21 Years of Windows Ought to be Enough for Anybody

Happy 21st birthday, Microsoft Windows!

Although you've been of legal drinking age in France and Italy for five years, the United Kingdom for three and most of Canada for two, you're finally old enough to procure Bud Light in your home country!

In honor of this milestone, the site Connected Internet has published a list of 21 things you never knew about Microsoft, Windows and Bill Gates. Among the items in this list:

  • The price: Microsoft Windows 1.0's retail price was US$100. The Connected Internet article states that 100 1985 dollars is worth about $177 today, which is about a dozen dollars short of what it costs to buy the full version Windows XP Home edition with Service Pack 2 at
  • Requirements to run Windows 1.0: 256KB of RAM (remember, that's kilobytes, not megs!), DOS 2.0 and two floppy drives.
  • Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose: Windows 1.0 was out a full 2 weeks before it had to be patched to fix some bugs.
  • Why Bill doesn't work in branding: Bill didn't want to call it “Windows”; his preferred name was “Interface Manager”. You've got to remember that this was the early days of personal computing. You have to remember that only four years prior to Windows 1.0's release, IBM's PCs were produced by an independent business unit whose name was “Entry-Level Systems”, which implied that PCs were something you bought as a gateway to buying a real computer.

If you're curious as to what installing Windows 1.0 was like, DigiBarn has a photo essay that goes through the whole procedure.

We'll close by leaving you with this cult favorite: a video of Steve Ballmer doing what I presume is an internal promotional video for Windows 1.0: