Over 2 Decades: Journey of Windows

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Chapter 1: Windows 95


Last August Windows 95 completed 20 years of human service. When it was first launched on 24th August, 1995 people lined up outside Best Buy and CompUSA stores to get their hands on the first copy. It was for the first time in the history of mankind that people were lining outside shops to buy a software. For Apple hardwares, it is still a common sight but waiting outside shops to open and start with business. And all this for a software is something beyond imagination.

It was one of the most anticipated launch of the year. It was inaugurated by the founders of Microsoft Bill Gates alongside Jay Leno in an auditorium filled with happiness and laughter. Not just the duo hosted the show and anchored it till it’s completion but also invited the entire development team on stage to let the people know the real hard workers who made history.

No expense was spared in the marketing of Windows 95 as well. It was one of the most Marketed software of it’s time. To make it a common household name across the United States Microsoft hired Rolling Stones to star in a TV commercial “Start Me UP. ” It also displayed the USP of Windows 95, start menu. The same menu that we still use today. Also, an entire episode of an hour was shot by Friend’s Stars Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston. It was a sitcom that was based entirely on Windows 95.

444The success of Microsoft’s Windows 95 can be judged by a simple fact that it sold more than 7 million copies in just 5 weeks after it’s launch. When the general public was busy following the trend the geeks and nerds were stuck in the dilemma to choose between $86 processors and Pentium. The features they were most excited about were SCSI or IDE hard drives, CD-ROMs with twice the original speed, Audio cards with Sound Blasters that enhanced the experience of using Windows 95.

Windows 95 had tons of newer features namely the Start button, taskbar(it made switching between apps a lot easier than before), menus(it helped opening simultaneous tasks). Even though the User Interface was highly inspired from Apple’s Macintosh and OS/2 but it was still a giant leap from the previous version of Windows 3.1. There were vast improvements in terms of Graphical interface and ease in multitasking.


Windows 95 was the first 32-bit OS that supported filenames that were upto 250 characters long. Also, the plug and play feature was an instant hit. Now, users need not install drivers for any device they need to play or attach. Windows 95 detected them automatically and started installing the driver from the attach device.

Microsoft Windows 95 Video Guide with Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry from Friends – Full Video