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Location: GUIs > Windows > Chicago Build 58 - 1993

Windows Chicago Build 58
August 1993
screen shots

Every time I look it seems like someone has found an older build of Windows 95. This is Chicago build 58 which has recently turned up and is earlier and even more primitive than build 73.

I have said it before but I will say it again, Chicago is unique as it was really the only time in Windows history that Microsoft seems to have put significant effort and design research in to the Windows user interface. With the exception of Chicago (and perhaps any pre-1.01 version that might exist) I am really not interested in Windows alpha / betas.

For the most part build 58 looks like build 73. These screen shots mainly show the difference between the two. Please see the build 73 screen shots for more detailed information.

The system properties in this version looks a little more NT ish and otherwise has a somewhat different layout.

What is not obvious from just looking at the screen shots is that this version of Windows is almost entirely 16 bit including the Cabinet Explorer desktop. There were many new 16-bit APIs added, as a result these 16 bit applications will not run on Windows 3.1.

This shows an "under construction" message that appears when Chicago is first stated.

The tracker program that appears minimized above is launched from the startup group and stores the users beta ID info.

I was correct about the default user interface (I speculated about this on the Chicago 73 page). The system tray in this version does not show a task list. Instead it permanently shows an embedded folder window that you can place files or shortcuts in.

The system tray buttons are mostly the same as the ones in build 73.

Another interesting thing to notice is that in this version of Cabinet Explorer each window has "folder" and "window" menus. These were removed in later versions and not present in the final Windows 95. Windows 98 kind of brought back the "folder" options with its "go" and "favorites" menu items.

Also each file folder in this version has a "parent folder" icon that will open the parent folder when double clicked.

Removing these options made it slightly more difficult to open a parent folder although this can be still done with the tool bar (by default off in Windows 95) as well as with the backspace key.

The folder settings are located under a menu item named "usability test options".

Instead of the Windows 3.1 CD player, this version of chicago includes a program called "Microsoft Music Box". Music Box is not included with the chicago build 73. Additionally the Winpad program from build 73 is not in build 58.

Finally there is a control panel in Build 58 called "Metrics"  which seems to be a much more detailed and probably experimental version of appearances properties.