Microsoft Windows turns 30. What strikes me isn’t the 30 years that have passed, nor that the first GUI’s look primitive now, but how little progress we’ve actually made in the last 30 years.

If you compare Windows 1.0 and Windows 10 (see below), certainly the UI is much more colourful and our PC’s are more capable, but the principles of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) are exactly the same. The same is true of the Mac (see System 1 from 1984 below).

It would be a mistake to assume this is the ultimate evolution of how we interact with technology. The trend is for the GUI to diminish in importance over the next few years, to be replaced by Conversational User Interfaces (CUI) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) as technology shrinks (wearables, smartphones), becomes more pervasive (the Internet of Things (IoT)) and computing power increases (Cloud).

Here’s almost every version of Windows over the last years:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/gallery/2015/nov/20/windows-turns-30-gallery-microsoft

Windows 1 (1985) and Windows 10 (2014)

Windows 1 (1985) and Windows 10 (2014)

 

 

 

 

Mac System 1 1984

Mac System 1 1984

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