Windows 95 turns 25 today and Microsoft’s got us all misty-eyed
It’s an entire quarter of a century since Microsoft changed desktop computing as we know it, with the launch of the Windows 95 operating system.
The groundbreaking software version introduced the iconic Start button, but also a new menu system and taskbar that would come to define how we experienced Windows and PCs in general for the next decades to come.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the operating system going on sale, Microsoft is getting nostalgic, with a new video celebrating the various iterations of the Start button and highlighting some of the hallmark features of the successor to Windows 3.1.
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Within the brief clip, we get a glimpse at the classic Solitaire and Minesweeper games, while we also see the evolution of apps like Paint, Notepad and the Calculator to their present day incarnations.
Windows 95 also brought support for longer file names, which was a godsend for many users, while it was also the first to introduce plug and play support for hardware, ending the lengthy installation process for some accessories.
There was an MSN application which prepared people to get online for the first time. It offered email tools, web browsing, newsrooms and chat rooms to boot.
It also gave us the first iteration of what would eventually become the OneDrive storage solution. My Briefcase enabled users to sync files between a desktop and a laptop computer. Oh, and it also had one of the all-timers in terms of tech advertisements, celebrating its headline new feature with the help of none other than the Rolling Stones.
The operating system release sparked a new wave of PC ownership, with a little help from Intel’s pentium processors and faster CD-ROM drives. The OS sold 7 million copies in the first few weeks on sale and many big fans had lined-up to purchase it on the day of release.