Weekend Poll: What was the first Windows OS you used?

Oops! We missed a weekend poll last week, but we're back again this week asking another question to the awesome Neowin readers and subscribers.

We want to know what version of Microsoft's Windows operating system you used first. Chances are many people will have Windows 95 down as their first experience with Windows, but it will be interesting to see how many people used earlier (or, of course, newer) versions first. Unfortunately we cannot add more than five options to a poll, so in the unlikely scenario that you used Vista or 7 as your first Windows OS, leave a comment letting us know.

As always you can place your votes in the poll below and leave comments with your opinion, and have a fantastic weekend!


What was the first Windows OS version you used?

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For home use it was 3.1 on a shiny brand new 486 DX2 back in 91 or 92...BBS boards, Dune II, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Sim City 2000, Syndicate

Epic Win

I'm 18, and used 98 the first time a long time ago. I have used Millenium, XP, vista and seven and eight thus far. But sadly I feel I may be parting from Windows soon, as soon as VALVe releases Steam for linux, I will be going mainly Linux with a Windows backup. Although I have loved Windows, Lately, it has just been going downhill for me for it, and I have grown to appreciate and love Linux more. From '98 to 8CP I have been a lover, and Windows will always have a place in my heart.

Windows 1.01 on DOS 3.0, 8MHz 8088 Heathkit HS-148, IMSI optical 3 button mouse which had a special aluminum mouse pad. Only the DOS manuals remain in possession.

In 1991 I got myself a PC a 386 with 2 megs of memory and a HDD of 80 megs. It came with DR.DOS and I installed GeoWorks Ensemble on it. I loved it! However a friend of mine told me about this new online thing via Compuserve. Since Compuserve did not run on GeoWorks Ensemble I had to install Windows 3.1.

I remember playing X-Wing and Tie-Fighter (my favorite game) and freeing up base memory with QEMM after I got myself a 486 with 4 megs of memory. :-)

Good times.

I was kind of a late bloomer. My first computer had Windows 95, but was upgraded to Windows 98SE within a month or 2 afterwards.

i played games that were run off of cassette tapes, which was cutting edge at the time
on a radio shack tandy tape player that came with the pc, sometime late 80's i guess
What OS it was i don't know, although I've played my fair share of choplifter etc on a jumbo floppy lol

Win98SE with a 14" CRT that was longer than it was wide Had a lovely 4GB Quantum Bigfoot in it (boy that ****** was a BIG FOOT!!!) used to lie in my room upstairs (our house was an 1860's farm house) and listen to the dialup when my mum checked her emails.

One day the internet broke an no one could fix it. Many years later we upgraded to broadband and a PC with one of the first commercially avaliable dual core processors (for consumers at least)

I'm younger that most here and had a late IT awakening, started with windows 95 (while 98 was available) and I bought a cheap PC with no OS thinking I could sort it easy. Anyway after 3 weeks trying and asking people I knew who knew about PC's (later found out they knew f**k all really) I sussed it out on my own. Since then never looked back and now run my own IT support company.

It was Windows 98 but the thing I bought my first computer around the time when XP was fresh like a few people had it in my city.
So my system was Dual Boot for XP & Win 98

This kinda reminds me of NFS 2 and GTA 2

Windows 98 on a PC from the early 2000s. 800MHz CPU, 256MB RAM and 40GB HDD. Though apparently my parents had 3.1 and 95 dualbooting on an older rig we still have lying around, that had a 486-DX2 processor.

My parents weren't really that into computers. My mum never really used them at work, but as my dad was a journalist/writer he got a Windows 95 laptop and desktop. I remember using it for the first time. Damnnn, it was amazing :').

MS-DOS 5 on an IBM 8086 system (it was a 5MHz CPU).
Windows 3.1 on a 286.

Even when I had Windows 3.1 I tended to use DOS more, especially as I had created some batch files to generate a menu system to quickly access games and programs.

First computer I used was running WfW 3.11. It was later upgraded to windows 95, but I normally had to boot into dos in order to get my games working.

I first used Windows 95 in grade school. This was back in 1997, by the way, when I was in first grade. I started using Windows 98 at home in 1999. Then, I upgraded to ME, then got another computer with XP loaded on it in 2004, upgraded to Vista in 2007, and started using Windows 7 in early 2009. Now, I am using the Windows 8 CP.

The very first release of Windows 95. I had extensive MS-DOS experience before that but never used Windows before Windows 95. I only tried Windows 3.11 once after that on someone else's PC to see what it was like and found it awful.

I do feel I'm at the older end of the variety of people here, it seems. The first PC we had was a Toshiba T1000XE - 086 which had a turbo mode to run at 11Mhz, which was quite wierd. DOS 3.3 on an EPROM, 20Mb Hard Disk, 1Mb Memory, loaded with MS Works for DOS 2. To get it running Windows 3, I loaded a copy of DOS 6.22 on the Hard disk, got Stacker running which gave me 40Mb (10 which was used by Stacker itself?!?) and obviously Windows ran it in Real mode - oooh feel the power
Managed to get Word for Windows 1 and Excel 2.1d running it quite nicely.
Otherwise my childhood is of BBC Micros/Amstrad CPCs and Nintendos (vs Sega Master Systems).
I would safely say things have moved on a hell of a lot. I just hope I can still remember enough of my DOS days to put young'uns to shame

Windows for Workgroups 3.11/DOS6 on a 33mhz 386

I remember just before Windows 95 came out I really wanted OS/2 Warp but my hardware wouldn't support it for some reason (and my Dad wouldn't buy it for me anyway).

Windows 3.0 on a ///Laser 386SX we got from Micro Center.

It was awesome, but Windows 3.1 was much better.

Windows 95 on a 386/DX2-66 with 8 megs RAM, a 4meg Video Card, double speed CD-ROM, 14.4k modem, and a 13" Monitor. My friends were jealous at the time.

Win95. Remember it down to the date: March 10, 1999.

I did see Windows 3.1 in use in school, but I didn't really 'use' that computer.

3.1 on a school computer. First computer my parents had at home... A 133mhz Packard bell with Windows 95!

"Features of the new Packard Bell Microsoft Station include:

133 MHz Pentium(TM) processor

1.6 GB hard drive

16 MB of memory

Quad-speed CD-ROM drive

1 MB video memory

SRSb 3-D Amphitheater Stereo Sound(TM)

28.8 bps fax/modem

Windows 95 operating system

Nearly 30 Microsoft software titles including: Office (includes

Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Schedule), Money, Encarta 96, Automap

Streets and Road Atlas, Wine Guide, Cinemania(R) 96, Golf, Flight

Simulator(TM) 5.1 and Arcade

Answering System with two way speaker phone FM radio card with sleep

and alarm functions

Microsoft Natural Keyboard

Microsoft Mouse

Microsoft Sidewinder(TM) Joystick

The Packard Bell Microsoft Station is now available exclusively at all Circuit City Superstores.
-0- 12/11/95"

That's amazing for your first computer, I would have been envious of you.

I was running a 486dx2 66mhz citrix processor with 8mb of ram and a 800mb hard drive. 1mb of video ram and windows 3.11.

This is when the pentium 133 was our and not long after the 166, I had to live with this setup for a couple of years so it was already out of date. It's a shame that I couldn't have told my dad it was a ripoff when he bought it, he worked hard to buy me that machine bless him.

First computer when I was 4 was a 386 running Windows 3.1. First time I'd used a Windows computer (Well, any computer for that matter). Upgraded shortly after to a 333mhz Celeron Compaq running Windows 98.

Windows 3.11 WFW on DOS 6.22 running on a 486MHz with a 400MB hdd and 4MB of RAM. still have all the components in a box somewhere, except the case and 3.5 floppy drive. DIN-5 keyboard, serial mouse, VESA graphics, Soundblaster 16... OMF2097, LOTUS, MKII, and Wolf3D... most abuse programs.

still a CLI junkie to this day.

PC DOS 4.0 with Windows 3.0 on my 386sx 16MHz, a power house of a PC, my IBM PS/1 and its whopping 4MB RAM and 80MB HDD.

Oh and I ran that on an Epson EquityIII+ at 12 MHz... With a speed reducing switch in case it was too fast for older DOS products

Windows 3.11 (not WFW, oddly enough) on DOS 6.22. This was on a 50MHz 486SLC2 (overclocked to 66MHz) with 16MB RAM, a 320MB HDD, a SoundBlaster16, and a ginormous Trident VLBus video card. Oh, and one of the few IDE double-speed CD-ROM drives (didn't require a special controller card). This was back in 1994.

Before that, I was on an AST "Premium" 286 running DOS 5 and XTree Gold. XD

Windows 3.11 at my elementary school but only for a very short time. My school upgraded their library computers to Windows 95.

Windows 95, then after a while we upgraded to Windows XP. I remember being amazed at how much nicer it was

Family had a few Win 3x computers. The most I can remember was a Osborne desktop running win 3.11 windows for workgroups. lol. Next was Windows 95 at school and then Windows NT and 98. Then have my own computers on 98, ME, XP, Vista and now 7.

seems like most of the people around here are old school.

first OS i used was Windows 3.11 which was on a PC we first got in 1995 which was a 486dx2 66Mhz CPU with 4MB system RAM and 4xxMB hard drive and a 2400baud modem (i.e. the bad ol' days. lol). i actually still have the modem in my cabinet and i think i got the hard drive to.

p.s. i also still got a 3DFX Voodoo 4MB graphics card (i.e. Diamond Monster 3D) to in my cabinet which was like $200 back around 1996-1997. it was pretty much the first modern graphics card. i remember being wowed by Quake 1 when it was running in OpenGL mode as it blew away the consoles at the time which where PS1/N64. but back then when i first got the graphics card i did not know i had to get it running in OpenGL mode to get it to take advantage of the graphics card so when i first fired up Quake it was still running in software and i was thinking "i can't see any difference" and i was having that disappointment feeling set in (especially since $200 is not pocket change either) but somehow i stumbled on that you needed to get it running in OpenGL mode and once i found that out i was happy as hell as graphics where great (now it probably looks borderline Atari level. lol) that was running on a Pentium 133mhz CPU on a PC i had in 1996.

Windows 3.0 with dos 5.0

Mt first PC was a 286 with 1 MB of ram... Or was it a 386sx?

Who cares... Long time ago, with POS file managers...


Windows 3.1, I still remember the nightmares I had when played with the Virtual Memory, it was a bluescreen or hard crash in most cases. People doesn't know how Windows has improved over the time, users just take everything for granted

Thinking back to first computer and first Windows are two different timelines for myself.

I started 'using' Windows 2.1 with 386 enhanced mode

Win 98 for me. Me wife(girlfriend at the time) knew I was a little geeky so she got me set up with a system. I think that's why I married her. So thoughtful.

Windows 3.0, it was a Gateway OEM copy with the cow patterns all over it. Bought it at a used software store to install on my 286 which only had DOS installed.

naap51stang said,
Does a Trash80 count?
My first OFFICIAL OS was DOS 3.3 on a Compaq "portable"

Sure, a lot people had one... I wrote a wordprocessor for a TRS-80 16K non-extended when I was a kid.

I grew up using DOS and Windows 3.11. Those were simpler times - sometimes I get nostalgic and miss them…

First Windows OS for me would be Windows 2.1, didn't really get into Windows in general till 95 though, pretty much stayed with DOS and Microsoft Xenix until then.

Windows 95, at school, though I had played around with a DOS pc at my cousin's a few times before that.

3.0 was the first I used, but have also used 2, 3.1, 3.11 and all incarnations since then, I think even at one point, I have even used a pc with windows 1!!

It was Windows 95 and very briefly. However, it was that brief I had it in my head that I was Windows 94 and I have no idea why. It wasn't until several years later that I realised that Windows 94 didn't actually exist!

I don´t remember very well. But I¨ve been using computers since little for playing games. Was born in 1992. But I know that I´ve used every Windows Version since 3.1+ (except for WinME, which I don´t know why people bash it since I never used it), excepting the Windows Servers editions.

DOS on 286:) and then Windows 3.1 back when I had a desktop pc with powerbutton looking like a generator's flip switch:D and ofc a 5 1/4 inch floppy:D

Can't believe I'm being made to feel like a fresher even though I selected "Windows 95" as my first option. Holy moly.

I'm not exactly sure about the version but it was before Windows 95, so I guess 3.11 or even earlier.

I viewed in Windows 1 and 2, but really used I did Windows 3.1x+ (I was less then 10 years old at this time)

Windows 3.1 on a 486DX 33MHz with 4MB of RAM and a 100MB hard drive. Paid almost $3000 for that system back in the day.
Then I moved up to a 486DX2 66MHz with a mammoth 12MB ram

First one I saw was Windows 2.0, I almost choked to death laughing at it at the time - 3.0 was most likely the first one that I actually used at something other than laughing my butt off.

Yikes based on the poll everyone is so old! Seriously I only just remember 2000/me ive used xp most of my life i might need to look for a younger crowd lol.

DOS and Windows for Workgroups 3.1. Back then, you didn't have to struggle against dumbing down and geeky+complex was cool. On the NT-side, first OS I used was NT 4.0 Workstation and Server.

xpclient said,
DOS and Windows for Workgroups 3.1. Back then, you didn't have to struggle against dumbing down and geeky+complex was cool. On the NT-side, first OS I used was NT 4.0 Workstation and Server.

Sorry but fighting with jumpers for irqs and com conflicts etc and playing ordering games in config.sys and autoexec.bat to keep enough lower ram free for your progs wasn't exactly cool, nor fun.

Still have shrink wrapped copy of 2.0 in a storage box somewhere, probably belongs in a museum.

knighthawk said,

Sorry but fighting with jumpers for irqs and com conflicts etc and playing ordering games in config.sys and autoexec.bat to keep enough lower ram free for your progs wasn't exactly cool, nor fun.

Still have shrink wrapped copy of 2.0 in a storage box somewhere, probably belongs in a museum.

Nor was pointing and clicking all over the OS to find what you needed.

I saw and used Windows 95 on somebody else's computer, but it was Windows 98 that I used on my first computer.

H.I.M said,
I saw and used Windows 95 on somebody else's computer, but it was Windows 98 that I used on my first computer.

Exactly the same here, we got our first PC just after Windows 98 came out.

Windows 3.11 on my friends DX2 66mhz. 8mb hard ram, 512 graphics (800 x 600, 65535 colours), 520mb hard disk, sound blaster 16.

those were the days.

editing those ini files, config.sys and autoexec.bat to get things working.

Pygmy_Hippo said,
How come there's no option for Microsoft Bob?

'cause at best only one person would vote for it…

My first version was on an IBM PS2-55SX running DOS 6 and Windows 3.1, we later upgraded to Windows for Workgroups 3.11.

I managed one year to get Windows 95 running on it, I had to copy the CD image to a SyQuest drive.

DOS 6 and Win 3.1 Those were the days man... even installed win 95 on a 386 IBM PS/2 but it was too slow.

Saadu said,
DOS 6 and Win 3.1 Those were the days man... even installed win 95 on a 386 IBM PS/2 but it was too slow.

Its funny, I agree that those were the days but I would trade all of that for my current hardware.

Mephistopheles said,
Windows 1.03 back in 1986, on my dad's PC.

Yeah, good 'ole 1.03 - with the tiled (not overlapping) windows!

But it was 2.03 - and also Windows/386 - that really got my blood pumping with GUI fever...


Commodore 64, but for Windows it was 3.1.

Tried React OS again and the thing boots in three seconds flat. Windows Vista/7/8 take almost as long as the Commodore 64 did only the Commodore 64 had an excuse.

Rudy said,
3.1 on a 386

I was using 3.11 on 286 but it was school PC and was not mine or free for any kind of use. My first PC was on windows 98.