Microsoft Bob

Microsoft Bob
Microsoft Bob Logo.png
TypeGraphical shell
Operating systemWindows 3.1x
Windows 95
Supported platforms
Initial release version
Initial release date1995-03-10
Latest release version1.00a
Latest release date
Latest preview release version
Latest preview release date
Other names

Microsoft Bob (codenamed Utopia) is a graphical shell for Windows 3.1x and Windows 95, first released by Microsoft in March 1995, with an updated release made in the summer of that year. Bob employed a environment that looked like a house, with customizable rooms containing real-life objects representing each program. The Bob suite featured standard utilities like an address book, e-mail client, calendar and clock, but also included programs to aid with real life scenarios, such as the Household Manager, Financial Guide, or Checkbook. Also included was a PC adaptation of the GeoSafari educational toy. Users could also add standard Windows applications to their room, which would be represented by a box with the application icon on it. Bob also had an E-mail service using the domain "". This service was powered by MCI Mail. To sign up, you had to make a call to 800-444-6245 toll free, or mail in the Business Reply Card from your Bob Magazine. You would receive an account for your Bob household and an e-mail adrees for each household member. After successfully signing up, an MCI Welcome Kit would be sent to you within 10 business days. The service cost $5/month and you were limited to sending only 15 e-mails/month. But in 1999, Microsoft traded the domain to a guy who owned the domain. Interestingly enough, that guy's name was Bob.

Microsoft intended Bob to be able to be extended by other separately bought software, however, only Microsoft Great Greetings ended up being released in its short shelf time.

The interactive character technology in Microsoft Bob would later form the basis for Microsoft Agent and later the Virtual Assistants on Windows XP.

Support for Microsoft Bob ended on 1 July 1999.

System requirements[edit | edit source]

  • Processor: PC with 80486 or higher processor
  • Memory: 8 MB of RAM or higher
  • Hard disk: 32MB of free space
  • Operating system:
    • Windows 3.1x with MS-DOS 3.2 or later
    • Windows 95
  • Display: SVGA, 256 colors (8-bit)
  • Mouse
  • Modem (at least 2400 baud) for the E-Mail application
  • Sound card (using a Windows driver) and speaker or headphones [optional]

Versions[edit | edit source]

Beta 1[edit | edit source]

Pre-RTM[edit | edit source]

RTM[edit | edit source]