Microsoft partners with Netflix to celebrate new Stranger Things season with ‘Windows 1.11’ app

(Microsoft Photo)

Microsoft is getting in on the hype around the return of Stranger Things, the popular Netflix show that debuted its third season last week.

The Redmond software giant today unveiled a Windows 1.0-inspired app called Windows 1.11 that features classic Paint and Terminal programs and Stranger Things-themed puzzles and content. It’s a nod to the summer of 1985 — the setting for Stranger Things and also the year that Microsoft launched Windows 1.0, a decade after the company got its start.

It’s unclear if Microsoft is paying Netflix or vice versa for the partnership; terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Microsoft put out a series of social media posts over the past week teasing today’s announcement.

Back in 1985, Microsoft joined a competitive race with the introduction of Windows 1.0. Apple had already introduced its Mac OS and Microsoft was a year and a half late in shipping their response.

Windows 1.0 was basically a skin of MS-DOS, letting users tile, but not overlap, application windows running programs like Calculator, Cardfile and Paint. While it was a huge milestone for Microsoft, Windows 1.0 didn’t see rave reviews.

Windows 1.0 (Microsoft Image from Wikipedia)

But the first iteration of Windows did pave the way for future releases. Windows has since ballooned into an operating system that does everything from console gaming to controlling satellites. Today, close to 1 billion devices are running the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship OS, Windows 10.

Microsoft is also hosting Stranger Things-themed and STEM-inspired “Camp Know Where” workshops at Microsoft Store for students 13 and up. Parents can sign up in-store or online.

In addition, the company is giving away a Stranger Things prize package that includes a “Stranger Things 3 Collectible Arcade Cabinet.”

“Stranger Things” star Caleb McLaughlin and the “Stranger Things 3 Collectible Arcade Cabinet.” (Microsoft Photo)

“The themes of curiosity, ingenuity and teamwork that are woven through Stranger Things ring true to the culture and mission of Microsoft,” Microsoft general manager Eli Friedman said in a statement. “We’re excited to be able to transport fans to one of our favorite years, and to empower them to leverage technology to do extraordinary things, just like the heroes of the show.”

The Verge noted that there are no Microsoft references or Windows PC appearances in the third season of Stranger Things. And while the show has collaborated other brands such as Coca-Cola and Kellogg, Vice said the Microsoft partnership “doesn’t really make a lot of sense.”

Speaking of Stranger Things, this Chrome extension makes it easier to watch the show while at work.