Tech Throwback: Celebrating Windows 95 25th Anniversary With A Trip Down Memory Lane
On 24th August 1995, Microsoft launched Windows 95 as a consumer operating system that would replace Windows 3.1x. Let us look back at how Windows 95 revolutionised the world of computing.
Microsoft launched its online service, the Microsoft Network (MSN), along with Windows 95. At the time of its launch, users still had to perform installation by use of 3.5-inch floppy disks. It was unique in that it merged MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows products for users.
Before then, MS-DOS was a separate program. Additionally, Windows 95 came with improved processing speed and better graphical user interface (GUI).
While majority of the changes that the operating system brought when it launched in 1995 were taking place inside the system, where ordinary users could not see, it also brought visible changes.
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It had launched features like a taskbar which changed how people used computers. In Windows 95, the taskbar at the bottom of the screen showed applications that were running. This was different as its predecessor, Windows 3.1, showed running apps in the desktop.
For Windows 95, the desktop was designed to show shortcuts to applications, files and folders. These features are still obtainable till date.
In addition, it introduced the Start menu that can be accessed by pressing the Windows key or the Start button on the taskbar. Another new feature that Windows 95 introduced was the notification area. At that time, it only displayed background applications, volume control and the current time.
The OS brought computer accessibility features like Sticky keys, FilterKeys, ToggleKeys, Mouse keys. Microsoft Active Accessibility API was also introduced as an add-on for the operating system.
It was clear that with Windows 95, Microsoft had done something unique. The company allegedly used up to $200 million in 1995 to run the product’s advertising campaign. Eventually, it stopped providing mainstream support for it in December 2000. One year later, in December 2001, Microsoft officially ended all support for Windows 95.
However, 25 years later on its 25th anniversary on 24th August 2020, people are still paying tribute to this unique operating system.
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