Twenty-five years ago, Microsoft released the most successful "modern" operating system. Windows 95 opened a whole new way for the computer world we know today.
On 24 August 1995, Microsoft brought Windows 95. This innovative and highly successful computer operating system put users in a new graphical environment and removed them once and for all from the command line. It also made Microsoft a household name. That's why Windows 95 was so special.
Full operating system
One of the most notable features of Windows 95 was that it attempted to completely remove users from the command line for the first time. Unlike Windows 3.11, Windows 95 started directly with a graphical display, despite having a enhanced MS-DOS kernel performed under the hood.
Before Windows 95, computer owners had to buy MS-DOS and Windows separately, and then install them on top of each other. By default, most people would still start MS-DOS and then run Windows whenever they needed it.
Windows 95, however, wrapped both the Windows shell and MS-DOS into one product and named it full operating system.
The biggest advantage of Windows 95 was that it was widely compatible with thousands of programs written for MS-DOS and Windows 3.x. This made the upgrade quite painless, for most people.
The downside was that it relied on MS-DOS and this made Windows 95 prone to frustrating errors (mainly due to memory management conflicts), especially compared to Windows NT of Microsoft.
This shortcoming was overcome only with the later appearance of Windows XP released in 2001.
The birth of the start menu and taskbar
If you have been using Windows for the past 25 years, you will be familiar with the Start menu and Taskbar, both of which came from Windows 95. The Start menu served as a concise and logical replacement for "Program Management" in Windows 3.x to organize and launch installed applications.
Microsoft introduced the Start Button in many of its then-ads and described it as a simple way for anyone to "get started" using a Windows computer.
The menu "Inception”Also caused some comic confusion, as shown in this New York Times review in August 1995, who joked, “Where is the Finish option? At the Start button, of course! ”
Η Task bar Windows 95 spreads to the bottom of the screen (as it does now) providing a compact yet sophisticated way of managing tasks for multiple application windows. Windows 3.x did not have such functionality, but neither did the Macintosh at the time.
In fact, it could be argued that the Start Button and Taskbar allowed Windows 95 to overtake Mac OS for the first time. This was a big deal in 1995, as Apple fans have long ridiculed Microsoft. Mac OS did not have a Default-enabled Startup or Task Manager, until OS X Beta in 2000.
The Origin of Windows Explorer
Windows 95 marked the first appearance of Windows Explorer (now called "File Explorer"). It was a file manager and a shell that worked in one. Unlike Windows 3.x, which splits file and application management into two different programs, Explorer integrates them (similar to Finder before that). Managed not only windows full of icons representing both files and applications, but also the Start menu and taskbar.
Other Windows 95 software innovations included:
- Right-click in the context menu for direct file operations.
- A desktop area where you could save files, such as a folder
- File shortcuts.
- The Recycle Bin.
- Device manager
- "My Computer" on the desktop.
- A "Find" utility for the whole system.
- Native support for 32-bit applications (via Win32 API ).
- Support for the new DirectX API , which allowed Windows full screen games.
Windows 95 was a huge version designed to keep people from relying on MS-DOS to do their jobs. All of these new features have made it, for the first time, accessible to the average computer user.
FreeCell first appeared as a demo for the Win32 API (for Windows 3.x computers). However, it also came with Windows 95 and soon gave the same feel as Windows Solitaire and Minesweeper (both also included in Windows 95).
Its depth and complexity have kept players fascinated for over a decade, as well as tried to solve and his 32.000 possible games. Do not tell us that you have not spent hours on the Windows solitaire.
The Internet on the desktop
In their first release, Windows 95 did not include a web browser. Instead, users saw an icon for a new web service called The Microsoft Network (MSN) on the desktop. Microsoft took MSN as its competitor CompuServe and Prodigy.
However, even before the release of MSN, Bill Gates acknowledged the inevitability of the dominance of the World Wide Web. As a result, MSN soon became more Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Microsoft Web Browser, Internet Explorer, was launched as an optional add-on for Windows 95. However, by December 1995, newer versions of Windows 95 (starting with OEM Service Release 1) now included Internet Explorer by default.
Users can access the browser via an icon on the desktop called "The Internet”(The Internet). Competitive browser developers, such as Netscape, have been confronted with this Microsoft monopoly. The inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows 95 led to major US antitrust case against Microsoft in 1998.
Following an initial decision seeking the dissolution of Microsoft, Microsoft prevailed with an appeal and managed to escape the bad situation for it, with very little impact. And Internet Explorer is still included in future versions of Windows.
Dynamic appearance in marketing
To launch Windows 95, Microsoft launched a $ 300 million ad campaign, the which is then mentioned , perhaps, the most expensive in American history. It was an unprecedented high-profile campaign for a software product. It was also complemented by blue sky-friendly artwork and a catchy name that seemed to set Windows 95 apart from other, more sterile versions of software.
Photo: The oldest Microsoft packaging box (left) and the most consumer-friendly Windows 95 retail box (right).
The company was advertised everywhere: newspapers, magazines, radio, television and billboards. Also, paid the Rolling Stones $ 3 million to get the license to use the song “Start me up”For a series of high-profile TV commercials.
On August 24, 1995, Microsoft held a huge event for the Windows 95 presentation on its Redmond, Washington, campus hosted by Jay Leno. It was reportedly broadcast live via satellite to smaller Microsoft events around the world.
The result was impressive. Windows 95 received a lot of attention and brought Microsoft as a symbol of business success. The company sold 1 million copies of Windows 95 in its first week and 40 million in its first year. Windows 95 was a great success.
Happy Birthday, Windows 95!