Happy Birthday: Windows 95 turns 17 today

By on August 24, 2012, 1:00 PM

There’s been a ton of talk with regards to Windows 8 and what it will mean for the PC industry moving forward but as we look ahead, it can be equally as important to look back at where we’ve been and how we arrived here. Many would argue that Microsoft had a large role in the PC revolution by releasing a single product 17 years ago today: Windows 95.

The operating system that helped Microsoft become a household name was a huge improvement over Windows 3.1 as it became the first version of Windows to be a standard factory install on most PCs. Perhaps the biggest difference in the eyes of the consumer was the new graphical user interface (GUI). Aside from pure aesthetics, Windows 95 featured a much improved “plug and play” system that facilitated hardware installations and reduced conflicts while lower level changes moved the OS from a 16-bit architecture to a 32-bit, multitasking-friendly architecture.

Windows 95 was a commercial success although it did ultimately lead to an antitrust case against Redmond in 1998. A later version of the OS came bundled with Internet Explorer 4.0 which the plaintiffs claim gave Microsoft monopoly power over the browser market. Competitors like Netscape Navigator and Opera had to be downloaded over slow 56k connections or purchased in stores while Internet Explorer was available to anyone using Microsoft’s latest OS.

Windows 98 was released three years later although 95 was supported by Microsoft until December 31, 2001.




User Comments: 22

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1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Thanks for making me feel old...

Vicenarian said:

Good ol' Windows 95!

Guest said:

God I miss the 90's!

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Brings back some good memories.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

R.I.P.

peperonikiller peperonikiller said:

I use to have my win95 key memorized, now I only remember my winXP key

yRaz yRaz said:

One more year and it'll be legal

Littleczr Littleczr said:

One more year and it'll be legal

What do you mean?

yRaz yRaz said:

What do you mean?

<17 = pedophilia

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

17 in OS years equals ancient.

I wish I could say prehistoric but then you wouldn't have known to start an article if that was so.

ibi828 ibi828 said:

One more year and it'll be legal

haha you want to have sex with an operating system LOLXD!!!!

Guest said:

Loads of bloatware: MSN Network, Compuserve, AOL, Internet Explorer (who needs that thing called a browser?), a Start Button. I'm going back to Windows 3.11 !

Guest said:

Bring back Dos and XTree Gold:D

Guest said:

Windows 95, especially 95, and Netscape, were the two single most important, game-changing "apps" in the history of technology. Both are largely the foundation of consumer computing we all know and utilize to this day.

hood6558 hood6558 said:

Like your first lover, you never quite forget your first OS, how it opened up a whole new world, and life hasn't been the same since. Win95 was my first and only love, and we would never part. But no, fate brought Win98 my way and I was weak and taken in by her charms. Alas, it happened again and again, a couple brief affairs with Linux, but always back to my newest Microsoft lover, until just recently I found out that the new OS was really a ***** in disguise. Now my heart is forever pledged to Win7, until death do us part, or the collapse of civilization, whichever comes first. Or until Win9 if it's any good.

Camikazi said:

Like your first lover, you never quite forget your first OS, how it opened up a whole new world, and life hasn't been the same since. Win95 was my first and only love, and we would never part. But no, fate brought Win98 my way and I was weak and taken in by her charms. Alas, it happened again and again, a couple brief affairs with Linux, but always back to my newest Microsoft lover, until just recently I found out that the new OS was really a ***** in disguise. Now my heart is forever pledged to Win7, until death do us part, or the collapse of civilization, whichever comes first. Or until Win9 if it's any good.

It's the fickle relationship we all have with Operating Systems, we pledge to always love the one we have but that only lasts until the new one walks by.

DjKraid DjKraid said:

D: is it really that old already...I remember the good old days when it was brand new

coldsoda said:

One more year and it'll be legal

Thats my daughter your talking about.

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have very fond memory's of cutting my technology teeth on Windows 95!

Funny thing is the more I look at the Windows 95 logo, the more it looks like the new Microsoft logo, which was now spun off the Windows 8 logo. If you take out the slight bends in the logo's image and remove the little tail thing you've got the new Microsoft logo. I guess the old analogy is correct........"the more things change, the more things stay the same"!

Happy Birthday Windows 95!

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Thats my daughter your talking about.

Sorry couldn't resist.

Does you daughter sound like this every time she enters the room?

James Jones James Jones said:

I remember standing around in the parking lot of CompUSA, then fairly new in Des Moines, until midnight, hoping that I would win a copy of Windows 95 so I could make a point of stomping it to pieces on the curb in front of everyone.

coldsoda said:

Sorry couldn't resist.

Does you daughter sound like this every time she enters the room?

lol as a matter of fact yes. she does.

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