In Pictures: A visual history of OS desktop environments

A trip down memory lane, tracing major milestones in the evolution of the desktop environment.

Arthur (RISC OS) June 1987 – Acorn Computers shipped the first version of Arthur (later known as RISC OS) for Acorn's ARM-powered line of Archimedes computers. One of the most notable features was the introduction of what was called an “Icon Bar” – something most of us today refer to as a “dock” - a collection of icons that represented various aspects of the system, including running applications and disks. RISC OS had another first for the computing world - spatial anti-aliasing of fonts. This was a seriously advanced system.

Awesome Fact: RISC OS isn't dead. You can download a free edition for your Raspberry Pi. How cool is that?

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  • Marcelo

    excellent, but.. you´re forgot Atari Operating System (TOS) launched in 1985.

  • Steve Petrov

    I think the Framework Desktop Developed by Aston-Tate, then Borland and later Selections & Functions is worth a mention. It was a DOS based text/graphical GUI which used the desk top metaphore long before MS-Windows. So I think it's historically important. In fact it's still around, can be run in MS Windows and tends to be used by certain specialists and die hard fans: http://framework.com/

    BeOS is also worth a mention and had many supporters who kept trying to resurect it. In fact, a visit to the BeOS wiki reveals that several OSes decended from BeOS, some LINUX based and one not, are still being developed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BeOS At this point, such OSes would probaby be of interest only to programmers, hobbiests and total geeks who love tinkering with OSes... not that there's anything wrong with that! LOL!

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