In the early ’90s I got my first Windows computer, a Leading Edge 386 running Windows 3.1. Out of the box it booted into Windows, presumably courtesy of a win.exe command in autoexec.bat.
I was in college and I mainly used computers to write papers with WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. I was still pretty new to the DOS world and I didn’t fully understand that you run DOS programs by typing in an executable name at the prompt. So I created a WordPerfect icon in the Program Manager. The PC booted into Windows and I used the mouse to start WordPerfect. I think you could run DOS programs in a window, but I always ran WordPerfect full screen.
In retrospect this seems insane. Windows 3.1 consumed a lot of resources and I was basically using it as a glorified launcher for DOS programs. If I were using Win31 now I think I would boot to the DOS prompt and start win.exe if I needed to do something in Windows. On the other hand, DOS computers were still pretty impenetrable to me in those days and Windows was a great help getting started.
Family, if this were 1993, would you boot to Windows and start DOS programs using icons, or would you boot to a DOS prompt?