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.


Release notes

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. For Tandy 2000 support, see Tandy 2000 MS Windows Pre-Install.

Winworld has the following Windows 1.x applications: Balance of Power, Aldus PageMaker 1.0 and 1.0a, Micrografx In-A-Vision, ZSoft PC Paintbrush 1.05 for Windows, Micrografx Windows Draw 1.04, Micrografx Portfolio, Opus/WinSong Composer, Omnis Quartz, Micrografx Windows Graph. There is also an 800*600 SVGA driver. Additional shareware and drivers can be found on Toastytech's Applications for Windows 1.x and 2.x.

Product type
Release date
Thu Nov 14 1985
End of life date
Sun Dec 30 2001
Minimum CPU
Minimum RAM
Minimum free disk space
User interface
Download count
146 (79 for release)


Download name Version Language Architecture File size Downloads
Microsoft Windows 1.01 (1.xx-1.xy) (CompuData OEM) (9-31-1985) (5.25-360k) (beta) 1.01 (1.xx-1.xy) (CompuData OEM) Prerelease English 1.48MB 27
Microsoft Windows 1.01 (5.25-360k) 1.01 English 541.38KB 43
Microsoft Windows 1.01 (Zenith OEM) (5.25-360k) 1.01 English 429.5KB 2
Microsoft Windows 1.01 Artwork 1.01 English 35.53MB 6
Microsoft Windows 1.01 [Zenith Z-100] (needs redump) 1.01 [Zenith Z-100] English 584.65KB 1


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