Sun’s Java programming language and runtime environment were perfect for the Internet. And an existential threat to Windows.
Recent Programming Windows Stories
Thanks to the stratospheric success of Windows in the 1990s, Microsoft was initially blind to the biggest threat it would ever face.
Inspired by deficiencies in DDE and OLE 1.0, the Component Object Model (COM) was a much more sophisticated platform.
In the early 1990s, Microsoft evolved Windows with inter-process communications capabilities based on OLE.
Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) brought compound document capabilities to Windows, starting in version 3.0.
Using Dynamic Data Exchange was next to impossible unless you were using Visual Basic with a DDE-compatible application.
In another sidebar, the inventors of BASIC had some choice words for Bill Gates, Microsoft, and Microsoft BASIC.
In this sidebar to the Programming Windows series, a key architect of the first IBM PC defends the machine's design years later.
Early GUIs like Windows were easy to use, but they also provided advanced system-level features like cross-application data sharing.
6 weeks ago, I set out to tell the history of Windows from a different perspective. Here’s a quick progress report on that work.
MFC allowed C++ developers to quickly generate skeleton code for even the most complex of Windows applications. After that, they were on their own.
After it finally shipped Windows NT, Microsoft spent the next five years steadily improving the product until it could replace MS-DOS and Windows.
Between 1991 and 1993, Microsoft dogfooded its own code and fought feature creep and bugs as it raced to release Windows NT.
Before there was Windows NT, there was NT, a 32-bit portable operating system that would run multiple OS personalities.
Before diving into the Microsoft Foundation Class library, I thought it might be a good idea to say hello to MFC with a bit of source code.
OOPs! By the 1990s, Windows application developers were consumed by the move to Object-Oriented Programming, or OOP.
Say hello to C++, an object-oriented superset of C that is still one of the most popular programming languages in the world.
Before moving past Visual Basic classic, let’s take a look at how Microsoft evolved VB through derivatives, one of which still exists today.
And now, a brief interlude while we ponder the personal computing coulda, shoulda been, Microsoft and IBM’s OS/2.
Visual Basic was instantly popular and its ease of use and suitability for application development helped drive Windows to new levels of market acceptance.
Visual Basic was the right tool at the right time, and it was everything that Windows API development was not: Easy, visual, and fun.
While this article series focuses on Windows, Microsoft’s empire was initially built on an even shakier foundation: The BASIC programming language.
In researching the history of Microsoft Basic, I realized I had forgotten something: We need to look at "hello, world" in Microsoft Basic too!
As a fun preview for the next several articles in this series, here’s “hello, world” in modern and classic versions of Visual Basic.
It's time to say goodbye to the Windows API, which was as hastily cobbled-together as the platform on which it originally ran.
A Windows-based take on “hello, world” neatly explains why Windows API programming was never going to take over the world.
The process of writing a Windows application with the native Windows API in the C programming language hasn’t changed a lot in the past 30+ years.