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Windows 95 is 25 years old today Where do you want to go today? Update August 24th, 2020: Today marks Windows 95’s 25th anniversary. Check out our retrospective originally from its 20th anniversary below and updated slightly to reflect the new anniversary date. Twenty-five years ago today, people were lining up at CompUSA or Best Buy at midnight. It wasn’t a new Call of Duty game, Apple’s latest iPod, or any type of hardware at all that shoppers were waiting for. It was software, and not just any software: Windows 95. Microsoft’s Windows 95 release on August 24th, 1995 was a highly anticipated launch. Jay Leno helped launch the software alongside Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, with a lot of jokes and the appearance of the entire Windows 95 development team on stage. It was a huge day for Microsoft with TV commercials blasting the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” with images of the new Start button that we still (just about) use today. Microsoft even hired Jennifer Anniston and Matthew Perry to create an hour-long cyber sitcom all about Windows 95, and the software was so popular that 7 million copies were sold during the first five weeks. Away from all the fanfare around the launch, PC geeks were choosing between Pentium or 486 processors, IDE or SCSI hard drives, double-speed CD-ROMs, and Sound Blaster audio cards to experience the best of Windows 95. Microsoft added a lot of features to Windows 95, but the biggest was a new Start button, menu, and task bar that made it a lot easier to discover applications and navigate the operating system. Multitasking improvements and the graphical interface were a big leap from Windows 3.1 and the days of MS-DOS, but the interface was rather similar for Macintosh and OS/2 users at the time. Windows 95 wasn’t all about the Start button, though. Besides being a 32-bit OS, an important addition was support for long filenames, up to 250 characters. It sounds like a basic feature in 2015, but at the time it made naming documents a lot easier. Another big feature was the introduction of Plug and Play, to automatically detect and install hardware. While the process of Plug and Play has been greatly improved in more recent releases, Windows 95’s implementation was often referred to as Plug and Pray thanks to the often unreliable device install process that resulted in IRQ conflicts and lots of driver fun. Microsoft had other equally ambitious plans for Windows 95. A new Microsoft Network (MSN) application came bundled with a prominent icon on the desktop. MSN was designed to provide access to email, chat rooms, newsgroups, and the first WWW homepages through a dial-up connection. Microsoft charged a monthly fee to access MSN, and if you used it for more than three hours a month, there were extra charges. It was the early days of the internet and dial-up connections, and MSN now exists as a web service through various tailored apps or a browser. Microsoft also introduced its first idea of syncing data between multiple machines in Windows 95. The My Briefcase aimed to sync files between a laptop and desktop machine, and in modern releases of Windows, it’s all cloud-powered thanks to Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service. Microsoft even introduced user profile support in Windows 95 to allow multiple family members to sign in and have their own separate profiles with links and applications. If you weren’t happy with all the new features of Windows 95 then you could have purchased Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 at the time. It included the Internet Jumpstart Kit (an early version of Internet Explorer), theme support, and a number of system utilities. Subsequent updates to Windows 95 also introduced new features before Windows 98 arrived three years later to improve things even more. Enjoy a brief look back at Windows 95 in the photos and videos below, especially Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer dancing to “Start Me Up.” It’s classic, just like Windows 95. People lined up at midnight to get copies of Windows 95 on CD-ROMs. Bill Gates introduces Windows 95 to the world. Bill Gates with Jay Leno at the Windows 95 launch (Jeff Vinnick, Reuters). The Windows 95 desktop. A retail copy of Windows 95. Windows 95's Start menu was revolutionary. Windows 95 is 25 years old today
Windows 95 brings you back to 1995 allowing you to run Windows 95 as a portable app without the need for installation, partitioning or dual booting. Video tutorial available. You can relive the good old days (yes, 1995 is the good old days) with this bit of nostalgic software that can be run on multiple operating systems including Windows 10. Of course, many of us recall reinstalling Windows 95 repeatedly, especially if you were or are a gamer. We considered Windows 95 a three-year-plus beta of Windows 98SE when Microsoft finally got it "right." We also think that the new generation of computer users will enjoy seeing what Windows used to be as it approaches the Quadranscentennial celebration. We don't know where we found the word Quadranscentennial, but we did, so there it is. Windows 10 haters might discover that Windows 10 isn't so bad after all. Changelog: Added more credits Added more help Home: https://github.com/felixrieseberg/windows95 Download Page: https://github.com/felixrieseberg/windows95/releases Downloads for macOS Standalone Downloads for Windows Setup, 64-bit Setup, 32-bit Standalone, 32-bit Standalone, 64-bit Downloads for Linux deb, 64-bit rpm, 64-bit
steven36 posted a topic in Software NewsAn electron version of Windows 95 Windows 95 is the operating system that’s now used as a yardstick for what’s possible on modern devices and platforms. We’ve seen Microsoft’s popular OS appear on the Apple Watch, an Android Wear smartwatch, and even the Xbox One. Today, someone has gone a step further and made Windows 95 into an app that you can run on macOS, Windows, and Linux. Slack developer Felix Rieseberg is responsible for this glorious app, allowing nostalgia lovers to play around with Windows 95 in an electron app. Rieseberg has published the source code and app installers for this project on Github, and apps like Wordpad, phone dialer, MS Paint, and Minesweeper all run like you’d expect. Sadly, Internet Explorer isn’t fully functional as it simply refuses to load pages. The app its only 129MB in size and you can download it over at Github for both macOS and Windows. Once it’s running it surprisingly only takes up around 200MB of RAM, even when running all of the old Windows 95 system utilities, apps, and games. If you run into any issues with the app you can always reset the Windows 95 instance inside the app and start over again. Enjoy this quirky trip down memory lane. Source
CrAKeN posted a topic in General NewsWindows 95 still powering Pentagon PCs The United States Department of Defense is now migrating to Windows 10 as part of a broader effort announced in collaboration with Microsoft, and the transition to the new operating system is projected to be finalized in the fall of this year. In the meantime, however, there are lots of computers operated by the Pentagon that are still running older Windows versions, and according to officials, some are even powered by Windows 95 or 98. Speaking about Pentagon’s efforts to boost security of its systems, Daryl Haegley, program manager for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment, has revealed that many of the critical computers are currently powered by unsupported Windows versions, including not only Windows XP (which is no longer getting updates since April 2014) but also releases that are more than 20 years old. “About 75 percent of the devices that are control systems are on Windows XP or other nonsupported operating systems,” he said, adding that these stats were collected after visits to different 15 military sites. Don’t worry, be happy Haegley says there’s no reason to worry, though, adding that all these computers do not have an Internet connection, so they are harder to hack. This isn’t impossible, though, especially if these systems are part of larger networks where other computers are connected to the web. “A lot of these systems are still Windows 95 or 98, and that’s OK—if they’re not connected to the internet,” Haegley explained. DefenseOne says that systems running Windows 95 or 98 feature sensors that connect to the Internet anyway, so they’re more or less vulnerable to attacks, and running old operating systems certainly doesn’t help. In the end, Haegley calls for the US DoD to expand its bug bounty programs and call for security researchers to look for vulnerabilities not only in its websites but also in critical systems that could be exposed to cyberattacks launched by other states. Source