OS Timeline

  • Creation of Unix

    Creation of Unix
    Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie cobbled together an operating system so they could continue to play a space travel game that Thompson had developed.
  • CP/M, Simple OS

     CP/M, Simple OS
    Intergalactic Digital Research's maverick brain Gary Kildall creates CP/M, a simple microcomputer operating system for simple microcomputers. $100
  • Berkeley Software Distribution created by Unix

    Berkeley Software Distribution created by Unix
    BSD will ultimately spawn alternatives to some commercial microcomputer operating systems -- and form the core of at least one major commercial operating system, Mac OS X. Tandy/Radio Shack introduces a line of affordable home computers, and debuts a family-friendly operating system called TRS-DOS with such Rated-M-for-Mature commands as KILL.
  • Apple DOS 3.1 debuts

    Apple DOS 3.1 debuts
    Steve Jobs; it will run the Apple II series of computers for the next five years.
  • PC-DOS by IBM

    PC-DOS by IBM
    The IBM PC is born, and so are PC-DOS and its alter ego, MS-DOS. $1100
  • Microsoft Windows 1.01 retails

    Microsoft Windows 1.01 retails
    At a list price of $99. It's marketed as a graphical user interface that extends the DOS operating system and lets users run several programs at the same time and freely switch among them. But it's not touted as an actual operating system until a decade later.
  • GEOS appears

    GEOS appears
    Gives Apple and Microsoft a few ideas to explore later.
    Berkeley Softworks was the company.
  • IBM OS/2 1.1

    IBM OS/2 1.1
    Graphical user interface and no real acknowledgment that one of its parents is Microsoft.
  • NeXTStep

    By Apple.
    The new operating system builds a beautiful graphical layer on top of BSD, adds an object-oriented development tool kit, and secures Jobs' eventual return to Apple. He holds onto that capital X in NeXT so he can slap it on Apple's next operating system. $1600
  • Windows 3.0

    Windows 3.0
    Windows 3.0 becomes the first Microsoft Windows with a shot at a mainstream audience, but it's still just a DOS-based operating environment and not a true operating system. Over the next few years, Microsoft introduces Windows 3.1, a bug-fix-and-enhancement release that meets with widespread approval, and the Windows for Workgroups 3.1 and 3.11 extensions, which add and improve native networking support. But it's still not a real OS.