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Thread: 24 years of Windows package design

  1. #1
    soumya's Avatar
    soumya is offline Windows Enthusiast
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    Aug 2008

    Cool 24 years of Windows package design

    Software packaging isn't exactly the epitome of great design. And, as the world's most used operating system - and being from Microsoft - Windows has had some rather dull boxes designed for it to sit within.

    But it's also had some great packaging designed for it too, so we've gathered together images of the box art from each version of Windows, from 1985's Windows 1.0 to next week's Windows 7.

    Windows 1.0 - blue is the colour

    An "operating environment," Windows 1.0 may have had an eye-catching ad featuring Steve Ballmer, but the design of the box was aimed squarely at business and featured the old Microsoft logo on a navy background.

    Windows 2 (286 and 386 versions) - 80s stripes and snazzy desktops

    Two versions for different PC variants, the Windows 2.0 boxes were also pretty dull but introduced typical 80s window blinds and images of the now-colourful Windows desktop.Note the new Microsoft logo, too.

    Windows 3.0 - look at my clickety clack keyboard!

    Still on 5.25-inch disks notice, Windows 3.0 is now called a "graphical environment" - still running atop MS DOS of course. But isn't the imagery still really, really dark and dingy? "Windows 3.0: underworld edition?"

    Windows 3.1 - 90s clean lines and the Windows flag

    Ah that's better. Scarily the best part of 20 years old, 3.1 made its debut in 1992 and together with Workgroups (see below) was a huge success. A cleaner box design resulted (albeit with that strange, spidery font), while it's also the first time we see the Windows flag.

    By contrast, the upgrade edition eschews the Windows flag completely.

    Windows 3.1 for Workgroups - "yes! I have more than one PC!"

    The Workgroups box suffered from a bit of font overload...

    Windows 95 - more power AND fun

    Wow! As well as upping the game in terms of the OS itself, Microsoft went all consumer on us for Windows 95's packaging. Indeed, Microsoft's subsequent reputation for putting too many messages on the box probably started here (see the "what if Microsoft packaged the iPod" video). Windows 95 still came on a floppy if you wanted it.


  2. #2
    seti is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Have seen this somewhere else before, but can't remember where exactly. That said it is good to see it here in the way that you have done it.

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