For many of us 40-somethings, Windows 3.x gave us our first real taste of the, dare I say it, iconic Windows-based graphical user interface (GUI). However, and sadly in my opinion, after 18 and a bit years, the curtain has finally been drawn on Windows 3.x. On 1 November, Microsoft stopped issuing licences for the software that first appeared in the US in 1990.
Windows 3.x was the first version of Windows to gain global appeal, establishing Microsoft as the biggest software company in the world. 18 years on, it is still the Windows operating system that is synomymous with Microsoft and from where the bulk of its revenue is derived.
I first started using Windows 3.1 in June 1992, before upgrading to Windows 3.11 a few months later. For me, the progression from needing to trigger applications from a DOS prompt to being able to launch them from within a GUI was a big improvement, although for Mac users this was of course nothing new.
Since then, we have had a whole host of Windows operating systems, including Windows 95, 98, Millennium Edition (ME), 2000….the lists goes on, but it was Windows 3.x that really got us all hooked!