Chronology of Microsoft Windows Operating Systems

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Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1990

May 22
  • At the Center City Theater at Columbus Circle in New York, Microsoft introduces and ships Microsoft Windows 3.0. This version allows addressing memory above 640 kB. Microsoft spends US$3 million for opening-day marketing, as part of a US$10 million promotional campaign. [15] [28] [45] [75] [123] [146] [150] [346.239] [346.272] [379.256] [389.29] [477.161] [479.128] [548.159] [595.26] [606.81] [620.130] [618.296] [721.156] [769.4] [909.232] [1149.359] [1299.1] [1527.176] [1639.114] [1897.129] [2605.173]
(month unknown)
  • John Dvorak quote: "I think Windows 3.0 will get a lot of attention; people will check it out, and before long they'll all drift back to raw DOS. Once in a while they'll boot Windows for some specific purpose, but many will put it in the closet with the Commodore 64.". [648.20]
September
  • IBM and Microsoft end co-operative work on operating systems, dividing up work-to-date between them, in a series of cross-licensing agreements. Microsoft will work on Windows, DOS, and a portable version of OS/2. IBM will continue development of 16-bit (v1.x) and 32-bit (v2.0) versions of OS/2. [162] [346.245] [379.256] [477.161] [511.95] [795.15] [909.232] [1299.399] [1897.129] (November [38])
(month unknown)
  • Microsoft ships the one millionth copy of Windows 3.0. [1149.362]
December
  • Microsoft begins shipping the first version of the Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) library for Microsoft Windows 3.0. [511.67]
Year
  • Shipments of Microsoft Windows 3.0 for the year: 2.75 million. [1080.197]

1991

January
  • Microsoft announces Microsoft Windows for Pen Computing. It will include handwriting-recognition software. [1093.159] [1149.393]
  • Microsoft announces the Windows New Technology operating system. [909.232]
March 6
  • In the lawsuit of Apple Computer versus Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco denies Hewlett-Packard's request to declare Apple's copyrights invalid, and also rejects Microsoft's argument that portions of Windows are covered by the 1985 license from Apple. However, the judge agrees to Microsoft's request to consider the copyright issue feature-by-feature, rather than on the basis of overall look and feel. [346.195]
March 18
  • In San Francisco, California, the Software Publisher's Association holds its Spring Symposium, including the Excellence in Software Awards ceremony. Winners include: Best Business Program: Microsoft Windows 3.0. [1498.64]
April
  • In the lawsuit of Apple Computer versus Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, Apple broadens its suit to include Windows 3.0. [346.195]
(month unknown)
  • Quote by Aaron Goldberg, of International Data Corp.: "I don't know if anyone has tried to run Windows on a 286 machine, but frankly I'd rather have knitting needles in my eyes.". [169]
May
  • One year after the release of Microsoft Windows 3.0, more than three million copies have been sold. [618.296] [1629.34] (over four million [1299.9])
July
  • Microsoft changes the name of OS/2 v3.0 to Windows NT. [40]
October 8
  • At the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the Multimedia Marketing Council launches the Multimedia PC. Keynote speakers include James Burke and Bill Gates. Requirements of a Multimedia PC are: 80286 processor, 2 MB RAM, 40 MB hard drive, VGA graphics, two-channel 16-bit audio record/playback, CD-ROM, and Microsoft Windows with Multimedia extensions. [704.217] [768.29] [1530.62]
October
  • Microsoft releases Windows 3.0a with Multimedia Extensions. Included is Microsoft's first media player software; it can play CD audio and WAV files. [1608.38] [1897.129]
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  • At the COMDEX show, Microsoft gives the first public demonstration of Windows NT. [909.232]
December 31
  • Total shipments of Microsoft Windows 3.0 to date: 15 million. [606.141]
Year
  • Desktop operating system market share in the world: Microsoft Windows 75%. [1429.58]

1992

January
  • Microsoft releases the Windows Style Guide. [688.99]
  • Microsoft hosts the Windows NT developers conference. [1059.28]
  • Microsoft hosts a User Interface Design Preview, to solicit input on the Windows interface from Windows application developers. [688.99]
March
  • Microsoft launches its first TV advertising campaign, for Windows. [123]
April
  • IBM ships the OS/2 2.0 operating system. It requires an Intel 386 processor, 4 MB RAM, and adds WIN-OS/2 3.0 for Windows 3.0 compatibility. Code-name during development was Cruiser. [477.165] [479.128] [606.81] [688.44,688.107] [734.347] [858.71] [1299.383] [1572.28] (March [1057.32] [1639.116])
April 6
  • At the Comdex / Windows World conference, Microsoft unveils Windows 3.1, including scalable TrueType fonts. The software comprises over 3 million lines of code. (One million copies of the new and upgrade versions are sold through retail channels within the first 50 days.) [75] [123] [388.6] [477.165] [479.128] [620.131] [688.44] [909.232] [1057.32] [1271.36] [1299.437] [1629.34] [1639.116] [1886.69] [1897.130] (May [509.177] [534.130] [721.156])
April
  • Microsoft releases the Microsoft SDK for Windows 3.1. Price is US$349. [1049.133]
  • Microsoft ships Windows for Pen Computing operating system. [1093.159] [1897.130]
  • In Boston, Massachussettes, Microsoft and Digital Equipment announce Windows NT for computers based on the 64-bit Alpha processor. [1299.438]
April 30
  • In the first four months of the year, Microsoft has shipped 10 million copies of Windows 3.0. [606.141] [1057.155]
June
  • IBM and Microsoft sign a "divorce" document, formally ending their cooperation on operating systems development. IBM claims no rights to Windows NT, can use Windows source code until September 1993, and will pay Microsoft a royalty for each copy of OS/2 sold. Microsoft pays a lump sum of US$25-30 million for the use of IBM patents. [68] [1299.438]
(month unknown)
  • Microsoft ships the Windows Sound System. [909.238]
  • Nolan Bushnell, chairman of Octus, quote: "Within three years, televisions will have either a Windows or Mac interface.". [1049.16]
July 6
  • The Win32 Professional Developers Conference is held, in San Francisco, California. Microsoft first makes public mention of work on "Chicago", the next version of Windows. Microsoft also gives out over 4500 copies of Win32 SDK and pre-release versions of Windows NT for Intel 386/486 processors and for MIPS R4000 processors. [909.232] [737.24] [954.1] [606.82] [1639.116] (July 4 [1639.116]) (Window NT Professional Developers Conference) [955.20] [1059.28])
October
  • Microsoft releases 50,000 copies of the first beta-test version of Windows NT. [928.67]
October 27
  • Microsoft ships Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.1, which integrates networking and workgroup functionality. [123] [210.38] [909.236] [1264.42] [1629.34] [1639.123] [1648.52] (November [477.165])
Year
  • Shipments of Microsoft Windows for the year: over 10 million units. [915.27]

1993

  • Microsoft Windows replaces DOS as the best-selling software application. [1700.24]
March
  • At Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, the Plug and Play initiative is unveiled. Compaq Computer, Intel, Microsoft, and Phoenix Technologies are initial supporters. [694.80] [981] [969] [1432.27] (April [122])
  • The Software Publishers Association reports that MS-Windows applications are outselling MS-DOS programs for the first time. [479.128] [1629.34]
April
  • Microsoft releases the OLE 2.0 specification for Windows development. [479.129] [687.120]
  • Microsoft reports that there are 25 million licensed users of Microsoft Windows. [123] [389.29] [1559] [1897.130]
May 11
  • Microsoft chairman Bill Gates approves a plan by product manager Russ Siegelman to create an online service and include it as part of the next Windows release. Code-name for the product is Marvel. (It will emerge as the Microsoft Network in August 1995.) [1700.26]
May 24
  • At the COMDEX show, Microsoft formally launches the Windows NT operating system. Initial version is 3.1. Price is US$495, or US$295 as an upgrade from a previous Windows operating system. The software comprises over 4 million lines of code. [123] [374.4] [909.236] [985] [1271.36] [1559] [1639.124] [1648.52] (July [548.159] [721.156]) (July 1992 [387.98] [479.129])
June 1
  • U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker rules against Apple Computer in its 63-month legal suit against Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. The judge rules that ninety percent of the elements in Windows are covered by Microsoft's 1985 license from Apple Computer. Apple Computer files an appeal. [61] [75] [123] [389.29] [548.338] [580.191] [1299.463]
June
  • IBM releases OS/2 2.1, now including Win-OS/2 3.1 Windows 3.1 support. Code-name during development was Borg. [60] [479.129] [858.71] [689.231] [1312]
July
  • Microsoft begins shipping Windows NT Workstation 3.1, and Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1. [535] [567.132] [1299.461] (August [66])
August
  • Microsoft releases the Windows NT 3.1 operating system. The software comprises 6.5 million lines of code. [1182.166] [1897.130]
August 24
  • Apple Computer loses its appeal of the ruling in favor of Microsoft in June, ending its legal battle against Microsoft Windows. [582.92] [1886.69] [2605.173]
September
  • The 1992 Joint Development contract between IBM and Microsoft, in which each company had access to the other's source code for OS/2 and Windows, expires. [501.102] [544.30]
October
  • IBM and Motorola announce the PowerPC Reference Platform (PReP) specification. With this, system makers could make compatible systems that can run shrink-wrapped applications. Such systems could run AIX, Solaris, Windows NT, and others. [881.81] [1099]
November 8
  • Microsoft ships Windows for Workgroups 3.11. [123] [479.129] [538] [909.236] [1559] [1629.35] [1639.124] (March [721.156])
December 10
  • SunSoft (a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems) ships the first version of WABI, providing Microsoft Windows application compatibility on Solaris, Intel, and Sparc versions of UNIX. [73] [1365.40]
Year
  • Shipments of Microsoft Windows operating system for the year: 25 million. [824]
  • Shipments of Microsoft Windows NT for the year: 300,000. [507.32] (500,000 [824])

End of 1990-1993. Next: 1994.
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1981-1989 1990-1993 1994-1996 1997-1999 2000-end


A list of references to all source material is available.

Other web pages of interest:

  • Chronology of Personal Computers
  • Personal Computer References in Pop Culture
  • Chronology of Microprocessors
  • Chronology of Handheld Computers
  • Chronology of Workstation Computers
  • This Day in Personal Computer and Video Game History
  • This Day in History

  • Last updated: 2022 April 29.
    Copyright © 2007-2022 (email: ).
    URL: https://pctimeline.info/windows/
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