In Pictures: A visual history of OS desktop environments

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

NeXTstep September 18, 1989 – NeXTstep 1.0's introduction was an important one... even if it wasn't, technically, all that revolutionary. This new system contained many user interface features already present in older systems. What made NeXT so interesting was the inclusion of such a wide variety of such concepts coupled with an excellent visual design. Despite these advanced features, the first hardware (and accompanying software) was, unlike nearly every graphical system to ship in the previous half decade, all in black and white. They fixed that later. NeXTstep failed to really catch on... until Apple purchased the company in 1996 and re-used it for a new version of MacOS.

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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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