Hello 1992! Windows 3.1 Comes to Android


Oh boy, I feel like a little child again, Dad just brought home our first Windows PC and finished setting it up. Hello age of technology and wonderment! Now reword that sentence replacing “little child” with “grown man,” “Dad” with “Shawn McHenry,” “first Windows PC” with “first iteration of Windows 3.1 running on Android,” and “Hello age of technology and wonderment” with “completely useless, but really damn cool.” That last little bit is actually McHenry’s own description of his port of Windows 3.1 to Android.


Using the DOSBox emulator, McHenry was able to bring the once-cutting-edge-but-now-completely-obsolete OS straight to the Android platform. He did it just for kicks, seeing no utility in it other than to prove the point. He got Windows 3.1 up and running on his Droid, completely gimping the device back to the early 90s. Talk about apps!

The port doesn’t exactly play pretty, but if you want to give it a shot, you can follow Shawn’s directions on his blog.

[via RegHardware.co.uk]

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. If someone gets Warcraft or Civilization working well, I am so there.

  2. Windows 3.1 makes you feel like a child, geez, how young are you? I was in college in 1992!

  3. o-m-g win 3.1 so big, so much better than DOS, lol. Yeah, get civ working, or get civilization working on facebook, haha.

  4. Well, Mike, I’m pretty sure that makes you Close to 40 if not past that. Which makes you close to middle age. I was 6 in 1992. I’m 24 now.

  5. Well, almost, I’m 38 :)

    1. I wrote this song in 94!

  6. Does it run Microsoft Word?

  7. It would be cool if you could get the old ski game working with the accelerometer/motion sensor…..

  8. One of the reasons I got an Android phone is to avoid Microsoft products. I’ll pass. ;)

  9. Awesome, if it were to play Oregon Trail, Castle of the Winds, any of the Commander Keen or Quest games I would so be there… Ah memories…

  10. Ooh, Commander Keen. Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. *sigh* They just don’t make games like that anymore. Everybody nowadays seems to want all these complicated 3D virtual worlds to explore. Gimme a 2D side-scroller any day. And btw, I’m only 27, so I WAS just a kid with Windows 3.1 was in its prime. Actually my family’s first PC was an old 386 IBM clone with Windows 3.1 off a garage sale, which we got when Windows 95 was already the mainstream OS, but still, I loved it. I wasn’t spoiled by the fancy GUI, and actually learned real DOS commands. I even read DOS for Dummies and More DOS for Dummies both cover to cover. Ahh, memories….. But anyway, yeah, I’ll take this as very cool but ultimately useless. Oh well, somethings will never get old, like porting the original Doom into any and all new computing platforms they come up with.

  11. Agreed. Totally useless, but cool beyond words :) excellent work.

  12. Now if only Shawn could bring Kurt Cobain back from the dead….. droid does… bye bye justin bieber

  13. This is useless if you don’t have any plans to build a time machine, go back in time and blow everybodys minds.

  14. Forget win 3.1, where can I get Dosbox for my Droid? It would be beyond cool to play old DOS games on my phone.

    A search on the market came back blank.

  15. @Brian (Kurt cobain )
    im so there man.!!!

  16. you fell like a grown man again? lol

  17. Was checking out the Dosbox itself for other things. I have an ancient copy of Wolfenstein 3D for DOS (yes, DOS – ran it first on an 8086 back in the late 1980’s). Unfortunately, you need a physical keyboard for Dosbox at this point. Boy, would I love getting that old version of Wolf running on my MyTouch!

  18. I’m so sad this requires a hardware kb at the moment :(

  19. Oh cmon guys. Running DOSBOX on android is not a big deal. Ive seen that running on Cliq months ago. Its just jet another linux after all. And if you get Dosbox running in a decent version (like 0.72) then you can even run win95.

  20. I feel my childhood beckoning me to the age of jezzball…

  21. Does it also run Leisure Suit Larry? :)

  22. wow this is kool…. not lol this is about as kool as the first iPhone

  23. Where do you put in the floppies to install the OS?

  24. Now that Win 3.1 is ported to Android and Android is ported to the iPhone… can we make Steve Jobs retch even further by installing Win 3.1 on the iPhone? :D

  25. skifree, asteroids, rodent’s revenge.. things that ran fine on a 150mhz pentium, we should port to android. would be easy. fucking mytouch needs a fucking keyboard though and so do all the other fucking android phones. fuck the fuck the iphone. i think “physical Keyboard” should be a requirement for a device to be considered smartphone, but once a phone is running android, it should be considered a GeniusPhone and any Apple product should be renamed as follows :SheepPhone, SheepTop, SheepPad, SheePuter, and the SheepMediaplayer.. SheepPod. fucking sheep. or you could name them after their makers instead of their consumers, just throw a “Naz” in front of any of the preexisting productnames.
    as far as phone improvement goes, i say they should move the camera to the front, or a swively thing maybe.. use the entire back of the phone for battery so you can buy a fatter back to have a fatter phone with more battery life or even buy a back with a dynamo so you could charge anywhere. and stop leaving out physical keyboards. ok, back to windows 3.1:
    i wish someone would spend some time developing on windows 3.1, allowing it to run on the hardware of the future, supporting modern day ethernet cards, usb devices, wifi. i loved windows 3.1..
    back in the ’90s. of course i probably didn’t use it for much more than paint. pretty sure when we played Oregon trail it was on the old apples. but they had it on windows 3.1 computers later
    less than 20mb.. if it could be modernized without suffering massive bloatage like later versions of windows, supporting new cpus and ram.. it would be awesome. to support mobile processors.. if it could be made to run on mobile devices, we could dump all those crappy factory installed OS’s and never run low on resources again. i <3 android, not saying i would replace ANDROID with windows 3.1, but on those awesome dumbphones like the samsung impression, which has a keyboard, AMOLED touchscreen. or blackberry, with a keyboard AND a trackball. really i would be happy running puppy linux on a mobile device, if the flash player would actually work on the phone, and it didnt look so ghey. yes. i want windows 3.11 to run on the same hardware that supports windows 7, 64-bit. although i love windows 7. hate vista. settle for XP, and the rest are obsolete, but if windows 3.1 was modernized, with a modern graphics makeover, and hardware support. i dont care if you take off the windows logo and call it Shitstorm(tm), i would prefer it to any other present day OS because it would be lighter and more efficient, would probably boot in a fraction of a second.would not know what to do with the massive amounts of RAM and Hard drive todays shit has, but if you could make it do flash player, pdf files, run a VLC, use wireless modems, touch-input devices. ok yeah that is alot of work and this is a big chunk of crap that i am about to: Submit

  26. “Oh boy, I feel like a little child again”

    LOL! i was working back then, out of college 5 years, W3 made life easy at work. Simple DOS didnt have multitasking, networks were the pits, and most of the data and work was still sitting on the mainframe.

    Man have things changed…

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