Windows 1.0 Beta

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.


Installation instructions

Windows May 1985 Beta setup:

This beta does NOT support PS/2 mice. - You must run in an environment with Microsoft Serial Mouse support, OR replace the "MOUSE.EXE" located on the Utilities disk with the PS/2 driver for the Windows 1.0 Beta/Premiere Edition (Note, that this is a Windows driver, not a DOS driver)

To run the Windows May 1985 Beta:

  • Run under MS/PC-DOS 2.x or 3.X
  • Or under DOS 5.x/6.x run SETVER "WIN100.EXE" "3.30"
  • Or under DOSBOX, run "ver set 3 30"

Before running setup, you must MANUALLY create the directory you wish to install Windows in. For example, type "MKDIR C:\WINDOWS". Then run setup.

For high resolution color EGA mode, select "Enhanced Graphics Adapter with Enhanced Monitor"

Important: This is pre-release software. It can, and will exhibit bugs during use. Different bugs may occur based on your specific configuration. Bugs are more likely to occur on emulators, faster computers, and versions of DOS that did not exist when this software was released.

Paint may freeze when run depending on hardware/software configuration.

We recommend the PCE, PCEM, QEMU, and DOSBox emulators.

We do not recommend using VMWare or VirtualBox.

If using DOS 5 or later, don't forget to load SETVER.EXE and add an entry for "WIN100.EXE" (not BIN!) to report version "3.30".

Note: the replacement PS/2 Mouse driver will not work under DOS 2.x.

This archive includes three 5.25" 360k floppy disk images.

A patch for VGA was posted here:

Product type
Release date
Minimum CPU
Intel 8088/8086
User interface
Download count
187 (1 for release)


Download name Version Language Architecture File size Downloads
Microsoft Windows 1.0 (Beta) (5-8-1985) (5.25-360k) 1.0 (Beta) Prerelease English 293.68KB 1


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