Microsoft delivers a 1985 throwback experience for Stranger Things fans across the country. Created with Netflix, the tech company launched a Windows 1.0-inspired app that lets users experience the graphical user interface they first publicly released in November 1985. Though this version is a much rosier interpretation of the past PC, without the dreaded blue screen of death so common in the ’80s.
The free special edition personal computer (PC) app comes after the show’s third season premiered earlier this month. Inspired by the plot’s “Upside Down,” an alternate dimension that led to the Hawkins town invasion, the app is available on the Windows Store and includes puzzles and retro games that evoke ‘80s nostalgia.
In addition to the app, Windows is giving users the chance to totally transform their desktops with PC wallpapers that feature themes of the show’s cast and graphics.
Microsoft is rounding out the Stranger Things partnership with another experiential element—workshop pop-ups at Microsoft Stores called “Camp Know Where.” Here, fans can learn to make a Stranger Things mini-movies featuring mixed reality and 3D with Microsoft technology, or code a game with MakeCode Arcade. Users can also enter to win an Xbox One X Console when they play new “Stranger Things 3: The Game” at local Microsoft stores.
The partnership with Microsoft highlights Netflix’s vast marketing strategy to promote Stranger Things 3 and is one of many activations that incorporates the show’s throwback theme. Noteworthy tie-ins include Burger King and Coca-Cola’s creation of the Upside Down WHOPPER and Baskin-Robbins’ transformation of its Burbank store into the show’s ice cream shop, Scoops Ahoy. The Chicago Cubs launched a Snapchat augmented-reality (AR) filter that turns Wrigley Stadium into the Upside Down. Nike even got in on ‘80s fever, launching a collection of apparel that pays homage to the show.