The non-profit kicked things into gear last year when it provided thousands of MS-DOS games for us all to enjoy, so the upgrade to Windows 3.1 was inevitable. The Internet Archive has included over 1,000 apps that run within the Windows 3.1 environment. There are plenty of utilities and business software programs to keep you occupied, but the vast majority of them are games.
“The colorful and unique look of Windows 3/3.1 is a 16-bit window into what programs used to be like, and depending on the graphical whims of the programmers, could look futuristic or incredibly basic,” writes Jason Scott via the official Internet Archive blog. “For many who might remember working in that environment, the view of the screenshots of some of the hosted programs will bring back long-forgotten memories.”
That last point rings true with me, as the first program that I sought to find in the vast treasure trove to titles was SkiFree. And low and behold, there it is in all its snow and abominable snow monster glory.
Over two decades after Windows 3.1 was first introduced, you’d think that the world would have long passed the operating system by. But as the Internet Archive explains, Windows 3.1 surprisingly has more than enough life left in it for some real-world applications. “Windows 3.1 continues to be in use in a few corners of the world,” writes Scott. “Those easily-written buttons-and-boxes programs drive companies, restaurants, and individual businesses with a dogged determination and extremely low hardware requirements.
So if you’re ready for yet another nostalgic trip, be sure to head over to the Internet Archive’s Windows Showcase to get started.