blowout yesterday we don't know, but what we do know is that yesterday was another 25th birthday - that of Windows. Yes, the operating system which we all love to curse about - but which we almost all use every day - was first released on Nov 20th, 1985.

Windows 1.0 was a very different beast, of course. It needed just a few kilobytes of RAM to run and came on a floppy disk. It included a simple word processor, Write (which lives on as WordPad), a game (Reversi), and a clock. But more importantly, it helped you run and manage other programs together, which is pretty much what Windows has been helping people do since.

How strange that as it celebrates its quarter-century - and its best-selling version yet - the windows-and-mouse system that Windows integrated is giving way to a simpler, touch-based mode of working. By the thirtieth birthday, Windows will probably look very different.

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