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An easter egg from the very first Windows is discovered 37 years after the release of the OS

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Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1648656047*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
This article is an automatic translation

We discover the name of a Microsoft employee who has come a long way: Gabe Newell, founder of the company Valve and creator of the Steam software.

Announced in November 1983, Windows I was slow to be released, as it was only commercialized two years later, in November 1985. The success was not really there and it is not the second version, which arrived two years later, that allowed Microsoft to impose itself. No, for Microsoft to finally convince MS-DOS users to switch to a more modern graphical interface, it was not until May 22, 1990 and the release of the third version of Windows... but we are not here to review the history of the system.

No, we are here to talk about what is called an easter egg. In computer science, this term refers to a message or a feature of a program that its developers have decided to hide as a surprise or, more simply, to leave a "trace" in the program. A software of the magnitude of an operating system is likely to contain many easter eggs and if some of them are quickly spotted, even announced by their own creators, others remain a secret for many years.

This is the case of several easter eggs of Windows 1.0 that a certain Lucas Brooks has struggled to identify week after week. A few days ago, Lucas Brooks documented several easter eggs of the OS - 37 years after its release - and one of them concerns a list of credits from the developers of Windows 1.0 with the usual congratulations for having completed the project. Theeaster egg was rather well hidden since it was embedded in the bitmap file of a smiley face present in the system. The list of credits was encrypted and Lucas Brooks points out that he had to use tools that didn't exist when Windows 1.0 was launched to extract it.

Finally, and perhaps most intriguingly for those unfamiliar with his biography, this list of developers includes a name well known to PC gamers: Gabe Newell. If he is now famous for being the founder and current CEO of Valve - the company that publishes Half-Life and the Steam platform - he was in his wild youth an employee of Microsoft, where he notably contributed to several versions of Windows before leaving the company in 1996.