GUIs were a hot topic in the early 1980 s. The Apple Lisa, which introduced the menu bar and windows controls, was released in 1982 and various windowing systems existed for MS-DOS. Despite the advantages a GUI could bring on the table, the concept faced a debate by many reviewers. The point made was regarding hardware limitations and the difficulty in finding compatible software.
In 1984, Apple released a television commercial which introduced the Apple Macintosh. This commercial was aimed at making people think about computers as something beyond the business oriented system. It targeted at identifying the user-friendly interface as a personal computer and becoming a signature representation of Apple products.
Following that, Windows 95 was a major success in the marketplace at launch and shortly became the most popular desktop operating system. Apple popularized the post WIMP GUI after launching the "i-phone" and "i-pad" in 2007 and 2010 respectively. Both devices took the world by storm and have people craving for them. Those devices were considered to be milestones in the development of mobile devices.
As of now, for desktops and laptops, the most popular GUI operating systems happen to be MS Windows, Mac and the Linux Operating systems such as Fedora, RedHat, etc.
On the other hand, those popular among smart phone users happen to be iOs, by Apple, Android, Blackberry OF, Windows Symbian and Firefox OS.