Windows 3.0 build 14 (1989-02-22)
|Build of Windows 3.0|
Windows 3.0 build 14 is an early version of Windows 3.0 released to independent software vendors (ISVs). It is the earliest leaked and confirmed pre-release version of Windows 3.0, although files that could possibly originate from an earlier compile of this build have been found in build 55. Community member RubyTuesday discovered his neighbor owned this build, and proceeded to dump and share it with the BetaArchive community in 2015.
This early release was distributed on two 1.2MB 5.25" floppy disks, which refer to the build as "Microsoft Windows Pre-Release Version 0.1". It can only run on a 386 or better machine with a specific version of DOS, as not using the correct version will cause Windows to either crash, or refuse to launch the shell. It is speculated that this release was heavily rushed, on the basis of an improvised batch file installation script (similar to that of Windows 1.0 DR5 and Alpha), as well as lack of accessories and applications included in both Windows 2.x and later builds of Windows 3.0.
WIN.INI will reset the colors to Windows 2.0 default.
Interestingly, this build shows a watermark in the bottom right corner of the desktop, which says "Windows v3.0 Debug Release 1.14". This particular feature has already been removed by build 55 and hasn't reappeared until many years later in pre-release versions of Windows 98. The rest of the branding remains unchanged since Windows 2.1, because the entire shell was ported from that version.
This build requires at minimum a 386 processor, with MS-DOS 3.x (COMPAQ's version 3.31 is recommended) installed. The script will alert you that you need to manually add the instruction to load
HIMEM.SYS to your
CONFIG.SYS file. Unlike the final release, this build is started by running the executable
WIN386.COM. Should the MS-DOS Executive hang, raise the maximum amount of file handles in
CONFIG.SYS (a minimum of 40 is recommended) by adding
FILES=40 to it or modifying the existing setting.
This build's control menus contain a reference to the Task Manager as well as the CTRL+ESC keystroke. However, it does not appear to be implemented in this build.