Microsoft has Windows 1.0 retrogasm: Remember when Windows ran in kilobytes, not gigabytes?

Redmond fires up the Delorean and heads back to simpler times

Strange things are afoot within the hallowed halls of Redmond, as Microsoft's Twitter account went decidedly retro this week.

The oddness kicked off on 1 July when a tweet and Instagram post detailing the "all-new" Windows 1.0 appeared on a feed more accustomed to wearily plugging Bing pictures for desktop backgrounds or dropping tips on using Windows 10. Unsurprisingly, those tips don't include "Just don't".

However, a mock promo video, replete with '80s-esque music and visuals, popped up as the account excitedly plugged the arrival of a Clock, MS-DOS executive "and more." Social media mavens speculated that the posting could indicate an open-sourcing of the Windows 1.0 code or, more likely, a hop on the Stranger Things 3 marketing bandwagon (presumably without the licensing fees demanded by Queen of the Streams, Netflix.)

Windows 1.0 debuted in November 1985 (the same year Netflix's show is set) and tottered atop MS-DOS. The graphical shell demanded users get to grips with a mouse, didn't allow overlapping Windows and had some hefty hardware requirements (for the time) to be usable.

It's good to see that at least one of those character traits has endured for more than three decades.

The company followed by plugging some of the products that could tap into "the power of Windows", although we'd emit a gentle cough and suggest that the first version of Excel appeared in 1987, after Windows 2.0 had shipped. We do, however, love a bit of nostalgia as much as the next tech publication.

Windows 1.0 included the likes of the (now open-sourced) Calculator, File Manager, Reversi, Paint and Notepad. The latter has endured an aggressively retro-style up until the present day in spite of the best efforts of the Windows team to lightly warm it over.

Microsoft has yet to comment on what its official Windows social media orifice is up to. Perhaps it's a new skin for Windows 10, an admission that the last 30 or so years have all been a horrible nightmare, or a preview of an upcoming lighter, leaner "Windows One".

Tuck into a lunchtime sandwich and fire up the old speculatorama...


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