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Microsoft Windows 1.0

Updated 22 May 2019.   This page enhaced with Google services. Refer to the Google privacy policy for more information.


Microsoft Windows 1.0, the original Windows, before Windows 10, before Windows NT, and Windows 3.1 came Windows 1.0. Legend has it that it was so behind the Commodore Amiga and Apple Macintosh that Microsoft quietly recalled this version of the Operating System and started again. Wikipedia says otherwise and history has surely demonstrated the popularity of the Microsoft Windows platform.

Microsoft Windows 1.0 Logo

There is so little information available about the grand-daddy of all Microsoft Windows operating systems. We thought that we should start a page on the information we have gathered over time. It is alleged that Bill Gates saw competitors running graphics windows systems and decided that Microsoft need to take a slice of that pie. Wikipedia describes how Bill Gates was wondering around COMDEX 1982 and saw VisiCorp's Visi On graphical interface and spied a new business opportunity. Microsoft Windows 1.0 was launched to the public in November 1983 to mixed reviews. Technology press at the time declared the War of the Windows on the IBM was on. Critics at the time felt that Windows 1.0 was too demanding of electronic equipment of the time but considered the platform to have potential!

Running Microsoft Windows 1.0

It is difficult to obtain an original boxed copy of Windows 1.0 on the auction market. You can, however, load up a virtual Windows 1.0 PC in your browser. Or alternatively, watch the video.

Notice: Video is served by Internet Archive. Please refer to the Internet Archive copyright and privacy policies.

Microsowft Windows 1.0 GUI programs

Windows 1.0 runs a shell program known as the MS-DOS Executive and mainly provides mouse functionality. Interestingly, it is claimed that Windows 1.0 is not Y2K proof. As with more modern versions of this ubiquitous operating system, a number of programs were supplied, including Calculator, Calendar, Clipboard Viewer, Clock, Notepad, Paint, Reversi, Cardfile, Terminal and Write. We are not aware of any third-party developer applications that ran exclusively on Microsoft Windows 1.0.

Microsowft Windows 1.0 Source Code

We believe in the power of digital preservation to save our software heritage. So much of our digital heritage in the form of software, websites and personal data gets destroyed or washed away in the current Internet digital tsnumani that it is easy to lose our heritage. Jason Scott gives a good interview wiith VICE on personal digital archiving.

It is our opinion that the Windows 1.0 source code is of cultural importance and the source code should be made public and possibly even released under an open source license. We are also hopeful that the Apple Lisa source code will be released as well.

We would like to see the Microsoft Windows 1.0 sourcecode, all development files and records, software development kits, documentation and marketing material re-released in a heritage pack.

Microsoft Windows 1.0 Screenshots

Microsoft MS-DOS Executive screenshot
Microsoft MS-DOS Executive
Microsoft Windows Calculator screenshot
Microsoft Windows Calculator
Microsoft Windows Calendar screenshot
Microsoft Windows Calendar
Microsoft Windows Cardfile screenshot
Microsoft Windows Cardfile (discontinued)
Microsoft Windows Notepad screenshot
Microsoft Windows Notepad
Microsoft Windows Paint screenshot
Microsoft Windows Paint (discontinued)
Microsoft Windows Reversi (discontinued)
Microsoft Windows shutdown
Microsoft Windows 1.0 startup screen

Article tags: vintage computers

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