I stumbled onto these three disks, seemingly out of place in history. Windows/386 version 2.0 is a strange one in that it shipped to OEM’s in late 1987, making it & Xenix part of the initial 386 wave of Operating Systems/Environments and beating out not only the OS/2 launch in 1988, but taking advantage of the 80386’s v86 mode, something that OS/2 wouldn’t be able to do in a shipping product until 1992.
This version itself appears to be a retail version of Windows/386 lacking any clear OEM identification that was so prevalent for the era. Indeed setting it up it offers a few interesting platforms:
Getting this to run was a little bit of a challenge as much as I prefer Qemu, these older 2.0x versions of Windows/386 have a BIOS/disk incompatibility with the hypervisor resulting in errors reading the hard disk. Although PCem/86Box have no such issues. I think it’ll run off floppy/CD-ROM/Network without any issue though.
The PCjs version of 2.03 has 138 setup files (not counting the PIFs), compared to the eBay’s 141, while the PCjs 2.01 has 59 files.
That said, well it’s Windows/386 mostly from 1987 with slightly updated EGA/CGA VMM drivers from early 1988 that just didn’t quite make the cut. To me what is confusing, is that it identifies as 2.03 while it’s closer to 2.01 in file count and functionality, unlike 2.03 it really ought to have been a 2.02, if there even was such a thing.
Otherwise it’s really not all that interesting short of the timestamp. It’ll run on CGA/EGA *IF* you have the proper adapter in place, although VGA is compatible, the environment will detect that it’s not actually the proper card and refuse to run. I tried to put in the 2.01 CGA/EGA drivers, but that resulted in an OS version mismatch (I didn’t check if 2.01 was locked to the Compaq OEM of MS-DOS)
I installed the infamous pair Word & Excel. Despite Word 1.1a demanding at least Windows 2.11, it appears to run okay. Excel 2.1d loaded without complaining. There isn’t very much convential memory for either, but they both can use expanded memory, which the hypervisor can create and share out without any emm386 or any equivalent driver. I can only imagine the incompatibles of trying to balance these drivers at the time, and how much the coming DPMI specification was needed.
And as the old saying goes the three top problems in Windows version 2 is memory, memory and memory. Trying to run anything graphical will exhaust convential ram, forcing you to single task anything graphical which kind of defeats the whole point of Windows. You go from this:
Oh well it’s 1987, and users were kind of used to being disappointed as such. It’s really no wonder why Windows 3.0 became the smash it it was.
And of course you can't talk about Windows/386 without this gem. (Video in MPEG-1/Audio MPEG-2 care of JSMpeg).
Those of us that have hated all this new ‘ribbon’ talk since Office 2007, seemed to have forgotten that the blasted ribbon was there all the time. Most of us called it a tool bar for some reason, but here let me show you.
Here is Microsoft Word 1.1 for OS/2
Now with no ribbon!
And here we go!
Ok but what about Word 2.0?
Word 2.0 for Windows
What is this? Ribbon??!?
Word 2.0 with no ribbon.
Ok but what about Word 6.0? Although they were going to write a whole new engine for Word, they gave up, and instead revamped the Word 2.0 engine, although…
Let’s try Word 6.0 for Windows NT! The first 32bit Windows Word processor from Microsoft.
Oh what’s this? No ribbon?
That’s right, the ribbon just got renamed, and buried.
So there we go there has always been a ribbon in Microsoft Word, but it’s become another toolbar to only resurface and take over the entire interface. Although I’m not a Word expert by any stretch, I do have to say, if I was given the chance, I’d certainly go back to the Word 6.0 interface ….
A friend pointed me to this site, as it has pictures of the 1983 Comdex version of Microsoft Interface Manager… This was the start of all things Windows.
Now “oscollect.ru” is Russian, and I figured I’d provide a mechanical translation (google) of the page for anyone that wants to at least experience a little of the magic that was MIM.
Microsoft Interface Manager
Internal Release 3
Develop graphics engine, known as Interface Manager, started in 1983. Microsoft was first shown at the exhibition Comdex’83, where and preserved its screenshots. According to foreign colleagues, given shots – a restored image from photographs. In 1984, Interface Manager has been renamed in Windows.
As can be seen in the photograph, design and concept of Interface Manager is very different from that seen in the first versions of Windows. The screen is divided into two parts: the panel available at this time teams, and the “working area” where windows are placed open applications.
Word Processor (Microsoft Word)
When you start a text editor set of commands on the toolbar at the bottom has changed, ie Apparently, there appear general commands, or commands for the currently active window.
Just can not help noticing that quite diverse controls window. In the upper right corner there’s a icon in a folder, for what he says I do not know exactly, but perhaps this is the system menu.
And that’s about it. Again, I just found these images on oscollect.ru, I did not install this, I don’t have any disks, I don’t know if this release even worked, or if these are even forged screenshots……
But I do think it’s very interesting that even back in 1983, The whole menu and ‘run’ commands at the bottom of the screen were there….
I just found out about this….. For those of us OLD people, we saw the new version of Office and said…
But I just found out on TWiT that by simply hitting CTRL+F1 you can get rid of that ribbon that blocks 1/3rd of your visible screen area…!
There isn’t that great! The ribbon is out of the way! Now you can see what the hell you are doing. Honestly why is this stuff hidden? Or is it the death of printed documentation that leads to this stuff. Then again MS Word 2.0 installs in under 15MB. lol