Most readers probably remember the introduction of the original iPhone, when Steve Jobs famously teased the product as “an iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator.” But the introduction of Windows 3.0 almost 30 years earlier was even more impressive and immediately impacted a far bigger percentage of the personal computing public. It bundled “a graphical environment, a suite of desktop applications, a DOS program switcher, a Windows multitasking executive, a V86 multitasker, and a virtual memory manager into a single package,” in the words of Byte’s Jon Udell.
OK, that probably sounds really techy. But in that very different era, Windows 3.0 really did consummate “the Windows/DOS marriage,” and it changed the face of computing forever by pushing the mainstream to the GUI. Windows 3.0 was a monumental release, and in a bit of latter-day Apple-like marketing of its own, Microsoft claimed that it shipped with “over 1,000” new features.