Graphical User Interface Timeline: Through

Graphical User Interface Timeline: Through I came upon the Graphical User Interface Timeline. This really is thrilling and helps get a lot of things in perspective regarding OS GUIs.

The first thing to notice is the Apple Lisa in 1983, which is the first one of the person computers on the page to have a GUI that is recognisably familiar to most people. If you look at the top of the screen, you’ll see the instantly recognisable top menu bar, which Macs still have to this day, even in OSX (although it nearly lost it for a while).

The next thing to notice is at what point Microsoft catches up with the UI. By the time Microsoft releases the first version of Windows, the Macintosh has been released and refined by Apple. And by the time that Windows 2 is released in 1987, the Macintosh screen looks very much like it does to this day (possibly excepting the OSX leap).

I’m stunned, frankly, by the lag that Microsoft has compared to Apple and how clumsy their interface appears compared to many of the alternative OS’s released by competitors. By the time Windows 3.1 comes out (and I buy my first computer), Apple’s essential look and feel has been stable for years. It’s really true what my old Greek lecturer used to say, “Windows 95? More like Mac 87”.