Posted on November 10, 2016
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On this date in 1983, Microsoft announced its newest product, Windows.
Before Windows, Personal Computers (PCs) had DOS:
Windows was the PC answer to Apple – a way of allowing PC users to use a mouse or other pointer, to see pull-down menus and multiple applications, to have a computer-using experience that was more graphic and less like programming.
Actually, there were some delays before Windows finally made it into the public's hands, in 1985. That was Windows 1.0. And it wasn't until Windows 3.0 (in 1990) that the operating system saw widespread use.
Now we're up to Windows 10 – a system for tablets, smartphones, and “embedded devices” (like music players, flight machinery, and watches), as well as for Personal Computers. I have to admit that, although I had PCs – and Windows – for a few years between Apple products, I prefer Apples.
As important as computers are, I thought I would take the opportunity to glance at the history of windows, lower case – as in openings in a wall, door, roof, or vehicle largely meant to allow light, air, and sound to pass through.
As you can imagine, as long as there have been human-created structures – from way back in pre-history – there have been windows. But if we are talking about windows covered with glass or other transparent (or translucent) material, we have to go back to ancient history:
The Romans are the first known civilization to use glass in windows, way back in the year 100 A.D. (B.C.):
Windows covered with translucent paper were common in ancient China, Korea, and Japan.
By the late 600s, stained glass windows (using various colors of glass to make a pattern or picture) had been invented:
In the 1300s, people covered windows with flattened animal horn:
In England, glass windows became common in the 1600s:
In the 1800s, in the American West, glass was hard to come by, so people used greased paper windows. But eventually, even out there, many buildings had glass windows:
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