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Go backWindowsWindows 2.0

Windows/286 and /386 advertisement from Byte 13/88, also featuring references to OS/2 and Macintosh.

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The future of personal computing now rests on just one thing.

Making it all make sense.

At Microsoft, first we make it possible.

If you happened to catch the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics, you were one of the lucky few to witness the debut of the personal computer.

Impossible as it seems, a magazine with less than one-tenth the readership of Time or Newsweek launched a technology race roughly parallel to that of the space program.

It also launched a company that immediately assumed center stage in the exciting new world of personal computing. The company was Microsoft, and the tenet upon which it was founded was a simple one. To see a computer on every desk and in every home. To take that rudimentary new contraption that was the early personal computer and turn it into the powerful machine that has literally changed the way we work, required some important steps. The first order of business was to create not simply products, but standards. Microsoft® BASIC became the first universal programming language for the personal computer. And set a standard upon which an industry could grow. Next came what is now the world standard PC operating system, MS-DOS®, developed by us and chosen by IBM for its first personal computers. Today, 20 million machines run on it, and so does a billion-dollar software industry.

And when the Macintosh® was being developed, we were there. That early participation allowed us to write its richest and most important software. These crucial pieces include the powerful Microsoft Word, the much-applauded Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Works, the single-solution program for the diverse needs of small business.

As we were contributing to the development of the Mac®, we were also developing a system to put graphics interface technology into the world of IBM® PCs and compatibles.

The introduction of Microsoft Windows in 1985 meant that an easy-to-understand desktop graphical environment now appeared on PCs. Ultimately, this friendly screen will forever replace the cold theater of character-based computing.

But Windows is more than just a useful tool. It is an important technological feat, one that becomes critical to bringing into final focus that original Microsoft vision. Through Windows, any number of software applications will seamlessly integrate. Sophisticated spreadsheet programs. Powerful word processors. Interactive databases. All effortlessly accessible.

And in MS® OS/2, the new operating system we developed jointly with IBM, the Windows technology (called Presentation Manager) gets even more exciting. Opening up megaamounts of power and memory. Opening up your screen to do several tasks at once. And opening up endless possibilities for developers using the Microsoft family of languages.

But all this doesn’t end at the desktop. With Microsoft OS/2 LAN (local area network) Manager, it’s as easy and natural to work on a network as it is to work alone.

By linking users via software, information can be shared and exchanged by members of a group. Projects are worked on together, instead of bit by bit. And it’s amazing how a company communicates once it’s joined by electronic mail.

There is no question that the advanced productivity springing from today’s personal computer is the direct result of our continued commitment to superior technology.

But even so, that's only half of the equation.

Then we make it practical.

The philosophy behind Microsoft includes another, equally important, notion. That all the technology in the world doesn’t add up to a hill of beans unless it is practical, useful and, above all, easy.

Unless it makes sense.

That’s why, whether you’re using a Microsoft application on a Mac, an MS-DOS or even an OS/2 machine, it will have a comforting familiarity. Because today’s computers share a common software guardian. Microsoft.

Thanks to our groundbreaking work on the graphical interface for the IBM PC and its compatibles, virtually every personal computer can give its user a simpler way to get a lot more done. With a screen that thinks in pictures instead of words, arranged like papers on a desk. Naturally, working with pictures makes the work you turn out much more interesting. Which is why the introduction of Microsoft Windows to the IBM PC and compatibles brought with it a whole new category of software with impressive credentials. Like desktop publishing. And presentation applications that let you create a sophisticated graphics show, from your office instead of the art studio’s.

With Windows giving laser printers their marching orders, all manner of documents take on a more finished look. And no matter what application you’re using, Windows will take over the job of running your printer.

There is also a hardware complement to graphical applications: the Microsoft Mouse. An unprecedented 1.5 million users have found that a simple point and click eliminates complicated keyboard commands.

Our Windows spreadsheet program, Microsoft Excel, goes so far beyond just simple number-crunching that it has unparalleled acceptance in corporate America. More powerful than any other, it also easily delivers sophisticated charts, graphs, text and data pulled simultaneously from several sources. And to make it even easier, we built it to graciously accept files and macros from other programs.

The new generation of PCs will run OS/2 with Presentation Manager, taking our graphical screen to even greater heights. By unlocking the capability of these machines, users can easily switch between programs almost instantly. Members of a workgroup can work together on an unlimited number of tasks.

And finally, every kind of program, from spreadsheets to electronic mail to word processing, works in a common way. To the user, learning one is a quick step toward learning them all. To the corporate bottom line, it means far less valuable time and money are spent on training.

But the real practicality of the graphical user interface comes to life when, inevitably, it appears on every computer screen, everywhere. And networking becomes not only possible, but required in this competitive world.

When you think about it, the goal Microsoft set in 1975 of seeing a computer on every desk and in every home seems close at hand. Because, at Microsoft, our fierce pursuit of technology comes with a promise to keep.

Making it all make sense.

[illustration captions]

[cover of Popular Electronics]
“The world wasn’t waiting. We were. The PC makes its debut.”

[three personal computers]
“MS-DOS with Windows. Mac. MS OS/2. Three ways to go. One driver. Microsoft.”

[networking diagram]
“Networking made practical, with software driving the network.”

[screenshot of Windows 2.0 File menu]
“Easy commands from pull-down menus make window-shopping easy.”

[printed page]
“WYSIWYG, as in What You See Is What You Get. No translation needed.”

[Microsoft Mouse]
“A simple point and click replaces mumbo-jumbo keyboard commands.”

[fine print]

© 1988 Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, MS-DOS and MS are registered trademarks and Making it all make sense is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. Macintosh and Mac are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Micrografx Designer is a product of Micrografx, Inc. and OPUS I is a product of Roykore Software, Inc.

Page added on 27th March 2004.

Copyright © 2002-2006 Marcin Wichary, unless stated otherwise.