Word & Excel for MIPS

Years ago when I’d bought Office 4.2 for Windows NT, it only included i386 & Alpha builds of Word and Excel in the box, and a coupon for MIPS and PowerPC.

About the only thing interesting is that it actually ran under Win32s.

But today looking at term24‘s uploads on archive.org, I saw two CD-ROM images:

I quickly fired up Qemu MIPS NT, and confirmed that both do in fact contain a MIPS version! Excel does have the PowerPC version as well.

As far as I know the only RISC platform to get apps from Office 97 was the Dec Alpha, but at least MIPS users can rejoice now, knowing that they too have been blessed with 32bit Office 4.2 apps!

One of the amazing things about NT & portable apps is that visually, they look identical. So other than me telling you that these are the MIPS native versions, there really is no way to tell.

Well, other than there is no ntvdm running. There is no WOW needed here!

100% native.

I guess the only other question is that since the Word is 1994, and Excel is from 1995, did they have earlier versions for Windows NT? It seems like everything was finally coming together for RISC NT, except the users. Would a release of 64bit Windows 2000 on Dec Alpha save the platform by bringing a strong 64bit platform with integrated JIT i386 WoW built in? (AXP64 Windows 2000 didn’t use !FX32). I guess we’ll never know.

WineVDM 0.5.0 released!

This version has MANY issues fixed, and is capable of running more and more Win16 software on Win64 based OS’s.

Printing on paper!

One of the more exciting things is that as long as I do a print setup first, I can actually print on a new printer from MS Word 2.0c!

You can download it from the releases page here:


Windows/386 v2.0(3)

Unknown disk on Ebay…

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.

Windows/386 v2.03

Once installed it reveals itself to be version 2.03 of all things.  While I was hoping for some kind of retail version of 2.00/2.01 this appears as close as it may get as it has more in common with the PCjs version of 2.01 (which you can try live on his site!)

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.

Windows/386 2.03 in CGA

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)

No mixing drivers!

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.

Memory trouble in Windows 2.x

 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:

BattleTech CGA in a Window

To this:

Windows is out of memory!

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).

In a surprise move, Microsoft opens up the source to MS-DOS & Word for Windows.

I couldn’t believe it!  You can find the official announcement here.

So this is MS-DOS 1.1 & 2.0 source code.  Pitty it’s not 3.x but heck, it’s a start!

Also the Word in question is 1.1a however it does seem to include the OS/2 bits which was a big surprise.

I haven’t tried to build any of it, as I just got up but I know what I’ll be doing today!

Microsoft Word and Ribbons….

I came across some startling news today.

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.

Word 1.1 for OS/2

Here is Microsoft Word 1.1 for OS/2

What’s that?

Hello, ribbon?

Now with no ribbon!

And here we go!

Ok but what about Word 2.0?

Microsoft Word 2.0 for Windows

Word 2.0 for Windows

What is this? Ribbon??!?

Word 2.0 with the ribbon off

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…

Word 6.0 for Windows NT

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 ….

But I guess I’m just old.

Microsoft Interface Manager

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.

Boot Screen

First Start
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.

Command Line

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….

Microsoft Word 2007/2010

I just found out about this….. For those of us OLD people, we saw the new version of Office and said…

Dude, where is my screen??

Dude, where is my screen??

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…!

Nice clean screen!

Nice clean screen!

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