General info

General information

Developer: Microsoft Corporation
In development: from 1982/1983 to 1987
Announced: 10th November 1983
Initial release: 1.01 (20th November 1985)
Latest release: 1.04 (April 1987)
End of support: 31st December 2001
Platform: x86 (IBM PC and compatibles, others - see OEM releases page)
Languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, possibly others
Initial price: $99
Distribution media: 5.25" or 3.5" floppy disks (depending on release)
Succeeded by: Windows 2.x


System requirements

Please note: these requirements are for the retail PC release only.

  • IBM PC or compatible system
  • 256 kB of memory (320 kB since version 1.03)
  • IBM CGA, EGA or Hercules-compatible display adapter and monitor
  • Two floppy disk drives or one floppy disk drive and a hard disk drive with 2 MB of free space
  • MS-DOS 2.0 or later
  • Pointing device optional

To install Windows on floppy disks, you need at least one floppy disk drive and two floppy disks with at least 360 kB capacity. A mouse or some other pointing device is not required, but it is recommended for easier use. See Hardware > Pointing devices for a list of compatible pointing devices.

MS-DOS version 2.0 or later is required, though version 5.0 and later may cause problems when starting Windows. Use the SETVER command to fool Windows into thinking it's running on an earlier version.


People involved

This is a rough list of Microsoft employees known to be involved with the Windows project during its development.

  • Bill Gates (obviously)
  • Steve Ballmer (took over as development lead from Scott McGregor in January 1985)
  • Tandy Trower (became the 5th and final product manager in January 1985)
  • Leo Nikora (marketting manager)
  • Scott McGregor (development architect and manager until January 1985)
  • John Butler (developer)
  • Gabe Newell (developer)