Microsoft Teases ‘All New’ Windows 1.0 With MS-DOS Executive Complete With Retro Logo

Microsoft lit up micro-blogging platform Twitter with an interesting but baffling announcement. A two-part Tweet mentioned the introduction of “all-new” Windows 1.0. The tweet even went on to mention the first commercial versions of MS-DOS, Clock and other applications from the good old days. Interestingly, this is not a typo or glitch. Microsoft’s official Twitter account not only acknowledged the tweet’s authenticity and accuracy, but it also followed up another tweet, promising something “tubular”.

Within the last few hours, Microsoft has posted two updates on its Twitter and Instagram accounts. On both the platforms, Microsoft’s officially recognized accounts the company teased the release of Windows 1.0. To state the obvious, Twitter users were left confused about the true intentions of the Windows OS maker.

Microsoft tweeted and posted on Instagram a 13-second video about its “new” Windows 1.0 operating system. The video has an ’80s look and displays the logos for previous versions of the software, ending with the original logo for 1.0.

The short video is essentially a backward rundown of the icons of the Windows Operating System that Microsoft released for PC users. The video is complete with 1980s style background music. Starting from the icon for the latest Windows 10 which bears the flat material design, the video quickly shifts to Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows 3.1, and finally culminates in Windows 1.0. The icon for the Windows 1.0, however, is not in Black and White. Instead, it bears a distinct light blue tint. Microsoft even categorically added a caption that read:

“Introducing the all-new Windows 1.0, with MS-DOS Executive, Clock, and more!!,”

Incidentally, Microsoft’s Twitter account is proudly sporting the Windows 1.0 logo. Even the large image on top of the official Twitter landing page consists of two professional working with Windows 1.0. Needless to say, if one purely considers the contents, it appears Microsoft is planning to release Windows 1.0 in some new form.

What’s even more shocking is the fact that Microsoft appears to have wiped the Instagram account. Currently, except for the new post announcing the impending arrival or re-arrival of Windows 1.0, Microsoft’s Instagram account is completely blank.

Is Microsoft Reintroducing Windows 1.0?

Windows 1.0, the very first commercially available consumer-grade PC Operating System (OS), debuted more than three decades ago. The seemingly rudimentary OS was revolutionary at the time. It essentially consisted of the 16-bit graphical shell that was built atop MS-DOS, Microsoft’s core OS instruction set. Windows 1.0 was purely intended to be operated using a big and chunky keyboard because computer mice were not at all common or even well-developed yet.

Still, in a rather progressive step, Microsoft had built support for a computer mouse within Windows 1.0. In a rather ancient blog post, Microsoft mentioned the mouse support, stating, “In fact, the mouse was a bit of a curiosity at the time, perceived by many experienced users as inefficient, cumbersome, un-ergonomic, and hard to learn how to use. The mouse was certainly exotic.”

Given the archaic nature of the entirely obsolete operating system, it is highly unlikely that Microsoft would consider re-launching Windows 1.0. Microsoft already has a continually evolving Windows 10 operating system. With every significant update, Microsoft is increasingly offering newer functionality and patching bugs.

Although it is highly unlikely that Windows 1.0 is making a comeback, there are several possibilities behind the new cryptic Microsoft’s social media campaign. Microsoft could be offering the ancient OS as Open Source software. If Microsoft does decide to open-source Windows 1.0, it would simply follow its own footsteps. The company recently offered MS-DOS, its executable instruction set, as an Open Source software. Moreover, the company recently purchased open-source code repository GitHub. Incidentally, apart from the thousands of software that GitHub openly hosts for free consumption, Microsoft’s MS-DOS and even the Windows Calculator app are hosted on the platform.

Surprisingly, as a reply to one of the Twitter users, Microsoft even stated, “Windows 1.0, coming to you soon”, and offered a follow-up tweet that mentioned its ancient game Reversi would also be included in addition to other nostalgia-inducing aspects like Autoexec.bat, Config.sys and many other remnants of the much older Windows OS ecosystem.

Many social media users strongly suspect Microsoft’s social media accounts may have been hacked. However, there has been no official indication or confirmation about any breach of security. Interestingly, the follow-up tweets clearly indicate that Microsoft is interacting with the followers. In response to a question asking, “What? Why? Now? Seriously?,” Microsoft responded, “In order: Windows 1.01. Why not? It looks like it’s happening. Take a chill pill and enjoy the ride, man. ;-)” Other responses include “Stay tuned” and “Wait for updates!”

Could Microsoft Be Launching A Mash-Up Of Windows And Linux?

Microsoft has been showing a lot of affinity towards Linux. In addition to including native support to run Linux, there are several popular Linux Distros on Microsoft Store. Some of the notable mentions include Arch Linux, Ubuntu, SUSE, etc.

Windows 1.0 could be an interesting attempt by Microsoft to offer a Linux Distro with a Windows name. Version 1.0 would serve as an ideal starting point since it would be the first of its kind mash-up of Windows and Linux. Some even suggest Microsoft is trying to offer legacy support for 16 Bit applications. Several businesses have strongly refused to upgrade their systems. While natively running 16 Bit systems on obsolete platforms is very risky, Microsoft might offer cloud support for such ancient but still stubbornly used applications.

One of the most believable and plausible reasons for teasing the reintroduction of Windows 1.0 could be because of Stranger Things, a gripping series that is streaming on Netflix. Interestingly, the new season of the series is set in the year 1985. Needless to mention, it is the same year in which Microsoft debuted Windows 1.0


Alap Naik Desai

A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.
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