Share This:

When was the last time you thought about how easy Windows makes your life? Seriously, though: Now, the ease with which you move from application to application, use keyboard shortcuts, and even resolve crashes with CTRL+ALT+DEL just feels like functionality that’s always been there. But it hasn’t, and your colleagues of a certain age may never have typed a command into an MS-DOS prompt line. Take this opportunity to remind them that prior to April 6, 1992, none of this existed in Windows. This week’s Tech Time Warp takes us back to the glorious days of Windows 3.1.

Innovations to elevate Windows PC

Once your colleagues pick themselves up off the floor, share a few more of the innovations Microsoft introduced with the launch of Windows 3.1:

  • Program Manager and File Manager (now combined as Windows Explorer)
  • Drag-and-drop file embedding
  • Universal open/save dialog boxes
  • Windows Registry, where Windows configuration settings are stored
  • TrueType fonts, which allowed scaling of fonts without bitmapping
  • Iconic and mesmerizing built-in screensavers (think flying Windows icons)
  • Paintbrush (now Paint)
  • The ability to run multiple programs at once (multitasking)
  • And, perhaps best of all, Minesweeper

The success of Windows 3.1 can be attributed to Microsoft’s push to take the graphical user interface (GUI) mainstream for PC users. Key to this was an effort to build consumer demand so that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) were forced to ship Windows 3.1 already installed on their machines. Previously, OEMs were selling MS-DOS machines, and computer users wanting to use Windows had to purchase the operating system separately and install it after the fact.

This April 6, go ahead and commemorate the power of Windows with a game of Minesweeper. After all, we imagine that’s what Bill Gates will do.

Did you enjoy this installation of SmarterMSP’s Tech Time Warp? Check out others here.

Photo: Manivannan T / Shutterstock

Share This:
Kate Johanns

Posted by Kate Johanns

Kate Johanns is a communications professional and freelance writer with more than 13 years of experience in publishing and marketing.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *