Windows 1.0 Premiere Edition

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 Premiere Edition was an interim release between the development releases and the final 1.01 version that was designated to the masses. This release was partially made to discredit claims of vaporware and to also fulfill a promise, to a degree, of shipping Windows 1.0 in the summer.

This version has been redumped and verified with an archive from community member Alias who was an intern with Microsoft at the time. According to The Secret Origin of Windows, an account of Tandy Trower the 5th project manager who ultimately shipped Windows 1.0, by the start of summer in 1985 they "were not close to being done" and Trower dubbed this Premiere Edition a preliminary release for application developers, analysts, and the press. This was made not only to remove doubts of Windows being vaporware, but to also solicit feedback and partially deliver on a promise from Steve Balmer to ship in the summer of 1985. Many of individuals worked night and day, 7 days a week, with Gabe Newell even sleeping in his office.

This version exhibits many bugs, such as crashing when closing a larger application. It defaults to a monochrome color scheme, and has many other differences. There are also differences in the Windows API between Premiere Edition and final Windows 1.01. Fonts and device drivers are also shipped with a .EXE extension. This release includes the PIF editor although lacks Windows Write the 5th disk.

BETA This version is a pre-release, essentially a beta. Most applications written for Windows 1.01 will have problems or fail to run under Windows Premiere Edition.

Installation instructions

Note: The Windows 2.03 PS/2 mouse driver is not compatible with this version. Either run this in an environment with a Microsoft Serial, or Mouse Systems/Visi On Serial mouse, or add the mouse driver shown below (From the Windows 2.01 Excel 2.0 runtime)

To run Windows PE under DOS 5.x or 6.x, add a SETVER entry: "SETVER C:\DOS WIN100.MID 3.31". For DOSBox, use the command "ver set 3 31"

For higher resolution graphics you can use A patch for the EGA driver to support VGA/VESA

This release is best virtualized with PCem although there are reports of VirtualBox and VMWare working to a certain degree.

Product type
Release date
End of life date
Minimum CPU
Intel 8088/8086
Minimum RAM
Minimum free disk space
User interface
Download count
276 (14 for release)


Download name Version Language Architecture File size Downloads
Microsoft Windows 1.0 Premiere Edition (7-30-1985) (5.25-360k) 1.0 Premiere Edition (7-30-1985) Prerelease English 413.34KB 6
Microsoft Windows 1.0 Premiere Edition (7-30-1985) Kryoflux 1.0 Premiere Edition (7-30-1985) Prerelease English 18.97MB 0
Microsoft Windows 1.0 Premiere Edition (7-30-1985) SCP 1.0 Premiere Edition (7-30-1985) Prerelease English 6.17MB 0
Microsoft Windows 1.0 Premiere Edition (7-30-1985) Transcopy 1.0 Premiere Edition (7-30-1985) Prerelease English 712.25KB 0
Microsoft Windows 1.0 Premiere Edition - Disk Scans Premiere Edition English 8.58MB 1
Microsoft Windows 1.0 Premiere Edition PS2 Mouse Driver English 2.33KB 0
Microsoft Windows 1.0 Premiere Edition [VMware] English 4.13MB 7


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