Despite all of the litigation, Windows 2 made it to market, gained 3rd party support, and signaled a massive transition in computing that all of the competition had failed to do. With Windows 2, millions of people were using a graphical desktop with graphical applications. The mouse was made a standard tool. PCs were now being urged to adopt powerful graphics adapters. Many people claim Windows 2 to be a failure, but this is not an accurate assessment. While it didn’t sell to the level of later releases, the market hadn’t really become accustomed to buying an operating system on a store shelf. People typically received an OS as part of a computer purchase. That Microsoft was able to sell over 2 million copies of Windows 2 shows a serious change; MS-DOS’s days were now numbered.
I’ve always considered Windows 1.0 and 2.0 to be false starts, failed attempts at what would become Windows 3.x. This article makes the case that Windows 2.0 was more important and successful than we give it credit for today.