Microsoft teases Windows 1.0, and we don't know why

It seems to be clever marketing -- for something.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Oscar Gonzalez
2 min read

Microsoft goes old school by announcing Windows 1.0


When Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, it's a big deal. But on Monday, the company teased the release of Windows 1.0. Saying that the announcement confused people is an understatement. 

Microsoft tweeted and posted on Instagram a 13-second video about its "new" Windows 1.0 operating system. The video has an '80s look and displays the logos for previous versions of the software, ending with the original logo for 1.0. 

"Introducing the all-new Windows 1.0, with MS-Dos Executive, Clock, and more," tweeted the Windows maker. 

Microsoft declined to comment. But the video itself and the release date give some hint that this could be a tie-in with Stranger Things season 3, which premieres Thursday.

The company's first graphical user interface (GUI) came out on November 20, 1985, which is the same year that the third season of the Netflix original series takes place. Microsoft's video has distinct graphics and music that come off as classic, cheesy '80s. 

A later Microsoft tweet promises: "It's going to be totally tubular!" 

The Windows maker also tweeted Tuesday promo materials for its other software available at the time such as Excel, Word, Chart and Microsoft Flight Simulator.

The original teaser video has made its mark. On Twitter, it's been viewed 474,000 times -- and on Instagram, more than 288,000 times.

If this is a tie-in with Stranger Things season 3, Microsoft wouldn't be the first company to bring back a bit of the '80s in time for the new season. 

Nike and Schwinn released limited editions of their respective shoes and bikes from that decade. Apparel brand H&M created a whole clothing line based on the hit series. Burger King has its Upside Down Whopper available at limited locations. Even Coca-Cola has gotten into the '80s revival with a limited release of its debacle, New Coke, as a tie-in to the show.

Originally published on July 2. 
Update, July 3:  Adds more background details.