Microsoft Windows version 1.0

Have you used Microsoft Windows 1.0 before? I bet you haven’t even seen Windows 1.0 before not to mention use it, unless you are a 60 years old nerd born don’t know how many centuries ago. I hope this will not scare you from admitting you have used Windows 1.0 before in the un-likeliest case. 🙂

In 1984, the Macintosh operating system popularized the concept of graphical user interfaces. Microsoft saw the trend and quickly responded with the first version of Windows. It was in fact wasn’t so much of an operating system, rather more like an add-on to MS-DOS. The interface was very DOS-like and very difficult to use.

Let’s check out a few screen shots.

Windows 1 boot screen

That’s the Microsoft Windows 1.01 boot up screen. Looks like Bill Gates really likes blue color… from the boot screen to the dreaded blue screen!

MS-DOS Executive

This is MS-DOS Executive, much like today’s File Manager. Of course the functionalities are much more limited. There are no icons and no drag-and-drop support.


This is the Windows 1.0 version of Notepad. It has very small fixed buffer, and so can support very small text files only.

See the icons at the bottom of the screen? This is similar to the taskbar in today’s Windows, which are reserved for minimized programs.


The calculator and the clipboard.

Microsoft Paint

Can you believe this is Microsoft Paint 1.0? But it supports black and white graphics only.

Windows reversi

Glad that Bill Gates didn’t forget to include a game in Windows 1.0. Yes, only one game is included, and it’s the old time favorite Reversi.

Hope you have enjoyed looking at these historic pictures. What do you think? Who would think that the ugly duckling could eventually turn into a swan with Windows Vista. And, as we understand it, Windows has done remarkably well in the operating system marketplace!