How-To

Experience 1985 Windows with the Windows 1.11 Game and Throwback Theme

In relationship with Netflix and Stranger Things season 3, Microsoft has released some nostalgic 1980s fun. Here is how you can live 1985 Windows with the Throwback Theme and Windows 1.11 game.

Microsoft is taking us back to the glory days of the ’80s with a couple of interesting releases this week. The company is rolling out a Windows Throwback theme as well as a Windows 1.11 game to the Microsoft Store on Windows 10. The reason for the nostalgia is Microsoft is partnering with Netflix in support of the new season of Stranger Things (which takes place in 1985). If you want to go old school or just want to experience the fun, here’s a look at what Microsoft has delivered.

Windows Throwback Theme

The Windows Throwback theme pack is a special edition that includes 10 retro wallpapers that are based on the PCs from 1985. In addition to the desktop backgrounds, the pack also includes the same sounds from the earliest days of Windows. Once you downloaded, you need to apply it via Settings > Personalization > Themes. For example, in the shot below I have it enabled on the latest Insider build of 20H1.

Windows 1.11

This is an interesting app that provides you with the 1985 experience of Windows at the time. It provides a recreation of windows version 1.0 – yes, Microsoft Windows version 1. Once you get it running, you need to boot Windows from a command line. That is followed by a flawed Windows screen as well as a message to watch Stranger Things on Netflix. Oh, and the graphics are intentionally bad looking as they would on an old CRT monitor.

After that you begin the Windows 1.11 game which Microsoft describes as follows:

Experience 1985 nostalgia with a special edition Windows 10 PC app inspired by Windows 1.0—but one that’s been taken over by the Upside Down from Stranger Things. Explore the mysteries and secrets plaguing Hawkins, unlock unique show content and easter eggs, and play retro games and puzzles—all building off Stranger Things 3. Join Eleven, Steve, Dustin and gang as they seek to save Hawkins and the world. Embrace the 80s and grab your hairspray, because it’s basically the raddest show companion experience ever. But fair warning: beware the Mind Flayer.

If you’re old enough to remember the 80s, Windows 1.0, and a fan a Stranger Things, both of these downloads will be enjoyable. Even if you’re not old enough to remember, these are fun to play around with. You’ll get a piece of the experience the rest of us had before supercomputers with HD graphics were in everyone’s pocket.


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