Beta<< Go back
The beta release was compiled on 8th May 1985 and presumably distributed to developers and testers later that month. It was a major improvement over the Alpha in terms of features and stability. It was distributed on three 5.25" 360 kB floppy disks for the OS - the software development tools (SDK) were split into a separate release that remains unavailable at this time. This build was supposedly also released for non-PC-compatible machines, such as the RM Nimbus PC-186 and Zenith Z-100 series.
Windows now features a proper installer that loosely resembles the final version, and it can now be installed onto floppy disks as well. Several printer drivers are now included, which can be installed during setup or later in the Control Panel. This build introduced an animated bootscreen, its principle of operation was used in some form until Windows 95 changed it completely. The USER.PRO configuration file was replaced with WIN.INI.
The UI is now almost finalized and looks a lot like the final release. MS-DOS Executive no longer supports any drag-and-drop operations for files. Color support was added for EGA displays on the PC. While the default color scheme remains monochrome, it can be changed to include color, and applications can also use color. Existing applications were substantially improved and several new ones were added, namely Calendar, Cardfile, Paint and a printer spooler. Windows Write is not included in this release, though it was likely already in development at that time.