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:

First, there is no PS/2 mouse support. You will either need to run in an environment with Microsoft Serial mouse support, or replace the "MOUSE.EXE" on the Utilities disk with the one listed under Windows Premiere Edition. (That is a Windows driver, not a DOS driver)

Next, setup ONLY works properly if you install to a hard drive, and accept the default location of "C:". Once the files are in C:\ you can move them to a folder as you see fit.

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

To successfully run the Windows May 1985 Beta:

  • Run under MS/PC-DOS 2.x or 3.X
  • Or with DOS 5.x/6.x add SETVER "WIN100.EXE" "3.30"
  • Or with DOSBOX run "ver set 3 30"
Product type
Release date
Minimum CPU
Intel 8088/8086
User interface


Download Name Version Language CPU File type File size
Microsoft Windows 1.0 (Beta) 1.0 Prerelease English x86 Archive 290.72KB


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