Windows: Confused about this WINDOWS thingy?

Well, join the queue. You're not the only one!

However, a little "development of the personal computer" history might help you understand this Windows thingy a little better?

Windows - A Brief History

Many years ago when home computers first came on the market there was an operating system named CPM.

At that time there was no Windows operating system as we all know it.

"Ahhhh! STOP! What's an operating system?" I hear you saying.

It's okay, we've all been there, done that, got the eT-Shirt.

An operating system is the (computer language) system you need to turn that pile of glass, metal, bits of wire and plastic sitting on the top of your desk (aka desktop) into an intelligent beast called a PC (personal computer.)

This computer language system is needed to make software programs do those wonderful things that they do for you.

Well... this is how the story (development of personal computers) broadly goes.

When PC's were first introduced the various personal computer hardware companies were using different software operating systems to turn their particular pieces of metal, glass etc into intelligent beasts.

One operating system they used was CPM. It was one of the standards then... apart from a few others (including DOS, MAC.)

Now, there was this very intelligent - soon to be the richest man in the world - person named Bill Gates who had a little operating system named DOS (Disc Operating System.)

DOS was the major operating system used for mainframe (techno word for BIG enough to occupy a whole floor of a building) computer systems.

IBM (International Business Machines) was the major player in mainframe computers at the time.

Personal computers were regarded as a novel idea. No serious money was going to be made there.

However, Apple MAC, Atari - and a few other small companies which have long since vanished - launched their first PC's onto the market.

They began selling like hot cakes.

Enter IBM

So, the fearless leaders at the Multinational corporation, IBM thought... "Hmmmmm, we need to be in on this small PC market" (which incidentally IBM thought would last for about 10 minutes in the hobbyist market)

"Bill Gates... IBM needs an operating system to turn our new IBM [bits of glass and metal] PC into an intelligent beast. Can you help us?"

Well, Billy thought about this for a nanosecond or two and said...

"No problem Big Blue" ... and off he went with a bunch of his techno-friends at a small company named Microsoft to develop WINDOWS (which was based on his original MSDOS system language.)

Why We All (mostly) Use WINDOWS

Now, this is where he, Billy, got - soon to be richest man in the world - smart!

He said to IBM... "Yep, no problem Big Blue (in-house name for IBM) here's your new PC operating system called Windows, but I've got a deal for you... You can have Windows Operating System cheap, as long as you agree to ship it on every IBM PC that you sell."

... And, they at IBM (thinking they were only going to sell about 3 PC's in the next 10 minutes to the Hobbyist market) agreed!


You see Billy Gates believed something that nobody at IBM did...

PC's (personal computers) were going to be BIG BUSINESS.

Anyway, IBM launched its own PC, and (the soon to be) richest man in the world was on his way.

IBM (because of its size and reputation for quality products) got a lead on the market, and thus most of the computer program written for the now booming PC market were being written for Windows.

These programs needed to be compatible with Billy's operating system to get a decent share of the rapidly expanding market.

Of course the APPLE MAC always stood by itself, and the rest of them tried to cobble together a variety of conversion programs to make their software systems compatible with Windows.

What a mess!

Now, (before you email me to complain) my apologies to the techno-historians.

I may not be completely accurate here with all the facts

... but (as they say in the writing business) never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

This little tale serves to illustrate the story of Windows, and why most of us use this wonderful program we love, hate, don't completely understand, nor use to near its full capability called WINDOWS.


it needs to be said that Windows (apart from its flaws and foibles) is one just one u-beaut bit of techno-stuff, and frankly I couldn't start breakfast without it!!

My point here is...

"If you're using a PC computer you need to understand the basics of WINDOWS to maximise your computing experience."

Now, I'm not the nerdiest guy on the block by any stroke of the imagination... and you don't need to be either.

Personally, I'm not that interested in what's under the hood of any program.

I just want to use it (any program) to do things!

Now, anybody who tells you that that they have used 100% of all the usable features on any computer program is either a person without a social life, or they're telling "fibs" (Australian slang for lying)

The point here is...

"Understanding WINDOWS more will help you do better things with your computer."

AND... I want that !!

Research It Yourself ...

By using the most elegant search tool available on the net, Copernic

OR... By finding out ... peak" target="_blank" title="The WINDOWS Operating System" onclick="return FIX.track(this);">More About WINDOWS

The e*Analyst

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