real windows 1.0 premiere edition

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Today new windows beta came out it called windows 1.0 premiere edition, it came out june 20 1985 after windows 1.0 beta

It’s halfway through the year 1985. After many delays, the “Windows” software project you are working on STILL isn’t quite done yet. Promises were made for a mid-summer release. So what do you do?

You slap “Premiere Edition” over the the words “Beta Release”, put it on some pretty looking production-quality floppy disks, and pass it out to developers.

Later that year the final version is done and on store shelves. The old betas get stuffed aside, and the old disks reformatted to store more important things like EGA.

Who would have thought that many, many years later a bunch of fanatics would be obsessed with this obscure pre-release?

Things were crazy enough someone even created a fake version. It was just Windows 1.01 with some strings and the boot logo changed, but the fanatics were so desperate they accepted the fake as real…

Until a former Microsoft employee stumbled on this crazy mess and provided the real thing.

From a user interface standpoint, it really isn’t much different from Windows 1.01. But seems to share more in common with the May 1985 beta, a beta that was already floating around.

The first thing you might notice is that it defaults to a monochrome color scheme, even in EGA resolutions. This is the same behavior as the May 1985 beta.

Double clicking the System Box closes an application. This is what one would expect, but in the May 1985 beta it just brings up the system menu.

But by the early summer of 1985, we were still not close to being done, so Steve [Ballmer] declared we should release a preliminary release that I dubbed the Premiere Edition, which we provided to key application vendors, analysts, and members of the press for feedback and in partial fulfillment of Ballmer’s promise to ship the product that summer.

Then just at the point I was starting to feel more optimistic about wrapping things up the architect of the memory management code told me he found a critical defect in its design and would need to re-write it, basically rendering all testing to date useless.

By November , we had finished testing and come up with a solid release. […] That release, being after the earlier “Premiere” release, was known as version 1.01

If you want to grab a copy, you can get it over at Windows Premiere Edition

A few installation notes: You can run it under DOS 5 or later if you use SETVER to set the version for WIN100.MID to 3.31, and you can use a PS/2 mouse using a Windows 2.01 driver (downloadable at the link above).

In the Issue 26 Volume 7 of the InfoWorld magazine from 1985-07-01, an article called “Microsoft Ships Windows” was presented. This article describes what seems to be the same thing as Tandy Trower, from the release date to some details (like being given out to “software developers” and “independent software vendors”). However, it doesn’t mention the name “Premiere” anywhere, and it’s entirely possible that the screenshot is completely unrelated and comes from an older Windows 1.0 Beta version

The important thing is that unlike the fake version, there are many code differences visible in the behavior and the executable binary files. Furthermore, the level of completeness places it squarely between the May 1985 beta and 1.01.

Just to be perfectly clear: This is not Windows “1.00”!. This version is NOT FINISHED! Or even close to a release candidate. It is clearly only intended for developers.


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