Microsoft Windows 95 - 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago, on August 24, 1995 Microsoft Windows 95 hit the market. It was perhaps the biggest Windows release of them all. This was the first Windows release that REALLY worked and worked well.  In many ways. it caught Microsoft up with what Apple had been doing for almost 10 years before. 

Windows 95— August 24,1995

When it came out, we were quite skeptical.  A number of our clients were very happy with Window 3.1 and didn't really want to change.  But Windows 95 was a lot faster and it wasn't long before many of the applications companies were rewriting their code to operate on their 32 bit platform. So somewhat grudgingly, we started seeing the move away from the older versions of Windows and those who were even further back still using MS-DOS (remember that).  So with WIndows 95, the vast majority of Microsoft users were finally brought into the graphical world.  

Windows 95 ushered in the Start Button and Start Menu (and it has remained, even surviving Microsoft's attempt to get rid of it in the orginal version of Windows 8) and it the introduced the Taskbar, which is where the buttons for all open windows reside.  Right-clicks and long file names also debuted with this version.

Probably the most hard to believe today is that the first version of Windows 95 did NOT have an Internet Browser! The story goes (most likely apocryphal) that when Bill Gates visited Cornell in October of 1994 and saw all the early Internet activity going on here; that he went back to Washington and accelerated the completion of Internet Explorer (IE). IE became a free add-on to Windows 95 in December 1995 and has been part of every Windows release since.

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