Windows 3.x Officially Retired

Hard to believe, but Microsoft has just officially ended the life of Windows 3.x. The last license for the nostalgia-inspiring OS was issued Friday, more than 18 years after the program that made the brand of Windows ubiquitous made its debut.

Windows 3.0 first appeared in the U.S. May of 1990. It wasn’t the first Windows operating system — there were several predecessors such as Windows 1.0 and Windows/286 — but it was the first to really hit home on such a large scale. The even more popular Windows 3.1 came in April of ’92 and helped finalize the groundwork for the PC systems on the majority of machines today.

Microsoft kept up support for the software through 2001, but Win 3.x has apparently continued to thrive as an embedded operating system — running behind cash tills and ticketing systems — up through today.

And here’s a fact that’ll take you back:

“Windows 3.x required an 8086/8088 processor or better that had a clock speed of up to 10MHz. It needed at least 640KB of RAM, seven megabytes of hard drive space, and a graphics card that supported CGA, EGA and VGA graphics.”

BBC News has a nice in-depth trip down memory lane as our old friend gets laid to rest.