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Microsoft Windows Premiere Edition
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
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 goat porn.
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.
So lets take a look at it.
If you want to grab a copy, you can get it over at WinWorldPC.com: Windows
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).
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.
In the May 1985 beta, the calculator was gray, and here it has color.
Most application menus have grayed out items such as copy/paste when
nothing is on the clipboard. This was not fully implemented in the May
The May 1985 beta only has a small place holder Calendar application.
Premiere Edition has the full blown, but not quite finished, calendar
/ schedular application. Notably, there is no background color, and it
lacks grayed out menu items.
The Control Panel in the May 1985 beta actually had a color background,
and no brightness/color color bars.
Unlike Windows 1.01, Premiere Edition does not have an "Add New
Font" option, or a "Mouse" settings option.
Premiere Edition also omits several development test programs including:
BOXES, PUZZLE, SPECTRUM, and PALETTE.
Premiere Edition does not yet include Write.
Driver files have an EXE extension, the same as the May 1985 and earlier
betas. In Windows Premiere Edition, the core Windows file is called "WIN100.MID".
In the May 1985 beta and earlier it is "WIN100.EXE" and in 1.01 it is named
Windows Premiere Edition will run some third party Windows 1.0x applications.
Larger applications will just crash and burn. The smaller ones that
do run are rather unstable, especially after running for a while. This
suggests a certain level of API stability, but clearly with many bugs and
not yet fixed.
The may 1985 beta will not run Windows 1.0x applications at all.
Exiting Windows Premiere Edition.
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.