Most of the people are thinking Microsoft Windows is the first and only operating system in the world. Reason for that thinking is, may be MS Windows is the only operating system that they are using and heard about. After Ubuntu came to the market, now people are getting known there are other operating systems in the market too.
The earliest computers did not use operating systems (Such as differential engine); Later a simple loading program was loaded into the computer - via front panel switches or punched tape, the loading program would load the actual program to run. Some years after that, few operating system kind of systems were introduced by IBM and other scientists (according to the web sites).
I found following lines from “FORTRAN Anecdotes,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 06, no. 1, pp. 59-64, Jan-Mar, 1984”, that says about world first operating system.
There is an interesting, but little known, relationship between the first FORTRAN compiler on the IBM 704 and the early development of operating systems. In 1955, what was probably the first operating system had been developed and was in use at the General Motors Research Laboratories. Called the I/O system, it was a three-phase system in that a batch of jobs was processed entirely with regard to input formats, then the entire batch was processed for execution, and finally the entire batch was processed for output conversion and printing. There were no higher-level languages in that system.Can you believe that OS for General Motors?
After that next highlighted operating system was Unix, which is a multitasking, multi-user computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs, including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie. The Unix operating system was first developed in assembly language, but by 1973 had been almost entirely recoded in C. The second edition of Unix was released on December 6th, 1972, today's Unix systems are split into various branches.
Some years later, in 1981 IBM did the most stupid work in the world (I think, I can say so) by letting run MS-DOS in IBM PCs. That was the birth of Microsoft and its Windows. If IBM could do the work alone, IBM could be the most revenue generating company in the world. In early 90’s Apple started work with Microsoft and Windows 1.0 came out, then later Microsoft Windows 2.0 released by copying Macintosh, I found following lines from Steve Jobs’ famous talk in Stanford University, 2005.
The Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.After the Rechard M Stallman’s FOSS and invention of the Linus Torvalds’ Kernel, GNU/Linux started in 1991. That is the beginning of new era. Nowadays Linux is everywhere. It’s not limited only for computers; you can find Linux even inside the routers and other hardware devices. According to the statistics still Windows covering the more than 50% of desktops in the world but when we come to the servers Linux/Unix is the #1.
Next generation desktop operating systems are cloud based online systems. Now Ubuntu has UbuntuOne cloud device, Windows has Skydrive which provides the cloud services for storage but next version will be the online web based operating systems like Google’s chromebook (which going to release on 2011 June 15th). I guess this will quite similar to the eyeOS.
So get ready to use online operating systems. :-)
Reference : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix