Windows 3.0 build 55 is a pre-release version of Windows 3.0, that was shipped to testers in January 1990, as a demonstration of the upcoming version of Windows.
At this point, the product was nearly finished in terms of features and overall usability, and aside from major memory improvements over Windows 2.x, would also include a completely redesigned graphical user interface, namely the Program and File Manager to replace the MS-DOS Executive seen in previous versions of Windows.
A personal computer magazine, InfoWorld, has a full article demonstrating a version of Microsoft Windows 3.0 from this time period in an issue from January 1990.
This version should be installed on a machine running MS-DOS 4.0, IBM DOS 4.0, or Compaq DOS 3.31 in order to take advantage of the new features available in this version of Windows.
Version numbers shown in About dialogs
- Write shows Version 3.0 Beta 1.55.
- Terminal shows Terminal 3.20, Beta-Release 01/02/90.
- Calculator shows Version 3.00.16.
- Windows Setup shows WinSetup Version 3.00.137.
- Swapfile has a hidden About dialog box which can be seen when examined in a hex editor, showing WinSpart Version 3.00.139.
WINOLDAP.MOD of this build has a version string of "3.00.14.20jan89", shortly prior to an earlier pre-release version 3.00.14 dated February 22, 1989.
Paintbrush beta release warnings
Paintbrush contains the following warnings in this pre-release version of Microsoft Windows 3.0:
Beta Warning Multiple instances of Paintbrush are disabled (beta release only) for your protection. This instance will be terminated.
Beta Warning Paintbrush is disabled under real mode EMS systems (beta release only) for your protection. This instance will be terminated.
Beta Warning Paintbrush does not deal with low memory situations well in this beta release. To avoid losing work, run Paintbrush under 286 or 386 protected mode. This is the only time that you will receive this warning.
Beta Warning There is a known bug in Paintbrush that can cause the contents of overlapping windows to be placed in your drawing. For this reason it is not recommended to bring up other applications on top of the Paintbrush window. This is only a problem for the beta release. This is the only time that you will receive this warning.
This pre-release version includes Windows Help version 3.00.2000. It may also occasionally crash with a Divide by Zero error due to faults in the pre-release code.