Remember This? Microsoft Bob

Way back in the last century (1995!), Microsoft Bob was a brave but gloriously unsuccessful attempt to present starry-eyed new computer users with a non-threatening and fun interface to this new-fangled device. Bob himself was a sort of cross between Bill Gates and a smiley face, and one navigated around a cartoon environment  - a little more like an adventure game than a computer desktop.

The new navigation system had the metaphor of a house, with various objects (desks, shelves, and so on) representing programs or applications. It was a replacement for the normal Windows Explorer shell.

The example below shows the Gateway branded desktop - remember Gateway computers, with the black and white cow hide design on the boxes? The Bob system was pretty universally panned by critics however, and was rather quickly shelved.

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