On August 24, 1995, it was time. After a couple of years of testing Windows 95, which then went by the code name “Chicago”, the operating system was finally released on the market and expectations were sky high.
Perhaps the biggest news with Windows 95 compared to its predecessor, Windows 3.x was something called the Start menu. Yes, basically the same start menu that Microsoft removed in Windows 8, to later reintroduce in Windows 10 at the request of many users. Old habits are slowly dying.
If you were not with when Windows 95 was the hottest you could run at the time, we give you a guided tour of what it looked like at the time it went.
Windows 95 starts up
Compared to Windows 3.x, Windows 95 was far more well-polished in many ways. Not least, the home screen was more nicely designed and showed something as modern as an animated strip at the bottom that gossiped that the operating system was fully charged.
A smarter home screen
The design of the home screen in Windows 95 was radically different from Windows 3.x. Now there was an icon called My Computer where you could access both the file manager and various resources. The biggest news, however, was the Start menu, which gave you quick access to both programs and settings.
Start menu – loved and hated
Opinions about the Windows 95 Start menu were divided, but it could not be ruled out that it was far more efficient compared to its predecessor’s interface. With a few quick clicks, you could find your programs, documents or search on your hard drive. In addition, there was now a clock that was always visible, as well as the ability to adjust the volume in a simple way.
Folders for everything
Another big news in Windows 95 was proper file management directly on the desktop with folders and shortcuts. It was also possible to drag both documents, files and other objects between the folders. In previous Windows, you needed to start a special program for these chores.
Internet Explorer sees the light of day
Although the internet is starting to become really popular at this point, it did not come with any browser in Windows 95. Microsoft instead tried to launch its own competing network, Microsoft Network. However, it was possible to purchase an add-on package called Plus that included Internet Explorer 1.0. However, in the subsequent update, Service Release 1, Internet Explorer 2.0 was baked into the operating system.
Dose – a resilient operating system
Earlier versions of Windows were technically not an operating system per se but just a crisp shell for Dos. Windows 95 was more advanced and normally handled everything except the boot itself, although older hardware could use its Dos drivers if nothing else. Dos was a text-based operating system and perhaps did not have the easiest interface to learn for novices as everything was handled using text commands. For those who did not have Dos, it was possible to run it both in a window or restart the computer in Dos mode. Many games and other older programs did not like the novelties in Windows 95 at all, so many users had to restart in DOS mode for several years after Windows 95 was released.
Long file names were not a matter of course
Before Windows 95, users were locked in file names that consisted of eight characters plus a file extension that normally consisted of three characters, like this: filename1.txt. In Windows 95, we were finally able to use long file names that gave a better description of what the document contains, such as: Menu for Robban’s wedding.doc. However, such files were given two names, did you use an older program or restarted to Dos was the same file menyti ~ 1.doc.
Life after Windows 95
Exactly three years after the birth of Windows 95, Microsoft released the sequel with the rather unimaginative name Windows 98. The big news in Windows 98 was support for hard drives of up to two gigabytes, which at the time was gigantic. However, Windows 98 did not become as big a hit, and the successor Windows Me released in 2000 was classified as a failure. It was not until Windows XP was released that Microsoft regained its luster.