Microsoft SideWinder Strategic Commander and Game Pad Pro

Today I got a sealed new in box relict from an era where Microsoft made great gaming peripherals for computers. It’s the SideWinder Strategic Commander:

Microsoft SideWinder Strategic Commander

The controller looks like a regular-size mouse for left-handers, but don’t let this fool you – that thing is huge! See the next pictures for a size comparison with the drivers CD and the box contents:

SideWinder Strategic Commander next to a CD   SideWinder Strategic Commander box contents

Besides the controller, the drivers CD is the most importing thing – lose it and you’re in serious trouble to get it to work. There is no (official) way to get hold of the drivers or software since Microsoft abandoned it’s SideWinder product line. Even more annoying is that Microsoft never released drivers/software for newer operating systems than Windows 98 or XP. While waiting for the installation of Windows 98 SE on one of my old computers to finish I stumbled upon this blog. It recommends the software Strategic Engine 1.3 by Philip Merwarth and even has a download link for it. Strategic Engine works fine even on Windows 8 x64, but I still prefer the old configuration software on a Windows 98 computer. Another Microsoft SideWinder I recently acquired is the Game Pad Pro. This one is much easier to handle – you just plug it in and it works (at least in 98 SE, XP and Win8 x64 – not in DOS though).

Microsoft SideWinder Game Pad Pro

6 thoughts on “Microsoft SideWinder Strategic Commander and Game Pad Pro”

  1. hey! well i found the sidewinder game pad pro in a bag when i moved, but i dunno how it’s works, also i have windows 8, can i use it or something? i’m really ignorant in this things 🙁
    greetings from Chile

  2. Thanks for helping people find the driver for this by linking to my site. I am still hosting it, and still smiling from all the happy people who discover it & post thank-you notes. But I noticed your link here died because during one of the site upgrades I’ve done, I changed the way many of the pages’ links and addresses are organized.
    For now it’s at
    And if that link ever changes in the further future, I’m guessing you’ll still have an easy enough time searching for it somewhere on Enjoy!

    1. Thanks for informing me (and for the driver, of course), the link in the post has been updated. 🙂

  3. MSSC, how I missed the intelligent simplistic design and functionality that is you! THANK YOU.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *