You can run the very first version of Microsoft Windows 1.0 with almost no effort, and right in your web browser! If you’re feeling like experiencing what the Windows PC world was like in 1985, then you’re in for a real retro treat.
All you need to do is visit a webpage in a modern web browser to load Windows 1.01 today and play around with it, it should work on any Mac or PC.
You’ll have all the greats you know and love, including MSDOS.EXE and COMMAND.COM, WRITE.EXE, PAINT.EXE NOTEPAD.EXE, CLOCK.EXE, CALC.EXE, and more!
Note: press the ESCAPE key to regain use of the mouse cursor if it locks into the Windows 1.01 virtualization window.
This is obviously not for serious use or consideration, but it sure is fun to play around with, and it makes for an excellent proof of concept to demonstrate just how powerful modern computers and web browsers are when you can virtualize an entire operating system just in a web browser.
If toying around with ancient Windows 1.0 whets your appetite for nostalgic computing experiences, you’d probably also enjoy using the very first web browser called WorldWideWeb, running Classic Mac OS in a web browser, running HyperCard in a browser-based MacOS emulator, or running Linux in a web browser too. Or if you’d rather experience some retro computing locally, you can download and run Windows 95 as a self-contained application, and we’ve covered many other emulator posts and virtual machine articles before too.