Microsoft teases 'all-new' Windows 1.0 launch, and we're as confused as you are

Microsoft Windows 1.0 logo
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's social media team appears to be building up to something. Earlier this week the tech company's accounts started to tease the launch of Windows 1.0, the operating system that was first launched back in November 1985. So is this a publicity stunt, an unprompted trip down memory lane, or the build up to a product launch?

The confusion kicked off on 1 July, when the official Windows Twitter and Instagram accounts shared a video that cycles through the history of operating system's logos (see our guide to logo design for all you need to know about logos) before settling on the original Windows 1.0 icon. The video was accompanied by the caption "Introducing the all-new Windows 1.0, with MS-Dos Executive, Clock, and more!!"

What could it mean? Twitter user Zachary Jorgensen spoke for a lot of people in his tweet that asked: "are you re-releasing all the previous Windows operating systems again or what? Is this even real or is it just a joke? What is this supposed to be exactly? Why is this a promoted ad? WHAT IS GOING ON??? I’M SO CONFUSED."

Meanwhile others took the opportunity to indulge in some Windows-related nostalgia.

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As for Windows, it's enjoying remaining tight-lipped for the time being. In response to questions about what it's up to, Windows has replied with suitably '80s-sounding tweets.

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The nostalgia trip doesn't end there though. Windows seems to be sticking to its latest obsession by changing its social media profile pictures to the Windows 1.0 logo. On Instagram it's even gone one step further and erased all content that isn't about Windows 1.0.

Both channels have also started pushing Windows 1.0 content. These posts include quizzes about the memory required to run Windows 1.0 in 1985, and a look at the exciting programs the operating system will run "this summer".

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A popular theory is that this is all heading towards a Stranger Things tie-in. If this is the case, Windows wouldn't be the first brand to piggyback on the success of the popular fantasy show set in the '80s. LEGO released this epic Stranger Things set, and Coca-Cola got involved with the series by bringing back its unpopular New Coke, which was originally launched in 1985.

In the meantime though, we're just going to have to sit tight and wait for Windows to reveal why it's getting all retro on us.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.