Chris J Powell

This Day in Tech History – November 10

Every once in a while I like to turn my attention to the past and look to what happened on this day in History.  I find that it helps to keep me grounded.  In looking to the past, we can sometimes find a new future…and that is just the case with today’s look back.

On November 10, 1983 Microsoft announced Windows 1.0, and even though it would not be released until 1984 the date of the birth of the single most prolifically installed operating system ecosystem is significant for anyone who has ever booted up a computer, used a spreadsheet or surfed the web.

Our computing lives were forever changed with this one little announcement, at a time well before the internet but we can still go back in time and see the original commercial:

The thing that I have to ask though…is why the future CEO of Microsoft has a thing against Nebraska?

As it turns out…he had nothing against Nebraska.  In the 80’s the rise of Call Centers had started and Nebraska as a State had lots of extra phone lines due to the headquarters of Strategic Air Command and because of a strange Ma’ Bell rule at the time, you could not have the same 1-800 number in the State as you could Nationally so this was a common phrase used in Infomercials and Commercials of the day and would direct you to the location of the Call Center that you were calling to place your order.  Steve Ballmer was just trying to be funny.

For me though, my first experience with the Windows Operating System did not come until several years after Windows 1.0, it was using Windows 3.11 while working for a Security Company in Toronto…and by then, Windows had become the dominant force it is today with 91.48% of all desktops/laptops having Windows of one variety or another installed.

I think that maybe I will take a trip back in time this week and see if I can’t find a copy of this venerable, veteran of the computing world and give it a whirl.



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