In Pictures: Of punchcards, platters, and wooden mice. The PC's origin story

Technology marches relentlessly onward, discarding the old to make way for the new. Today’s heroes quickly becomes yesterday’s news.

Opening Windows Right around the same time that the IBM PC and discrete graphics cards were helping computer hardware hit its stride, lines of code pouring forth from the brain of Bill Gates coalesced into Windows 1.0, the first in a line of operating systems that would create an indelible impression on the PC ecosystem for decades to come.

Microsoft unleashed its OS into the world in 1985, but the first iteration didn’t really catch on despite its user-friendly graphical interface. In fact, Windows didn’t become the juggernaut we know and love until Windows 3.0 landed in 1990, complete with Solitaire and full support for Intel’s legendary 386 processor. The Start menu (RIP) played coy for a while longer, first appearing in Windows 95.

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