Stranger Things Have Happened: Microsoft and Windows 1.0 Nostalgia

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Source: Microsoft

Ever since corporations and competition have existed, ways to exploit human emotion and feeling have been used to sell products. Think of the last time a company ran an ad that made you feel happy and warm inside, or political attack ads that make you feel angry towards the victim of the ad. Marketing is ruthless and cold, and professionals in the field know where to attack to get the results they want.

Even already-popular products need some marketing exploitation, and Microsoft and Netflix seems to have teamed up to kill two birds with one stone:  Microsoft gets some good publicity, and Netflix gets to advertise their wildly-popular original show Stranger Things.

How are they doing this you may ask?  Nostalgia.


1. Going Back to The Basics


With Stranger Things taking place in the early 80’s, it’s ripe for nostalgia.  Really, that’s one of the reasons the show became popular, the show reminiscent of early horror/ thrillers.

To advertise season 3 of the show which has recently been released, Netflix decided to team up with Microsoft to ride off that nostalgia wave.  Though, this was only speculation because of some strange tweets from Microsoft.

Microsoft first tweeted out a sort of “joke” tweet, announcing the release of the “all-new Windows 1.0”, the Windows operating system of 1985.  After, there were a couple tweets that acted as trivia, asking questions about different aspects of the ancient OS.

These tweets continued, advertising different aspects, uses, and games that Windows 1.0 offered.  It wasn’t until July 5ththat the pieces fell in place.  While there was speculation that Microsoft was running an ad campaign for Stranger Things, Microsoft confirmed it in a tweet that contained a video clip of a computer screen that had the Netflix logo and Morse code that translates to “July 8th.

There are a couple of theories about what will be released on July 8th, so let’s take a look.


2. Possibility #1: A Windows 1.0 Re-release


When the tweets started coming in, most people jumped to the conclusion that Microsoft is going to release a new version of Windows 1.0.  Their purpose for doing so?  No one really knew, but it’s a cool idea so people let it slip.

While I would love to be able to have a modern Windows 1.0, Microsoft wasting resources on an OS no one can really use doesn’t seem like a possibility. However, the second possibility is all but confirmed at this point, thanks to one specific Twitter user.


3. (Likely) Possibility #2: A Tie-In Game


While looking around the Microsoft Store, Twitter user “WalkingCat” found an app called “Windows 1.11”.

The description of Windows 1.11 points to the app acting as a corrupted version of Windows 1.0 that’s set in the universe of Stranger Things.  The description reads:

“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.”

From how it reads, Windows 1.11 will act as an OS/game/promotion, and it’s pretty sweet.  Of course, we won’t know until July 8th, but a companion OS for a show is an idea I can get behind, though that may just be because I’m a sucker for anything horror. As long as the Mind Flayer can’t get my IP address, I think I’ll be downloading this day one.