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Scrollbars: A Retrospective

It’s easy to overlook the humble scrollbar, a much used but hardly thought about user interface element. This graphic compares scrollbars over the last thirty years.

Some of the more modern Windows incarnations are missing but, on account of the Vista/Windows 7 scrollbar looking pretty much like a gray version of the XP one, we’ll forgive them. A full resolution version of the image is available at the link below.

Scollbars Through History [via Geeks Are Sexy]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/15/12

Comments (10)

  1. Keith

    Maybe we shouldn’t talk about the scrollbar. MS might remove it. : )

    Also if that graphic is anything to go by, I think the XP scrollbar looks the nicest of them all.

  2. John
  3. Asif

    I agree with Keith.

    PS: The humble scroll bar came in handy when I wanted to scroll down to the comments section ;)

  4. soloman498

    Missing is the newest Ubuntu scrollbar

  5. Paul

    No Amiga?

  6. grellanl

    Yeah, Amiga had the first proportional scrollbars… those fixed-size bars looked silly by comparison!

  7. Eddie Tubridy

    Now I know where these new stupid skinny scroll bars that I never notice come from. Bloody Apple…

  8. Bill

    Well…. who got sued for copying whom? How much did the patent wars cost?

  9. Dark Reality

    It’s also missing the Amiga one. Well, the scroll bar itself wasn’t special, but it had a bar on the other side that showed the disk capacity.

    That’s just one thing Amiga did that modern operating systems simply have not caught up to in over 25 years.

  10. your humble narrator

    Windows XP version is the most pleasing to look at and use.

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