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Cardfile is a utility included in early versions of Microsoft Windows that allows users to store information in a series of simulated “index cards.” It was included in Windows versions from 1.0 to Windows 95. Cardfile was intended to allow users to store contact information similar to a Rolodex, but has been largely superseded by email clients that also store contact information.
Cardfile was included on early versions of Windows, starting with Windows 1.0, to simulate a Rolodex, which holds index cards. The primary use, as with the Rolodex, is storing contact information, such as names, phone numbers and email addresses. Cardfile uses the .CRD file extension. The increasing use of email was what led to Cardfile’s demise. The last versions of Cardfile for Windows 95, ME and NT appeared at the same time that email was becoming common in offices. Email clients such as Outlook also stored contact information; that seems to be why the later versions of Cardfile were only available as an optional installation instead of included in Windows by default. Even then, the program still has some nostalgia, and some users have developed free replacements.