Windows 1.0 1.01

Windows 1.0 was the first release of what eventually made it onto almost every desktop computer in the entire world. Many of you are probably unaware of this release from 1985; conceived from ideas found in the original Lisa/Macintosh and Xerox Star system, Windows 1.0 was Microsoft's attempt at a graphical multitasking operating environment for the IBM PC.

The earliest known appearance of "Microsoft Windows" was in a 1983 Byte Magazine, and it was heavily promoted at the Fall 1983 Comdex. It was marketed as a response to GUI environments such as Digital Research GSX, VisiCorp Visi On, and Apple Macintosh, although the first completed release was not until late 1985.

Windows 1.0x features co-operative multitasking, tiled windows, ability to launch and integrate with DOS programs, runs on top of existing DOS, supports 8088 based PCs with IBM CGA, Hercules Monochrome, and IBM EGA video.

It was followed up by Windows 2.x.

Windows 1.01 was the first release made available on store shelves. It was also bundled as a graphical run-time with several applications.

Installation instructions

Installation notes:

  • The installer expects you to run it from the A: drive. Either write the images to disks or SUBST from a hard drive folder.
  • Windows 1.x will run on DOS 5 and later as long as SETVER is loaded and there is a SETVER entry for "WIN100.BIN" to report "3.34". Otherwise it will crash at startup.
  • COMMAND.COM will only run in a window in DOS 3.3 and earlier.
  • 1.x does not support PS/2 mice. However if you overwrite MOUSE.DRV with the Windows 2.03 version, and install Windows with the serial mouse option, then they will work.

For the VAXMate DOS+Windows 1.x bundles see: MS-DOS 3.10

Product type
Release date
Wed Nov 13 1985
End of life date
Sat Dec 29 2001
Minimum CPU
Minimum RAM
Minimum free disk space
User interface


Download Name Version Language CPU File type File size
Microsoft Windows 1.01 Artwork 1.01 English x86 Archive 35.53MB
Windows 1.01 (5.25) 1.01 English x86 5¼ Floppy 541.38KB
Windows 1.01 (Zenith OEM) 1.01 English x86 5¼ Floppy 429.5KB
Windows 1.01 [Zenith Z-100] (needs redump) 1.01 [Zenith Z-100] English x86 Archive 584.65KB


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