The notebook as book

Tabworks 1.0 was shipped with all Compaq Contura Aero laptops. It replaced the windows shell by an own GUI, that was comparable to a notebook.

I must confess that I deleted Tabworks very soon, due to the small diskspace of the aero. I am now thinking that Tabworks had an interesting approach.

On this page you find some facts about this system - may it only for historical reasons...

Tabworks 1.0

Tabworks 1.0 was shipped with the first aeros 1993, later it reached version 1.10 on that machine. It was supposed to make the work easier by creating an interface that looked like a book, with a table of contents and an index. It replaced the program-manager of windows 3.1 which worked with program-groups - these groups were really hard to manage.

The concept of Tabworks was very innovative and they used scientific methods to find out the best ergonomics. You can find here a description of the design. If it is not available any more, check out this mirror.

I think the hard time for the developers of tabworks began when windows 95 was released two years afterwards. Confronted with the complete different interface of 95, I can't imagine anyone who wanted to learn a different and older GUI.

Tabworks was anyway developed till version 2.5. Read, what Edward A. Stitt, the leader of the Tabworks development team writes about the different versions and his work.

In a FAQ published till the end of 2002 the producer of tabworks, xsoft/xerox made clear, that they won't support tabworks any longer. They told, tabworks had been sold to citadel software. Now this FAQ has vanished. There is also no more sign of tabworks on the Citadel site.

The last version Tabworks 2.5 was sold in 1997 by citadel. They also offered a free upgrade for users of previous versions. I didn't find it yet. Tabworks 2.5 was sold for ca. 30$. See a copy of a tabworks-advertisement in an online store (mirrored from a google search).

It may also be of interest that tabworks also played a role in the microsoft case; specially in the accusation of microsoft blocking the market for third-market-shells.

Compaq did support tabworks after the release of windows 95 with a special tabworks conversion utility included in softpaq sp1329.exe.

Take a look at the german tabworks-manual! (Thanks, Johannes for working this out...).

You can download a copy of the original german tabworks-disks as and

Find here the copy of the tabworks-files from an english installation.

Home   ·   manual & docs   ·   drivers & updates   ·   original software
linux   ·   internal speaker   ·   ads   ·   the aero's wildest dream...   ·   links