Windows 3.0 with Multimedia Extensions 1.0

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3.0 with Multimedia Extensions 1.0
Build of Windows 3.0
3.0 with Multimedia Extensions 1.0
OS family
Architecturex86, PC98
Works in
TCB.png TCBGallery.png

Windows 3.0 with Multimedia Extensions 1.0 (also called "Multimedia Windows" by some sources) is a special, multimedia-centric OEM-only release of Windows 3.0, released throughout 1991 by various OEMs. Currently available releases include Tandy for the PC in English and German, an English release for the PC by an unidentified OEM, and a Japanese release for NEC PC-98. Contrary to popular belief, this is the first version of Windows to support sound drivers, not Windows 3.1. Despite this, many people are unaware.

It includes new programs for audio and video playback, new drivers for CD-ROM drives, sound cards, displays and joysticks, screensavers, as well as new Control Panel and Help applications like the ones seen later in Windows 3.1. It is otherwise the same as Windows 3.00a, on which it's based. Its distinctive multimedia features were later incorporated into Windows 3.1. Though this release can still run in all three modes, the new multimedia related features are only available in Standard and 386 Enhanced modes.

As this is based on Windows 3.00a, it requires the SYSTEM.INI fix if you wish to run it in Enhanced Mode in Virtual PC 2004/2007 and it also requires the SB16 adapter card set correctly for proper operation of the multimedia components (see clarifying section below). Certain newer graphics cards (like S3 Virge or Paradise) may also not work as it could lead to display corruption upon loading the graphical interface.

Information from computer magazines[edit | edit source]

Another possible OEM release is shown and described in 1991-11 issue of Serbian computer magazine "Svet Kompjutera" ("World of computers").[1] The boot screen shown in the magazine is different from the one in Tandy's release - it says "Windows Version 3.0 + Multimedia Extensions 1.0", whereas Tandy's release says "Windows graphical environment with Multimedia Extensions 1.0". Oddly, Tandy release uses both of these names during installation.

The version shown in the magazine could be from a different OEM or even a beta (see below), though the latter seems less likely. The magazine also calls it "Multimedia Development Kit" (MDK).

Information from antitrust documents[edit | edit source]

An internal Microsoft document[2] details the initial development plan for "Multimedia Windows". According to the document, the alpha release was shipped to 35 external testing groups on 1990-06-15, with 25-30 additional sites to receive it on 1990-08-01. The beta release was to be released in mid-1990-10 and the final OEM Adaptation Kit (OAK) in 1990-12. A beta version of Multimedia Development Kit (version 59) from 1990-11-09 was leaked by marcoguy to BetaArchive on 2016-12-19[3] and can be installed on top of normal Windows 3.0/3.0a to turn it into Windows with Multimedia Extensions.

Tandy is mentioned as the first OEM to launch their multimedia-capable PC-compatibles with Multimedia Windows. IBM, Fujitsu, Sharp, Olivetti, Zenith, Sony and Intel are listed as potential candidates for release.

Microsoft Works for Windows with Multimedia extensions is mentioned as one of the apps to tie in with new features of Multimedia Windows.

New applications[edit | edit source]

Windows Help[edit | edit source]

Windows Help in this release is version 3.07. The About dialog also states "Version 3.1.061d", which suggests this release has some files from pre-release versions of Windows 3.1.

Control Panel[edit | edit source]

About dialog says "Control Panel for Windows graphical environment with Multimedia Extensions 1.0" and "Version 1.0".

Auto Install[edit | edit source]

A Tandy OEM application for installing other applications from removable media. Version 1.0.

Welcome[edit | edit source]

A fullscreen, run-once Tandy OEM application that says "Tandy presents the world of multimedia".

Multimedia Main Menu[edit | edit source]

A Tandy OEM application for easy access to various multimedia demos, applications, and the Program Manager.

Reset Tandy Demo[edit | edit source]

A Tandy OEM application which resets the default shell back to FindCD.

FindCD[edit | edit source]

A Tandy OEM application that offers a tutorial and sound test. When finished, it first starts the Welcome application and then the Multimedia Main Menu.

Fixes[edit | edit source]

Startup fix[edit | edit source]

Tandy has changed the default shell to their application called FindCD (see above). This requires you to insert the installation CD, but the application often hangs at the start (possibly due to bad soundcard configuration) and you won't be able to get into Windows itself without changing the shell back to Program Manager in SYSTEM.INI.

To do this you must open the file SYSTEM.INI in the installation directory, find the [boot] section and change the line shell=findcd.exe to shell=progman.exe. Windows will now start Program Manager on startup.

This doesn't apply to the non-Tandy versions since they set the shell to PROGMAN.EXE by default.

Virtual PC Enhanced Mode fix[edit | edit source]

As this release is based on Windows 3.00a, it also requires a change to SYSTEM.INI if you wish to run it in 386 Enhanced Mode in Virtual PC 2004/2007.[4]

Other[edit | edit source]

Both Tandy and non-Tandy versions include special video drivers, including a 320x200x256 color driver, with special fonts, it works on any virtualization software that emulates a VGA card.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]