Windows 1.0 1983-11-20 build

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1983-11-20 build
Build of Windows 1.0
1983-11-20 build
OS family
Architecturex86 16-bit
Works in

Windows 1.0 1983-11-20 build is an early build of Windows 1.0 from late 1983, extensively photographed by the French computer magazine L'Ordinateur Individuel and published in their 1984-02 issue[1], while another photo was published in an unknown issue of the Japanese computer magazine Monthly ASCII.[2] The French article includes a total of 10 high quality close up photos. There has been some debate whether this is actually several different builds or not, though neither theory can be 100% confirmed.

L'Ordinateur Individuel photos[edit]


The photos were rather high quality, which was rare at the time. It is quite clear to see the applications running and they were: Art, Calendar, Clock, MS-DOS, Spread Sheet, Text. A01.PIC was the famous Microsoft I picture and TEXT.TXT was the Heuristic Reasoning text seen many demo builds. A02.PIC however is not the Microsoft II picture, it is a picture possible made by L'Ordinateur Individuel for demonstration purposes.


The MS-DOS shell in this version of Windows was very primitive, it looks like COMMAND.COM but is actually the shell of this build like MS-DOS Executive in later and RTM releases. It accept date, files, run, time, type and where commands. Those commands are equivalent to DATE, DIR, RUN, TIME, TYPE and CD in MS-DOS. The ability to run MS-DOS apps was not implemented until the Alpha release in 1985-01.

The status bar[edit]

The status bar in the first two pictures shows Microsoft Windows Version 1.00 (11/20/83), suggesting the compilation date. The status bar in the other pictures is mostly white, except when resizing a window it shows Set new column width. Both buttons cancel.. By clicking the menu icon in the top right corner you reveal the options to display the system time and date, to save the current session> and to end the session (leave Windows).

File list[edit]

Files shown:

  • A01.PIC, A02.PIC: Sample images displayed by the Art application.
  • AUTOEXEC.BAT, COMMAND.COM, CONFIG.SYS, IBMBIO.COM, IBMDOS.COM: MS-DOS or PC DOS 2.x system files. It suggests this build might have been a bootable demo disk or installed to hard drive in the same directory as DOS.
  • CALENDAR.TXT: Plain text file used by the Calendar application.
  • MSWININP.SYS, MSWINOUT.SYS: Microsoft Windows Input/Output Driver.
  • MSWIN.CUR: Cursor used by Windows.
  • MSWIN.EXE: The main Windows executable, possibly used to start Windows. It was still used in starting DR5 although replaced by a batch file with the same name.
  • MSWIN.FON: Font used by Windows.
  • MSWIN.ICO: Icon used by Windows, possibly the MS-DOS Executive icon.
  • MSWIN.PAT: Probably a resource file used by Windows. The extension might suggest it was a pattern file or related to patterns.
  • SPREAD.TXT: Plain text file used by the Spread Sheet application.
  • TEXT.TXT: The Heuristic Reasoning text displayed by the Text application.

The executables of Art, Calendar, Clock, Spread Sheet and Text applications are not listed, suggesting they might have been on a separate disk or possibly even contained within MSWIN.EXE.


Monthly ASCII photo[edit]

This photo was found on a Japanese computer history website.[3] Contrary to the above photos, this one is of rather poor quality, but it does reveal the same version string in the status bar. Few other details can be discerned.