By Vamien McKalin | Aug 11, 2012 01:29 PM EDT
The Windows UI has been around for over 27 years, and while there haven't been many changes during that time, whenever change came, it was big. Every time there is a change in the UI, two sets of users emerge, those who dig it, and the ones who don't.
Today we are going look back at Windows UI changes over the years with a set of images. A picture is worth a thousand words they say, or a million dollars if you're a celebrity of some sorts.
The first consumer version of Windows this is. Released back in 1985, Windows 1 is the corner stone and where it all began. Some of you reading this must be very elated you weren't old enough back then to navigate through an user interface like this.
Big changes made their way to Windows 3 when it was released back in 1990. This is the first version of Windows that formulated an icon for minimized Windows. Do you prefer to press ALT+TAB on the keyboard to switch between programs? This is where it all began.
For many users, the first task after firing up their Windows computer, is pressing the Start Menu button. Bet you didn't know the term Start Menu and the Start Menu itself did not originate in Windows XP, but Windows 95 instead. We surprised you right there, didn't we? Explorer, Task Bar, and Desktop are other terms that got introduced in Windows 95. Heh heh, we surprised you again.
Here we have Windows 98 popping on the scene, but with nothing much to show. Little or no changes were made to the user interface. Windows 98 is more of an update than an upgrade in our eyes.
Not one of Microsoft's finest work, but Windows 2000 introduced some new features to the UI. Things like transparency and shadow effects all were brought to the table in Windows 2000
This is when Windows began to have some looks to it, Microsoft did a great job here. The general UI layout stayed the same when compared to Windows 2000, but the look and feel was very different.
Microsoft got in some trouble with Windows Vista, but in all honesty, it wasn't so bad. The new OS brought with it a new UI called Aero, along with a redesigned start menu.
Three years after Windows Vista, Windows 7 came along and suddenly took the bad taste of Vista out of the mouth of many. The Aero UI stayed around, but features like Aero snap , Aero peek , taskbar grouping, bigger icons on taskbar, and multitouch support for touchscreen devices, made Windows 7 what it is today.
Windows 8 hasn't been released yet, however, it is clear this version of the most popular operating system in the world is bringing forth the biggest changes in its history. When you fire up a Windows 8 machine, the first thing you'll see is the new start menu, which is a bunch of tiles. Microsoft calls this new interface, Windows 8 UI, which was also known as Metro UI
Aero, transparency, and blur effects are all gone. Just like with Windows Vista, there is huge debate going about whether or not these changes in Windows 8 will catch on. Personally, I like what Microsoft has done with Windows 8, and would like to see the company bring this design to everything Microsoft.
There it is, a little history lesson on the Microsoft Windows UI changes for the past 27 years.
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