In Pictures: A visual history of OS desktop environments

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

Amiga Workbench July 23, 1985 – Just a few short months after the launch of DRI's GEM, Commodore International released the first “Amiga” computer, running its display server, Intuition, and desktop environment, Workbench. Amazing graphics, sound, and video, combined with a highly customizable look and feel, made for some astoundingly impressive demos. This advanced system also featured preemptive multitasking and, I kid you not, file icons that could be different sizes.

Fun Fact: “Amiga” was chosen to be the name for this amazing system... because it came before both “Apple” and “Atari,” alphabetically.

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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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