Windows

Take a look back at Microsoft Windows 98 Easter Eggs

Hidden gems

If you’ve been using Windows for a while, chances are that you’ve heard that the developers of the various Windows versions had hidden Easter Eggs inside the operating systems. As you know, an Easter Egg is a small program that is hidden deep inside of an application and is designed by the application’s developers as a way of displaying their names—very similar to the credits that you see at the end of a movie. While the practice has long since been forbidden, back in their heyday, Microsoft’s developers created some really elaborate Easter Eggs.

In this gallery, I’ll show you the Easter Eggs that they embedded into the first and second editions of Windows 98.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

30 comments
training
training

Clicking the win logo in about help menu, to unlock the ester egg? Thin Adobe Photoshop started on version 2 or 3 holding down alt shift key when starting

jayohem
jayohem

On the 98 version it was the volcanos of the Northwest. I can't remember how it was launched, but it was a variant of floating word screen saver. I think you typed in volcano. On Windows 2000 it was the pipe elbows that occasionally would be a teapot. You had to use smooth, variable pipes with elbows for it to work.

pschulz
pschulz

How do you know this? It is impossible to stumble on this by accident.

monicabower
monicabower

Is this post really from 2007? I'm really curious how it got bumped back to the front page now.

russgalleywood
russgalleywood

Not sure if it was 95 or 98 and I know it's not an Easter Egg but the thing I most remember is that one of these versions came with a couple of decent songs as example media, one of which was The Weezers 'Buddy Holly' song complete with the Happy Days pop video! Can anyone tell me which one that was on as I'd like to find it again? Thanks :) Russ

jasdavis
jasdavis

Ahh, makes me feel so old..... :-)

AlfieStokes
AlfieStokes

Some good memories from the old days. I will have to find one of my old installations and go find these eggs.

Dugurama
Dugurama

is there anyway to unlock a two color Desktop scheme for windows 98?

eward
eward

Easter Eggs are just an innoccent fun (My personal favorite was the old excel (2000?) flight sim easter egg.) So why have they forbidden the practice? Because Micorosft is intent on spoiling all our fun?

Jefph
Jefph

We are still running Win98 first edition at home! I've never been bothered to upgrade, other than stick an extra 128M of RAM in boosting the 32M which came with it. I've never known about these - I'll try them tonight! Annoying thing is, we bought the machine about a week before 2ndEd came out, and some software rather stupidly says 'I need 2ndEd' when I know perfectly well it will work with the original release with IE4 which I have installed... I almost installed Linus on it lastnight, having already VMed the box for posterity. It's been going 8 years now, and still a good runner :) DSP

efehling57
efehling57

Anyone remember the Star Wars themed Easter Egg in Excel97? Those dev's definitely had way too much time on their hands.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

I brought it back to the front because I thought TechRepublic members would find it interesting.

panelshop
panelshop

I just checked our 98SE comp which monitors some SCADA profiles, it is on that version too. Cheers G

IndianaTux
IndianaTux

Yes, this was included in the extras for Windows 95 as a demonstration of its multimedia capabilities. Good times my friend. EDIT - from Wikipedia: "The "Buddy Holly" music video became so popular that it was included on the Microsoft Windows 95 CD-ROM when the operating system was first released."

dazzlin_dazz
dazzlin_dazz

I think you will find that on the Windows 95 disc. As I remember, you don't have to install windows 95, it's on the disc under extras somewhere. There was also another music video from Edie Brickell called Good Times.

wedge1
wedge1

Because the Federal Government released a mandate shortly afterwards stating that they would not buy any software with undocumented features (i.e. Easter Eggs). The scare that the movie "The Net" put into people was enough to start putting safeguards into place. That and Microsoft not wanting to lose revenue for millions of copies of Windows, etc. ;^)

fo128
fo128

This was the first time I heard of the band / singer and came to like them so much I bought myself 3 of their cd's from Musicboulevard.com. This online mucis store gave birth to very fond memories. Sadly, they were bought out later and their new owner had a rather corporative approach. I think Amazon eventually ended being the final owner of this bussiness. "Empire Records" (the movie) comes to mind.

mgrs_must_go
mgrs_must_go

The debut Weezer album came out in '94, I believe.....

mwclarke1
mwclarke1

Not the reason why was stopped, but not a good idea anyway, there is already and has been too much code bloat, need to get rid of more so sure do not want any in there not really needed.

martyn
martyn

I had heard thatthere is a functioning flight simulator hidden somewhere in an early version of Excel, although I've always assumed this was an "urban myth" but is there any truth in that?

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

I don't believe for one minute that just because "Easter Eggs" are gone, that there isn't hidden code that's accessible through some obscure means. Easter Eggs made many people aware of it, because there was something "fun." That doesn't mean it isn't happening right now, it just means that we don't see it and don't look for it because there's nothing "cool" about it.

Yowye
Yowye

Yes bloat may be one problem, but... The reason for it's removal has more to do with security issues, more precisely (a specific) security issue, the concern with "Easter eggs" is that there was the possibility that they could be mistaken for malicious code such as a "Trojan Horse" or "Virus" and be flagged as such by a Security Scan. If the Easter egg had been deeply integrated into the operating systems functioning software, the moment the Security Scan gave the option to remove it and it was then removed, the entire operating system would become corrupted. This on top of the other issue that an Easter egg may also pose as an unauthorized gateway that any Hacker or Cracker can use to gain access to your system. Finally... there was the issue of internal security by government agencies whose threat could come from within, by any member who may hide secret code within software then transport the software out of the facility undetected. To ensure this does not happen the government wanted to know the entire makeup of the code for the software. Having hidden Easter eggs bundled into the code... makes only for longer more tedious Security Scans which the government can't waste time with and the tax payers can't waste money on.

Yowye
Yowye

Yes bloat may be one problem, but... The reason for it's removal has more to do with security issues, more precisely (a specific) security issue, the concern with ?Easter eggs? is that there was the possibility that they could be mistaken for malicious code such as a ?Trojan Horse? or ?Virus? and be flagged as such by a Security Scan. If the Easter egg had been deeply integrated into the operating systems functioning software, the moment the Security Scan gave the option to remove it and it was then removed, the entire operating system would become corrupted. This on top of the other issue that an Easter egg may also pose as an unauthorized gateway that any Hacker or Cracker can use to gain access to your system. Finally? there was the issue of internal security by government agencies whose threat could come from within, by any member who may hide secret code within software then transport the software out of the facility undetected. To ensure this does not happen the government wanted to know the entire makeup of the code for the software. Having hidden Easter eggs bundled into the codes? makes only for longer more tedious Security Scans which the government can?t waste time with and the tax payers can?t waste money on.

edodaniel@
edodaniel@

This is how to access it ... 1. Start then immediately close Excel (sometimes this step is not needed) 2. Restart Excel 97 . 3. Open a new blank document . 4. Press F5 . 5. A reference box will open , type in X97:L97 and press ENTER . 6. Press TAB .This will take you to the cell M97 . 7. Click on the chart wizard button while holding down Control and Shift keys . 8. Presto ! You are in Flight Simulator . Use mouse to navigate and mouse buttons for speed control . Control+Shift+Escape ends this and takes you back to Excel .

philip.jones
philip.jones

Thanks for reminding me of that one - I also can't recall how to access it but I remember if you flew to just the right location you got the credits scroll up

sppthomas
sppthomas

there was a super fractal flight sim in Excel. So long ago I forget how to access it, but clearly some of the developers had waaaay too much time on their hands!!