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Windows 95 Turns 10 790

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the start-me-up dept.
ColdGrits writes "It's hard to believe it, but 10 short years ago today saw the launch of Windows '95. Here is an archive of the Washington Post's story on the day. As part of the launch, Microsoft paid $12,000,000 for the rights to use the Rolling Stones' song "Start Me Up" (containing the prophetic line 'You make a grown man cry'). "
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Windows 95 Turns 10

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  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:53AM (#13389165)

    From TFA:
    Analysts think this diligence will pay off. "The extraordinarily extensive testing they did makes a show-stopping bug a pretty unlikely occurrence," said Chuck Stegman, a vice president at Dataquest Inc., a high-tech market research firm in California. "Someone would have stumbled on it already."
    This passage is especially amusing, since I gained most of my knowledge of Windows 95 through needing to reinstall it repeatedly on various systems.

    Another gem from TFA:
    But those customers expecting Windows 95 to be a great technological leap forward may be disappointed. International Business Machines Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. already have operating systems on the market that sport the features - greater memory management, the ability to perform several tasks at once and enhanced user-friendliness - now being hailed in Windows 95.

    Big Blue has made some effort to counter Microsoft's media onslaught with ads that feature the names of companies that have relied on its OS/2 system for years. Yesterday, at corporate headquarters in Armonk, N.Y., IBM officials reiterated the virtues of its own time-tested product, and tried to ignore the festivities.

    "Microsoft is delivering the same features we delivered seven years ago," said company spokesman Tim Breuer. "We're moving on business as usual here."
    Yes...I vaguely recall IBM's OS/2...but Apple? No....I'm drawing a blank. ^_^
    • Obivously, TFA was referring to A/UX.
      • by coflow (519578) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:18AM (#13389413)
        "But Microsoft is unlikely to suffer a similar fate because it took precautions, such as delaying its launch date and sending out a few hundred thousand copies to testers across the country."

        These are called precautions? I'm going to tell my client that next time we're delayed on a release. And as far as testing, was that something that was new in software at the time?
    • by MarkEst1973 (769601) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:01AM (#13389266)
      Fast forward 10 years and what has changed?

      The IE dev teams blogs (nay, boasts!) about tabbed browsing in IE7 -- saying nothing of the fact that tabs are years old.

      MS brags and boasts about Monad, which is still vaporware, but it sure will be the best shell ever -- saying nothing of the fact that this has been available forever in *nix.

      I'm sure we can come up with more. In the end, MS is very good at marketing. People just love their koolaid.

      • MS is still trying to match the functionality of having a system that is composed of small scriptable programs that interoperate using human readable text interfaces, connected by pipes and redirected IO.

        Their solution is to have the shell make a huge tree of objects that call each other. The objects aren't text, you can't load them in notepad, and you can't pipe them like you can with UNIX. Instead you've got a pile of goddamn API's. Plus, these fucking things are objects, so you can call them and they execute code. The good guys will use them to dig out information that they want. The bad guys will examine them for buffer overflows.

        What do Microsoft developers drive? Easy - a Pontiac Aztek. They love ugly cars just as much as they love ugly operating systems. "But you can go camping in it!" is their reply when you criticise their ride. I agree. All the bugs make you feel like you're stuck in the fucking woods without any toilet paper.

        • by Gorath99 (746654) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @12:03PM (#13389851)
          Oh come one. Sure, there are lots and lots of problems with Windows, but scripting objects is not one of them.

          Ever try to work with filenames containing spaces? Ever need to manipulate data that represents a graph or tree (other than a directory tree)? Ever need to manipulate a bunch of spreadsheets (including layout)?

          I've done each of those in bash and in WSH and I infinitely prefer the latter.

          Using plaintext when possible is a great idea that I support 100%, but for some things it just plain sucks. And as soon as piping objects is made easy (as MS claims to be doing with Monad), objects will become more desirable still.

          Honestly, the *nix world is rediculously smug when it comes to these things. For ages scripting was way better under *nix, but in the past years it seems that MS is where all the progress is being made. They're still not entirely there, but they're gaining ground fast.
      • by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @12:01PM (#13389838)
        MS brags and boasts about Monad, which is still vaporware, but it sure will be the best shell ever -- saying nothing of the fact that this has been available forever in *nix.

        Oh really? Perhaps you should go get a clue about Monad [wikipedia.org]. If you have trouble reading, you can even watch a pretty moving picture [msdn.com].

        Monad turns the command line into an object oriented environment where instead of having to do error prone parsing through text piped though app after app, you treat the output from one app as one or more .NET objects on which you can execute methods, examine properties, and pass them to other applications for further processing.

        This is, in fact, far ahead of anything currently available on Unix or Windows. In fact, it's so far ahead of what is currently available it will take quite a long time to get all parts of the OS and the apps that run on top of it to fully support the concepts Monad introduces. It's pretty damn innovative, if you ask me.

        Oh, and it runs quite well for vaporware. I've been running it for a couple of months now (in beta form) and it's pretty damn cool.

        I'm sure we can come up with more. In the end, MS is very good at marketing. People just love their koolaid.

        Ya, when you're making shit up you can pump it out like a champ.
        • by picklepuss (749206) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @12:24PM (#13390017) Homepage

          Sounds a bit overcomplicated to me, really. At least with the error prone parsing through text piped through app after app, I'm at any point able to thow a tee in the script and send the output somewhere that I can visibly read it and interpret it. I can also take that output and modify it slightly and send it manually back through the next step in the chain to do some additional testing. I'm not sure that simply examining the properties of the .NET object affords me the flexibility.

          I'd also point out that I personally disagree with a lot of this obsession over object oriented code in everything these days. In a short script with a defined start and end, there's no need for the obfuscation of object orientation. I hate it when I see a huge generic class included by default on every page of a web application, even though some pages may only use 1 (or even NONE) of the functions within that class. At that point it's just a bunch of uneccessary overhead. It begins to seem like developers get use to that style of $this->crap and they can't get out of it

          • by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @01:00PM (#13390353)
            At least with the error prone parsing through text piped through app after app, I'm at any point able to thow a tee in the script and send the output somewhere that I can visibly read it and interpret it.

            You can do this with Monad as well. I can simply send the output of any monad command directly to the console window, just like you would if it were text, and it will output it using a default text output mode.

            I can also take that output and modify it slightly and send it manually back through the next step in the chain to do some additional testing

            You can do the same with Monad. You can easily serialize the output from a Monad command, do with it as you will, and feed it back in... but usually it's not necessary.

            I'm not sure that simply examining the properties of the .NET object affords me the flexibility.

            As far as I can tell, anything you can do with a text-based command line app can just as easily be done with Monad. Monad supports all the ideas behind text based interaction, but adds the ability to work with the output as objects as well.

            I'd also point out that I personally disagree with a lot of this obsession over object oriented code in everything these days. In a short script with a defined start and end, there's no need for the obfuscation of object orientation.

            I agree, and with Monad you don't *have* to take advantage of the object-based interactions. If you want just text, you've got it.
        • ...isn't this called AppleScript?

          And yes it is innovative, just don't mistake it for a Microsoft innovation. (should also probably give props to BeOS messages as well...)
        • Monad turns the command line into an object oriented environment where instead of having to do error prone parsing through text piped though app after app, you treat the output from one app as one or more .NET objects on which you can execute methods, examine properties, and pass them to other applications for further processing.

          This is, in fact, far ahead of anything currently available on Unix or Windows.

          You mean like Perl? People treating a OO language like the second-coming of Christ. Geesh, sh

    • by DannyO152 (544940) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:06AM (#13389308)
      Apple... IIRC a beleaguered Cupertino company. Didn't NeXT buy them out?
    • by Tim Browse (9263) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:09AM (#13389328)
      and Apple Computer Inc. already have operating systems on the market that sport the features - greater memory management

      While Windows 95 may have reduced the GDI resources problem of Windows 3.x, I hardly think anyone could credibly claim that Mac OS had good memory management before OS X.

      • Re:Ahh, nostalgia... (Score:3, Informative)

        by Creepy (93888)
        Macs had Virtual Memory before Windows, as well as no 640k HIMEM/LOMEM boundary, though they did have 16k page alignment issues that were a pain in the ass until they were rolled into the compiler (or maybe it was just the Symantec compiler didn't handle them automatically, but Codewarrior did - that stuff was a long time ago).

        What I think they're probably referring to is memory handles, however. MacOS's memory manager used a pointer-to-a-pointer memory allocation structure called a Handle t
    • Hilarious [emp3world.com]
    • Re:Ahh, nostalgia... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by blueZhift (652272)
      All I can say is thank you again OS/2! If Microsoft had not felt a real threat from OS/2 which at the time was starting to show some signs of life, if not on its own merits but its ability to run Windows apps more stably, Windows 95 would not have come out as it did. I don't know if a less rushed Windows 95 would have been better or not, but it is funny looking back to think that only now with Windows 2K and XP are there Windows desktop solutions that rival the ancient OS/2 in stability and features. Though
    • Billy's Windowzberg Address:

      1/2 Score and 10 billion crashes ago, our programmers brought forth on this server a "new" program, conceived in PARC and dedidcated to the proposition that all software can be ripped off.

      I'm too lazy to complete the joke and I think you get it by now anyway. ;)

    • Re:Ahh, nostalgia... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pete-classic (75983)
      How about the fact that there was a bug that made it impossible to exceed 30 days uptime that wasn't discovered until three years later?

      (Can't find a link, but I very clearly remember this bug.)

      -Peter
  • by bigwavejas (678602) * on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:53AM (#13389170) Journal
    'You make a grown man cry'

    How true... If those poor saps had only know what lie ahead.

  • by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@SPDALIAM.yahoo.com minus painter> on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:54AM (#13389172) Journal
    "10 sort years ago "

    Maybe i am new here, but what other kind of year is there other than sort years
  • Windowsz? (Score:3, Funny)

    by telstar (236404) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:54AM (#13389177)
    That's a new one...
    I wonder when we'll see Lindowsz....
  • yadda yadda (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:54AM (#13389179)
    The Slashdot Project was our last, best hope for unbiased news.

    It failed.

    But in the year of the Linux War, it became something greater: our last, best hope - for blinding stupidity.

    Grow up Taco...Windowsz?

    • by varebel (133951)
      HEAR HEAR! You're absolutely right...

      There IS no second "w" in Windoze!

      What's your problem, Taco?
    • Re:yadda yadda (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pohl (872) * on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:35AM (#13389604) Homepage
      Speaking as someone who started reading in the Chips & Dips days, I'm vexed by the continued presence of naive posters that imagine that objectivity was ever a property, or intended property, of slashdot content. WTF color is the sky in your world, AC? I started reading this site because back then it was hard to find a tech news source that wasn't Just Another Bill Gates Pole Smoker, and was very upfront about it. I was refreshing then. I'll grant that it's not refreshing now, but please respect its history.
  • Spell Check (Score:2, Informative)

    by r0d3nt (185166)
    What's a sort year? And what's this Windowsz 95 thing?
  • by TrentL (761772) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:55AM (#13389189) Homepage
    "You make a grown man cry."

    Well, if it could make a "dead man come" [lyricsfreak.com], that would be really special.
  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by BubbleSparkxx (879715) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:55AM (#13389192)
    ...and in further news, windows 2000 is now 5 years old.
  • Windows 95. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JavaLord (680960) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:56AM (#13389193) Journal
    While I'm sure many people here will make jokes about Windows 95, it was quite a leap in stability and usablility from windows 3.1. I don't think windows has had such an upgrade since then, nor do I think Vista will be that much of an improvment over XP/2000.
    • Re:Windows 95. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by minus_273 (174041)
      actually, 2000 was a huge leap over 98 and NT as far as plug and play and sheer useability goes, that was the best version of windows. None of the playskool grabage from XP and better security(i am talking to you, logging in as admin on boot). It telling when you notice that it has been 6 years since a decent version of windows was released.
      • Re:Windows 95. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MSFanBoi (695480)
        You do know you can turn the "playskool garbage" off right? You do know that XP in general is more stable than a Win2k workstation right? You do know that XP in general is faster than Win2k right?
    • Re:Windows 95. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zarhan (415465)
      No, it was not. Windows 9x still has lots of 16-bit legacy stuff in it. The true leap was Windows NT 3.1 - Where NT 4.0 updated the user interface to Explorer.
    • Re:Windows 95. (Score:3, Informative)

      by hal9000(jr) (316943)
      Windows 95, it was quite a leap in stability and usablility from windows 3.1. I don't think windows has had such an upgrade since then

      Huh? *cough* Windows 2000 *cough*

      Much more stable that Win 95, far fewer requirements to reinstall, use of ring 0, ring 3 seperation , better memory management, NTFS and encrypted file system. (yeah, I know, many of these features started in NT, but NT isn't comparable to a desktop OS like Win 95, not even NT Workstation)

      • Re:Windows 95. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by evilviper (135110)

        (yeah, I know, many of these features started in NT, but NT isn't comparable to a desktop OS like Win 95, not even NT Workstation)

        That's completely ridiculous. There really weren't that many changes between NT4 and 2000. They added a few user-friendly bits like the device manager, moved some things around, added better backwards compatibility, and just gave it newer versions of directx, media player, etc.

        What in the world do you think NT4 was missing that Windows 2000 had, that was so significant?

    • Re:Windows 95. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Paleomacus (666999) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:03AM (#13389282)
      Actually, for me windows 3.1 was pretty stable and usable. Win95 was unstable and I pretty much had to fix it as much as use it. However, WinXP actually works well most of the time, doesn't easily break, and I can do pretty much all of the same things on it as I can on any other modern OS.
      • Re:Windows 95. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xtracto (837672)
        I agree, I remember installing those win32s extensions to Win 3.11 to be able to use Get right and other programs in order to continue using it. I really didn't like Win 95, as the requirements where terrible for what I thought was only the application that was meant to launch other applications...

        Something I have found really interesting since the win 3.1 to win 9x migration is that it seems everyone loved and loves the innovative Win9x menu set-up, and I REALLY hate it, having to click in the start and th
    • Re:Windows 95. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mr_Silver (213637) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:04AM (#13389286)
      While I'm sure many people here will make jokes about Windows 95, it was quite a leap in stability and usablility from windows 3.1. I don't think windows has had such an upgrade since then, nor do I think Vista will be that much of an improvment over XP/2000.

      Well, pointed out. In terms of feature change as seen by a user (not developer) I think it must be:

      1. 3.1 to 95
      2. 95 to 2000
      3. 2000 to XP
      4. 95 to 98
      Mind you, having looked at that now, I'm not sure whether 3 and 4 are the right way around. I never saw versions of windows less than 3.0 to be able to comment.

      Anyone else care to fill in the rest/correct me? How would it look if you just concentrated on functionality for developers rather than users?

      • by southpolesammy (150094) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:20AM (#13389449) Journal
        I'm not sure how you would classify the "3.1 to Bob" feature change though.....
      • Re:Windows 95. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Thomas Miconi (85282) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @01:35PM (#13390726)
        I never saw versions of windows less than 3.0 to be able to comment.

        I saw freakin' Windows 2.0 and I'm still aching. Imagine twm on a 4-colour CGA screen. But with bugs.

        Man, the real revolution was the 2.0->3.0 transition.

        The appearance of Windows 3.0 (of which 3.1 was a minor modification) essentially changed the very meaning of home computing. It was the first usable GUI system widely available for DOS-based PC. It was still significantly inferior to the Mac, but it looked quite pretty - especially compared to the indescriptible ugliness of 2.0. So people flocked from DOS, and discovered all that GUI goodness. Graphical applications ! Icons ! Multitasking ! Word and Excel for Windows ! Hell, WYSIWYG editors !

        People (myself included) like to diss out Microsoft, but I do have some respect for what Windows 3.0 represents : Gates had the balls to bet the whole damn company on Windows, even though DOS and text-based apps were doing pretty well. It worked, but it could have failed miserably, and early versions of Windows were no encouragement.

        Of course, as an added bonus to The Bilg, it killed off Geoworks Ensemble [wikipedia.org] and similar projects.

        Thomas-
    • Re:Windows 95. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lagged2Death (31596) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:14AM (#13389381)
      Usability, maybe, the Win3.x UI, with the strange Program Manager / File Manager duality, wasn't anything to be proud of.

      Stability, though? It wasn't my experience that Win95 was stable at all. In fact, where Win3.x was at least learnably-unstable (you would learn that certain applications or actions were likely to crash or to crash Windows) Win95 was randomly-unstable, crashing in non-repeatable, unexplainable ways.

      Windows Workstation NT 4.0 was the first Microsoft OS I used that could function as a desktop system for weeks at a time without crashing. I think that was the big leap forward in stability.
  • by pstreck (558593) * on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:57AM (#13389204)
    Can't believe it's been 10 years since I attempted to do a seamless upgrade on my p90... Ah yes. I must truly thank M$ for releasing it though, because without w95 I would have never sought out linux.
    • by dan dan the dna man (461768) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:11AM (#13389344) Homepage Journal
      Hmm yes, 1995 was also my year of conversion to Linux. Never assumed it was anything to do with the release of Windows 95, more like all the tools I needed to work on my PhD were UNIX based, and I wanted practice.

      As I recall Linux wasn't *particularly* easy to install at the time ;) Those were the days where I knew the figures for my hard drive geometry off the top of my head, now I couldn't even tell you which manufacturer made them. The difference 10 years makes!
  • by mapmaker (140036) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:57AM (#13389212)
    Our top story: 1995 was ten years ago! Also, 2+2=4. Details at 11.
  • ...WFW 3.11 was such a dog. Turns out we traded one dog for another.

    Man, we were so stupid back then. Accepting vendor lies like it was gospel. Wait a minute......
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @10:58AM (#13389222)
    you weren't tough enough to handle Slackware's 50-floppy installation.
  • Just goes to show that Microsoft excels in marketing more than it does in the creation of operating systems.

    Oh, to be a time traveller and go back 10 years before the Windows 95 release....
  • Its older than that (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MajorDick (735308) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:00AM (#13389246)
    I was running Windows 95 Beta (And Alpha's) for a year and half before its release, and running them EXCLUSIVLEY.

    I have one of the Alpha disks around ( one that was distributed within MS that I am 90% sure dates to 93, and I have one that dates to 1/1/94, I always will remeber that one because I thought shit these guys are working on NEW YEARS ????

    14 1.44 floppy's (for the upgrade if I remeber right (maybe 13). The sad part was the last RC I got was SUBSTANTIALLY more stable than the Initial release was

    I actually reverted to it until it expired
    It was explaine to me by a buddy at MS (the one who got me the Alpha's and the Beta's , it was driver issues, that I wouldnt doubt, but it sure beat the HELL out of Windows 3.1
  • Job ads (Score:5, Funny)

    by macdaddy357 (582412) <macdaddy357@hotmail.com> on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:00AM (#13389249)
    Back when that dinosaur OS was the current thing, I used to see want ads in the information systems section of newspapers demanding ten years of experience in Windows 95. Back then, they had not dont their math, but now, there are a few people who can actually answer that ad!
    • Re:Job ads (Score:5, Funny)

      by Himring (646324) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:42AM (#13389655) Homepage Journal
      I have a good IT job, but earlier this year applied for another at a different company (looking for more $/benefits). I spoke only to the HR people (typical) who, among other things, wanted someone with at least 5 years experience with Windows2003 server and 10 years with Exchange 2000. My explanations regarding their criteria left them silent and unimpressed. They also didn't find my migration of 5000 users at a $3 billion corporation from Lotus Notes to Exchange (utilizing Sendmail for routing) a worthy enough credential to make up for only having some 2 years experience with E2K....
  • by sarlos (903082) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:00AM (#13389253)
    ...lost productivity from Solitaire and Minesweeper. Yeah, it was in earlier versions, but Windows 95 made it even easier...
  • by Cletus the yokel (462083) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:01AM (#13389268)
    Rumour has it they've been tapped again for the Windows Vista launch. The new theme song?

    "Under My Thumb".

    *ba-dump-bump-ting!*
  • $0.12 a copy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lev13than (581686) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:03AM (#13389281) Homepage
    So, if you consider that Microsoft shipped 100 million copies [asiaweek.com] of Windows 95 in its first three years, that works out to $0.12 per copy for the song rights. Of course you could argue that the 12 cents could have been better-directed towards bug fixes, but it's not a lot of cash in the whole scheme of things.
  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:03AM (#13389285) Homepage Journal
    ...Windows 95, despite all it's many flaws, was a lot of fun. It was stupidity to use it in a situation requiring stability, but as a gaming platform and all around PC OS, it was great to have at the time. Especially with the freeware that became rapidly available, it was a big laboratory for computer users. Remember, MS didn't have an app for everything back then, so if you needed one, you bought it or sought it out on the freeware sites. Though I'd used Unix in school, my first exposure to IRC was on Win 95, and I relied on the freeware IRC clients to learn. Same with the utilities and such.

    I'd never owned an Apple, so I can't speak to what it was like to use one back then (were they using, what, system 6 at the time? I don't remember...), but while XP is more reliable, and I get a tremedous sense of "do it yourself" satisfaction with Linux (my primary laptop OS), I don't think I'll ever have as much pure fun as I did playing around with Win 95 when it first came out, warts and all.
    • I'll mock away. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Inoshiro (71693) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:38AM (#13389620) Homepage
      You seem to have pretty rose coloured glasses for Win95. You talk about it like you used it in 1999, not 1995. Let me refresh your memory!

      Win95 was terrible for games. None of my games worked with it. None! Not until DirectX 5 and 6 could DirectX be said to have matured enough for general use. Nothing really good came out until then, either. Quake was still something you'd "Exit into DOS mode" for.

      As for the Freeware, most of it was dreesed up Win32s apps or NT apps now able to be run (thanks to Win95 implementing full Win32). The MS Plus pack was a good example of the sillyness of the era: IE 1.0 came with it. That thing sucked. People were desperate for uninstallers that wouldn't hose the system (cleansweep, etc, came out around then). And the memory managers for DOS still sucked -- keeping QEMM 7 around was much better than using DOS 7's emm386/himem.sys!

      If you had 16mb of RAM, Win95 was noticably bitchy compared to Win3.1. You needed at least 32mb of RAM, and at least a Pentium 120 to really have it go decently. That was a top-of-the-line computer until fall 1996.

      Thankfully, Netscape 1.x was available and 32-bit then. Plus you could run it just as easily on an Indy or DECStation or Linux :)

      The best thing about Win95 was that it included its own 32-bit Winsock implementation.

      PS: System 7 came out in 1990! By the time Win95 was out, it'd been updated to 7.5ish (7.5.1 came out in March, 1995; 7.5.2 in August, 1995). This was a pretty decent OS for not having real guts to it -- Quicktime, Applescript, PowerPC support (for the "new" PowerPC CPUs), Powertalk, and easy to add/remove TTFs. Windows just barely got the TTF part with Win95. Windows Media Player in Win95 didn't come close to Quicktime!

      Mock mock mock mock mock mock mock :-D
      • Win95 was terrible for games. None of my games worked with it. None! Not until DirectX 5 and 6 could DirectX be said to have matured enough for general use. Nothing really good came out until then, either. Quake was still something you'd "Exit into DOS mode" for.

        Windows 95 was the platform I first saw GLQuake running under the 3dfx Voodoo - I can still remember my remarks cleary "holy shit this is awsome!" Sure the very first direct 3d game (monster truck madness - which ran in directx 3) was kinda crappy,
      • Re:I'll mock away. (Score:3, Informative)

        by drsmithy (35869)
        If you had 16mb of RAM, Win95 was noticably bitchy compared to Win3.1. You needed at least 32mb of RAM, and at least a Pentium 120 to really have it go decently. That was a top-of-the-line computer until fall 1996.

        Oh, bullshit. Windows 95 + Office was usable on 386s and 486s with 8MB of RAM (a fairly common machine in 1995).

        Pentium 120s with 32MB ? That's a comfortable *NT4* machine - Windows 95 would be blazingly fast on such hardware.

    • I'd never owned an Apple, so I can't speak to what it was like to use one back then (were they using, what, system 6 at the time? I don't remember...)

      Apple at the time was on System 7.5, and TFA has it wrong [byte.com]... True preemptive multitasking, protected memory, etc., didn't really arrive until OS X in the late '90s. (Anyone remember the failed promises for Copland [byte.com], of which only the interface facelift survived into the eventually released System 8?)

      Byte Magazine, writing on the release of System 7 in 1

  • by nurhussein (864532) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:06AM (#13389299) Homepage
    I never did. My 486 computer (with 8MB RAM) came with Win3.11 and DOS6.2, and most of the time I had Windows turned off. It was just distasteful how much resources it wasted to make the thing "pretty".

    When Win95 was launched it heralded an age of "user-friendliness", which to me sounded too much like "dumb-downness". And besides, the system boasted features that were useless to me (Autoplay? Who cares! I know how to run things in my CDROM).

    I boycotted Windows95. I never ran it. Of course I had to give in at one point, when most software required the new Win32. But that was in 2000, when I started using...Win98. And Linux. And finding that I spend more time in Linux day by day.

    Now I use Linux as my primary OS, with a Win98 partition which I still keep around for games (works well enough for that - I think of it as a massive shared library required for games). But then again, I don't even play games that much any more.
  • Win 95 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CSHARP123 (904951) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:06AM (#13389307)
    But those customers expecting Windows 95 to be a great technological leap forward may be disappointed. International Business Machines Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. already have operating systems on the market that sport the features - greater memory management, the ability to perform several tasks at once and enhanced user-friendliness - now being hailed in Windows 95.


    This is same as today. Windows 95 came, all the features that were there were all available in Apple's OS. Today, Vista will be released soon, Vista's features are already available in Apple's OS. But who do you think will make the money?

    • Re:Win 95 (Score:5, Informative)

      by mccalli (323026) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:27AM (#13389533) Homepage
      Windows 95 came, all the features that were there were all available in Apple's OS.

      No, this isn't true. I was a Mac user at the time, running System 7.5 on a LC, and whilst a lot of the UI was better on the Mac some of the internals weren't.

      Examples? Well, two major ones spring to mind.

      • Pre-emptive multitasking. The Mac used co-operative multitasking, ie. relying on the frontmost app to nicely make calls to yield().
      • Application memory management. On System 7.5, you had to manually set how much memory an application was supposed to get. If you guessed wrong, tough - the app would die with an 'out of memory error', regardless of how much physical or even virtual RAM was still available.

      I actually switched away from System 7.5 to a PC running Win95. I refused to go earlier, because Win3.11 was so utterly poor. It's fair to say I missed things from my Mac's UI. It's equally fair to say I think my Windows bax at that time was a better computer.

      I'm a Mac user again now, having re-taken the plunge at OS X 10.2 (Jaguar). Now the tables are turned, and the Mac is a drastically better box than the Windows machines I have to use. But had Apple continued down the MacOS route, I would never have gone back to them.

      Cheers,
      Ian

      • Re:Win 95 (Score:3, Informative)

        by metamatic (202216)
        You're right about memory management, but Windows 95 wasn't fully pre-emptive either. An errant program could still lock up the entire system.
  • by tsa (15680) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:09AM (#13389327) Homepage
    I remember there were stories about people buying Win 95 who didn't even have a computer. Unbelievable. How can people not have a computer?
  • by DrIdiot (816113) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:10AM (#13389333)
    2008: 10 year anniversary of Windows 98
    2010: 10 year anniversary of Windows Me
    2011: 10 year anniversary of Windows XP
    1015: 20 year anniversary of Windows 95
    2020: 20 year anniversary of Windows Me
    ....
  • Start me Up (Score:4, Funny)

    by vargasmas (774178) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:12AM (#13389358)
    If you start me up
    If you start me up I'll never stop
    If you start me up
    If you start me up I'll never stop
    I've been running hot
    You got me ticking gonna blow my top
    If you start me up
    If you start me up I'll never stop

    You make a grown man cry
    Spread out the oil, the gasoline
    I walk smooth, ride in a mean, mean machine
    Start it up

    If you start it up
    Kick on the starter give it all you got, you got,
    you got I can't compete with the riders in the other heats If you rough it up
    If you like it you can slide it up, slide it up

    Don't make a grown man cry
    My eyes dilate, my lips go green
    My hands are greasy
    She's a mean, mean machine
    Start it up

    If start me up
    Give it all you got
    You got to never, never, never stop
    Never, never
    Slide it up

    You make a grown man cry
    Ride like the wind at double speed
    I'll take you places that you've never, never seen
    Start it up
    Love the day when we will never stop, never stop
    Never stop, never stop
    Tough me up
    Never stop, never stop, never stop

    You, you, you make a grown man cry
    You, you make a dead man come
    You, you make a dead man come


    Can anyone figure out what the hell Microsoft Marketing was thinking when they selected this song?
    • by Malizar (553281)
      It was their fall back song, whey wanted REM's "It's the end of the world as we know it", but got refused, so they selected that one because of the start button.
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:21AM (#13389458)
    Well I bought it up
    Brought Windows home and tried to boot it up

    But when I load it up
    It says my memory is not enough ...

    I've been running out
    I need Some Extra RAM to fix me up ...

    I have to cough it up
    Open my wallet up, it never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops

    Its Windows 95
    It's sucking up my drive
    It makes a Pentium fly

    But my PC is obsolete
    I'll have to buy myself a brand new machine .... (ring it up)

    Just stick me up
    You suck me in then you got me hooked .... you got me, you got me

    There's so much stuff to buy
    I need a new hard drive

    I'ts gonna suck me dry
    My 386, Don't have the speed
    It takes an hour just to bring up the screen ...

    Oh no ... I 'm making software buys.
    Woow ... It's making Bill Gates come...
    Yo Yo ... your making a rich man come....
  • by suitepotato (863945) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @11:43AM (#13389661)
    ...are either truly inexperienced with OS/2 or they are demented or both. I supported OS/2 2.1 and Warp 3 on a Token Ring LAN and there was nothing more excrutiating in my desktop/software support years than that. The ONLY things it excelled at were inflicting mental distress and running multiple DOS sessions without crashing. Whoopie-frigging-do. If I wasn't being paid to jump in the line of fire, you'd not have been able to force me at gunpoint to do it.

    Windows 95 for all its issues was not as bad as people have made it out to be. First, MS did warn people that a fresh install rather than upgrade over Win3.x was advised. Second, the vendors like IBM did their level best to act like it was still the days of DOS/Win3.x or has it been forgotten that their Craptivas tended to use every freaking IRQ there was knowing that IRQ sharing was not remotely ready in that first release? Compaq, et al, had their own dufus-level driver and build issues.

    Major corporations actually using it daily and not being able to take major efficiency disruptions did yeoman work bughunting and suggesting workarounds and fixes to Microsoft and some actually paid serious cash to Redmond for code access to work their own builds of it. Meanwhile people threw stones at those big corporations heedless of how much of their Windows headache was steadily being addressed by those corporations. To this day people still don't get it and still have a "tail wags the dog" mindset that the home and school are the real influence.

    Nope. Business, where we all work, is where the PC market is guided along more than at home and the NT/2K touches in XP Home bear that out. I don't use a glitzy ego booster for Jobs at work, I use an OS that all things taken into account, is the best choice for my work. It offers things that our proprietary app writers find get their job done better than any other platform.

    So in addition to hoisting a cold one to MS for a job well done in the end and congratulating them on ten years out from Windows 95, I also salute the corporations that adopted it in droves so long ago and all the work they and my fellow techs and coders did to fix things up. I was not and am still not happy about their basically selling beta code as finished product rushing it to market, but it did set the stage for a much easier desktop experience that only encouraged rapid personal computer adoption after years of doldrums and facilitated widespread Internet usage adoption to boot. If Apple or IBM had their way, never mind the Unix geeks, we'd have had personal computers that remained as inaccessible to the average user as what went before and not seen the renaisance that we did.
  • by FridayBob (619244) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @12:18PM (#13389978) Homepage
    My memories of Windows 95 are hardly fond. My worst one involves getting Windows 95 OS/R2 installed and configured on some VP's IBM ThinkPad 600. Not even IBM could get it to work properly! Eventually, I got it to work, but only after having spent over a month, including two all-nighters at the office, installing the damned thing over and over and over again. There were so many devices crammed into that laptop, each one wanting its own interrupt, that Windows 95 could hardly handle it.

    Eventually, I got it to work, although I'm not sure how, so I made an image backup just in case. The VP received his laptop, but then complained bitterly that it would crash on him every few hours. Yeah, well duh: it's Windows! What did he expect? Join the club. Ungrateful bastard.

    To top it all off, some other VP, having heard of my success with the ThinkPad 600, came by later to have me fix his. Great. Well, at least I had that image backup, right? Wrong. It didn't work, even though his laptop was exactly the same model and revision number. I still have no explanation for this. I'd start it up after copying the image to it and it would have exactly the same device and registry problems that I had before getting it right. This kind of thing was never a problem on the Compaq and Toshiba laptops -- just on the IBM ThinkPad 600. I swore never to use an IBM ThinkPad again.

    Fast forward to the present. Guess what kind of a laptop I have now? An IBM ThinkPad A21m. And I'm actually happy with it. So, what changed my mind? Simple:

    Linux.
  • by the_rajah (749499) * on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @12:19PM (#13389986) Homepage
    last week to use a legacy program on it and was surprised at how quickly it booted up. I also noted with some interest that the 1 Gig HD was only half used, even with some applications installed. As I navigated around the HD with Windows Explorer and moved some files, I further noticed that it didn't really feel any different than using XP. Then I loaded Firefox and connected to the Internet via the Linksys Pcmcia ethernet card and found that browsing didn't feel much different either. Somebody want to explain again how far we've come in the past 10 years with Windows? Sure there are some conveniences and minor improvements, but at what cost in bloat and memory requirements?

    I just checked the stats on my relatively busy web site and saw that of the 16,640 Windows machines that visited last week 94 of them were using Win95. Just below that was NT with 42 visits and WIN32s with 10 visits. Oh, I even saw one single OS/2 visit..
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @12:29PM (#13390048) Homepage
    Microsoft distributed "Windows 95 - It sucks less" T-shirts to Macintosh developers during the run-up to Windows 95.
  • Mac button (Score:5, Funny)

    by booch (4157) <slashdot2010&craigbuchek,com> on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @12:30PM (#13390061) Homepage
    I was working at CompUSA when Windows 95 came out. One of the Mac guys gave me a button, that I still have. I still find it to be accurate.

    Windows 95 = MacIntosh 88


  • IT nostalgia (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lispy (136512) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @01:02PM (#13390371) Homepage
    Well, one question I asked myself while struggling with Win95 in 1995 was "Will I feel the same nostalgia for this in ten years that I feel for homecomputers from the 1980s?"

    I can finally say: "Not a single bit! I am glad it's dead. And I am looking forward for it's brothers to die too."

  • by dudeman2 (88399) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @01:20PM (#13390572) Homepage
    (with apologies to Apple)
  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Wednesday August 24, 2005 @06:03PM (#13392913)
    ...is the fact the basic interface design pioneered by that OS has not really changed dramatically even with the release of Windows XP. After all, Windows XP's Luna interface has the majority of the look and feel of Windows 95, especially the Taskbar with its Start button on the left side, a tray area showing all active programs, and a right side area showing a list of running accillary programs.

    This is why everyone will be very interested in seeing how Windows Vista runs, because I think Microsoft will come up with a totally new look and feel for Windows XP's successor.

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