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Windows 95 Turns 15 461

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-remember-when dept.
An anonymous reader writes "15 years ago on this day, Microsoft's then new Windows 95 was released. Among other things it moved users away from the archaic file manager and program manager to Windows explorer and the start menu. Compared to today's 'social desktop,' I'd much rather have the simpler and more sparse (pre-Internet Explorer integrated) Windows Explorer, though I do not like the (lack of) stability that Windows 95 offers. Of course if you were alive then, you've probably seen the commercials." I fondly recall downloading build after build and installing them. But within months of the official release, I switched to Linux.
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Windows 95 Turns 15

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:44AM (#33354262)

    I had a buddy back in 94/95 who was constantly throwing OS/2 in my face. Hey, look at all the Windows I can have open, look at my clean interface, look at how much faster and more stable this runs that your Win 3.11, look at all these DOS sessions open simultaneously!

    Windows 95 finally gave me the ability to rub his arrogant face right in my ass. And, for that, I say "Thank you, Bill Gates."

    • by Corporate Troll (537873) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:48AM (#33354308) Homepage Journal

      Yes, but OS/2 was still way better than Win95. Win95 was 32-bit "OS" bolted on DOS. OS/2 was 32-bit from the ground up. The Windows of today has more in common with OS/2 than it has with Windows 95.

      • by h00manist (800926)
        Many OS's were better and died or got very vew users. OS/2 and many others. It's necessary to study what makes an OS popular to gather some more share from Microsoft. I'd like to see a study of where all the MacOS users are coming from.
        • by dingen (958134)
          OS/2 didn't get "very few users". It was a very mainstream operating system at its peak.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            It was even bundled with OEM machines. I remember Highscreen [wikipedia.org] (Link German, as the brand was German) computers coming withi it.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            >>>OS/2 didn't get "very few users". It was a very mainstream operating system at its peak.

            Ha. The Commodore Amiga OS in the early 90s sold more units than IBM OS/2 during the same period, and yet nobody here would call the AmigaOS "mainstream". Both were minority OSes.

            As for ease of use, I copy this from a website as example: "Take the process required to install and configure a printer. Under Windows it was a simple two step process. Under OS/2 1.2 it required the user to perform unnatural act

            • by dingen (958134)
              I would say that at some point in time, AmigaOS could be considered a mainstream platform. Obviously not as dominant as Windows, but certainly not obscure or unknown.
        • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:54AM (#33355318) Homepage Journal

          Study what makes an OS popular? It's already been done. Those exclusive contracts that Bill Gates got from all the vendors did it. One doesn't even need to look at any other of Gates unfair trade practices. There came a point where any vendor HAD to be able to offer MS - and Gates insisted that if they sold MS, they could ONLY sell MS.

          A few other little tricks reinforced those exclusive contracts - like donating a few million computers to high schools and colleges, so that students were indoctrinated into the Microsoft way of doing things. But, those contracts are the numero uno prime reason for MS "popularity".

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jbolden (176878)

            I was a big fan of OS/2 hence why I'm reading this. I worked in Waldensoftware in the early 90s and I have to tell you, when Windows 3.1 upgrade came up individuals lined up around the store to get it. The popularity of Microsoft is not just monopolistic contracts (though those helped a lot), the popularity is that other vendors don't want to support huge chunks of the market.

            Apple doesn't want the corporate market
            IBM couldn't even get it together with OS/2 but they didn't want the home market
            Linux doesn'

        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @11:33AM (#33355956) Journal

          >>>It's necessary to study what makes an OS popular to gather some more share from Microsoft.

          Easy. The same thing that killed off the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, and the Apple Macintosh (almost). Offices. They picked the IBM PC as their preferred platform in the early 80s, and it just continued steadily from there. And consumers of course bought what they had in the office, because it was familiar to them.

          TRS-80 was the #1 selling computer in the late 70s. Atari 400/800 held the mantle in 1982, followed by the mass-produced Commodore 64 (30 million units sold). But by 1987 IBM PC was the #1 machine and nobody else could touch it. The competition was driven into bankruptcy by the mid-90s (or in the case of Apple - almost bankrupted).

          And because IBM PC was successful, so too were PCDOS, MS-DOS and MS-windows, by default. See the chart for yourself:
          http://media.arstechnica.com/articles/culture/total-share.media/marketshare.jpg [arstechnica.com]

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        True...but did OS/2 have Hover [wikipedia.org]?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:26AM (#33354894)

        Win95 was 32-bit "OS" bolted on DOS. OS/2 was 32-bit from the ground up.

        Argh, not this again. Windows 95 used DOS basically as a bootloader and not much else.

        http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2007/12/24/6849530.aspx [msdn.com] (Even references Slashdot bait, thanks to myths perpetuated on here).

        Once in protected mode, the virtual device drivers did their magic. Among other things those drivers did was "suck the brains out of MS-DOS," transfer all that state to the 32-bit file system manager, and then shut off MS-DOS.

        • by Corporate Troll (537873) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:37AM (#33355046) Homepage Journal
          Yes, it did use it as a bootloader. Question is: why didn't they write a propper bootloader in the first place then? Also, it damn well could use DOS drivers. The device manager complained about drivers in 16-bit mode, but it use them. It WAS a hybrid and not a full 32-bit OS.
        • Google for 'thunking' and then get back to us. While it was mostly gone by the end of the 9x series, a lot of things in Windows 95 thunked to 16-bit code.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by MightyMartian (840721)

            It did, however, have a considerable amount of 16-bit code under the hood (to be fair, OS/2 was still running a 16-bit version of HPFS until version 4). Windows 95 was one big fat kludge, rushed out because MS was terrified that OS/2 was actually positioned to grab pack a substantial portion of the Windows market. It was an unstable monster, with horrible TCP/IP support. When they shipped Office 95, it too was basically a suite of 16-bit apps in a 32-bit wrapper, again, rushed out to keep WordPerfect and

      • by AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:30AM (#33354930)

        Yes, but OS/2 was still way better than Win95. Win95 was 32-bit "OS" bolted on DOS. OS/2 was 32-bit from the ground up. The Windows of today has more in common with OS/2 than it has with Windows 95.

        Windows 95: n.
        32 bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprocessor, written by a 2 bit company, that can't stand 1 bit of competition.

        http://monster-island.org/tinashumor/humor/win2bit.html [monster-island.org]

    • From wikipedia:
      "Official system requirements were an Intel 80386 DX CPU of any speed, 4 MB of system RAM, and 120 MB of hard drive space."

      I have porn that wouldn't run on this computer (Blue rays take a lot of processing power). Which brings me to my next point, the code name of "Chicago" was prescient. Seriously, named for political blustering and needless posturing. The windy city by virtue of people at each other's throats because of their beliefs.

      Yep. Perfect.

      • by Svartalf (2997)

        They'd dropped the codename because of all the "all blow and no go" jokes being made. It took Microsoft FOREVER to get the silly thing out and they rolled out a less stable product than the last RC they pushed out to the beta testers. And we won't go into the horrors they inflicted on the developer beta testers that got pre-betas... >;-D

    • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:48AM (#33354326)

      I liked using Windows 95 over 98 because it rebooted much faster after bluescreening.

      • It's what most machines were shipping with in 1996 and 97, anyway. FAT32 support, no integrated MSIE crap, and a bit more stable than the original Win95 release.

        I still have a pair of PPro gaming boxes running Win95 OSR2 (as well as various other OSes from the time period including BeOS 5 and versions of both Mandrake and Red Hat Linux.

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:06AM (#33354606) Homepage Journal

      Your buddy was right and you still are clueless.
      OS/2 was a much better OS than Windows 95. It had a better UI, it was a lot more stable, and was really a very modern OS.
      There are still some knowledgeable companies that are just now migrating the last of their systems off of OS/2

      Windows 95 was cheap. That was it's only real benefit. I hate to say it but the terms arrogant and ass would seem to bet apply to you and not your friend.
      That and Microsoft got the hardware manufactures to install it. Had IBM gotten everybody on board with OS/2 it would have one. In this case it was all marketing and you bought it.

      • by niks42 (768188) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:11AM (#33354688)
        Oh, trust me we did work hard with OS/2 preloads to try to convince people that it was a good platform, but ultimately we lost out to a better, meaner, more willing to do the unethical and probably illegal, marketing machine.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jbolden (176878)

          I assume you were IBM back then. Then come on. OS/2 wasn't even available preloaded on your own computers. I bought an Ambra and I couldn't get OS/2 preloaded nor OS/2 support for the sound card on the Ambra motherboard. Your IBM resellers didn't carry or push OS/2. I had a bear of a time getting OS/2 1.3 until you had the direct order program. Also you wouldn't distribute in normal channels.

          IBM was talking out of both sides of their mouth the whole time they were pushing OS/2. Sun and Microsoft both

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Richard Steiner (1585)

            If you followed the Microsoft anti-trust trial, you would know that at least part of the reason for this was the fact that Microsoft denied IBM a Windows 95 license until the very last minute because IBM wanted to load OS/2 on some of its boxes. At that point in time, Windows had a very strong presence in the market, and MS was able to apply a lot of pressure to PC makers ... even IBM.

            FWIW, OS/2 1.x was a Microsoft-branded product for most of its life, and was somewhat crippled with the dated desktop and D

      • by jocknerd (29758) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:14AM (#33354738)

        You are right that OS/2 was way better than Win 95. However, IBM was always on board. It was Microsoft who sabotaged OS/2. You do know that Microsoft wrote the original versions of OS/2? But at the same time, they were working on Windows 3.0. When it was released and got popular, they basically bailed on OS/2. And left IBM to clean up the mess that Microsoft had created. IBM had mostly rewritten it by 1996 when OS/2 Warp 4 came out. But by then, it was too late.

      • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:43AM (#33355156)

        Windows 95 was cheap. That was it's only real benefit.

        Yeah, apart from the single most important one - it ran more things that people wanted to run.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Richard Steiner (1585)

          Initially, the programs that each was able to run weren't that dissimilar. There wasn't that much real 32-bit software, so most used the Win32S extensions, and OS/2 did a fairly good job of keeping up with Microsoft's constant changing of that library for some time. I think OS/2 ended up stopping support with Win32S 1.25a or something ... Win32S 1.30 started using very high virtual addresses that OS/2 couldn't handle.

          OS/2 came with a copy (or could use an existing copy) of Windows as its WinOS2 subsystem,

    • by keeboo (724305) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:10AM (#33354654)

      Windows 95 finally gave me the ability to rub his arrogant face right in my ass. And, for that, I say "Thank you, Bill Gates."

      No, it didn't.
      Windows 95 ran concurrent win 3.1 and DOS apps like shit. But I guess you forgot that.

    • by airfoobar (1853132) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:14AM (#33354734)
      OS/2 wasn't out-competed by other products in the market -- it was tactically murdered by Microsoft to spite IBM (who had hugely invested in it) and put Windows in total control of the market.

      I kid you not. This played a huge part in the anti-trust lawsuit, and it's well-documented historical fact. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/368660.stm [bbc.co.uk]

      So, I wish your buddy could have continued throwing OS/2 in your face, because today we could definitely do with a bit more competition in the OS department.
    • OS/2 was still the better OS, by ALOT. Its closed nature doomed its future, and there was alot of mistrust in IBM in the marketplace at the time, but in terms of stability w/ a gui inteface, it was unmatched. The OS lived on long past its best-before date in alot of utility devices like information terminals @ airports and kiosks, ABMs, and other devices into the mid-2000s.
    • by niks42 (768188)
      btw the guys from AIX land in Austin were in the habit of visiting the CPDOS developers in Boca in 1986, to tell them that they already had a 32-bit OS that ran on i386, that could run multiple DOS windows and all that, and asking why were we spending enough money to launch the Hubble telescope (AND go repair it, as it happened) to develop something that we already could do with a Unix variant.

      They must be saying 'We told you so ...' now.
  • Are we specifically referring to dos, or just the concept of cli file manager? Because frankly, to this day I run most of my linux boxes without a gui.

    I'm not quite sure Archaic is the right word for something as useful as the cli.

    • by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:51AM (#33354358)

      Are we specifically referring to dos, or just the concept of cli file manager?

      No. File Manager was a GUI program included with Windows 3.x (and still included as EXE only up to Windows Me).

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      They're referring to File Manager, the Windows GUI that preceded Explorer.

      • winfile.exe, it ran fast and light and I was bummed when they took it out. It worked a lot better than explorer.exe for a lot of tasks.

    • Clearly, you never used Windows 3.1. "File manager" and "Program Manager" were the programs you would use to interact with your system in Windows 3.1 (actually, last I checked, Program Manager still existed in Windows XP, and probably still in Vista and Windows 7).
  • I remember getting caught up in the hype and putting it on a 486 DX2 66 with 4 MB. Damn but that was slower than molasses running uphill in January. Suffered with that computer for nearly 2 years before I saved up enough for a replacement (poor college student at the time).
    • Must be all about the memory, I had it running on a DX33 with 8Mb. It was fine but I remeber having a terrible time with a driver for the Avance Logic graphics card that it had fitted. Things like the clock (when you double clicked the time) as the hand swept round the screen wasn't redrawn.

      Strangest thing was that the card worked fine in Slackware.

    • by dintech (998802)

      It's amazing how relatively expensive computer hardware was back then. Or maybe we all got richer...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      I remember getting caught up in the hype and putting it on a 486 DX2 66 with 4 MB. Damn but that was slower than molasses running uphill in January. Suffered with that computer for nearly 2 years before I saved up enough for a replacement (poor college student at the time).

      God, 4MB of RAM for Windows '95??? That must have been brutal.

      In '92 or '93 my girlfriend bought a similar machine with 4MB of RAM, and that was only Windows 3.11. On the second day she had it we watched Word thrash the machine within a

    • Back then, I ripped the guts out of my 386 and put in a P133 with 32MB RAM, a 1GB HDD, and even a T1000 for backups. That, plus a 28.8 modem. That managed to run '95 about as well as could be expected.
  • by Enderwiggin13 (734997) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:48AM (#33354322)
    I think one of my favorite things about Windows 95 was the music video for Weezer's Buddy Holly on the install disc.
  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:50AM (#33354346) Journal

    I don't know who Roberto Sparese is [facebook.com], but I'm sure he'll get a few more hits to his Facebook account as other readers also wonder whether that was actually a little-known word and not just a typo.

    P.S. Cute kitty, Roberto!

  • "turns 15"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:51AM (#33354356)

    While I could imagine using this sort of anthropomorphisation for a product that was still active, I think Windows 95 is dead.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Binestar (28861)
      I just copied data from a windows 95 machine at a ski resort that they use to keep an old editable version of the trail map on. They are finally getting around to getting data off it to see if there are updated versions of the software. Also worked recently on an old Dos 3.x machine with a power supply dated '87 that runs a voltage QA test machine for parts that are made for the F22 Raptor. A modern replacement for that test hardware is in the $15,000 range. While this isn't common, don't confuse it wit
  • by DriedClexler (814907) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:51AM (#33354376)

    Windows 95 was a trully innovative operating system. It allowed the convenience of use normally afforded only to those who had bought a Mac since 1986.

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      You misuse "innovative".

      innovative

      — adj

      using or showing new methods, ideas, etc

      Innovative was the MacOS environment.
      Innovative was PalmOS when it first came out.

      Of note:

      derivative
      –adjective

      1.
      derived.
      2.
      not original; secondary.

      Windows 95 was derivative . It didn't really bring "new" concepts and methods to the table- save for Microsoft product users. Which, you have to admit, is the very thing you stated.

  • by martiniturbide (1203660) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:51AM (#33354378) Homepage Journal
    ...yes.. I remember the technical strategy behind Windows 95. Since Windows NT required more hardware let's create a mediocre Windows until hardware gets cheap enough to put NT on every machine. (finally it was accomplished with Windows XP)
  • by FudRucker (866063) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:54AM (#33354420)
    me too

    get win98 or win98se and run ROM or ROM2se on it (ROM = Revenge of Mozilla) it is basically a tool that strips out IE & OE and the win98 windows explorer and replaces it with a hacked/patched win95 windows explorer, and it is much more stable than win95 & more stable than a stock win98/win98se (i have to say it makes the best win9x possible but the only caveat is any application that requires internet explorer will not function. but anything else works great.

    after doing a quick google search i think this app is nowhere to be found, i bet i can dig up a copy on an old CD-r that i kept with lots of ancient third party applications for win9x
  • Norton Desktop (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bigbutt (65939) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @09:59AM (#33354502) Homepage Journal

    I was using Norton Desktop on my Windows 3.1 box before Windows 95 came out. Nice clean interface and I didn't have to have a bunch of windows open. When 95 came out, it removed the need for Norton as it incorporated many of the features into the Windows shell.

    I do know that Windows 95 killed my desire to muck with the system. With Windows 3.1 I was researching performance techniques and improving my config. I had a friend with a faster system however my Windows install was faster than his (he ranted a bit about it :) ).

    But Windows 3.1 killed my desire to program until I got into Unix. I spent a lot of time reading the Petzold books and I understood how to write code for Windows but it was more complicated than I wanted to deal with for the hobby stuff I was doing.

    [John]

  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:00AM (#33354506) Journal

    After so many years of Windows giving me an assfucking, now it's finally legal to... oh wait, one more year. Mustn't make that mistake again!

  • by h00manist (800926) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:11AM (#33354670) Journal
    I guess Microsoft didn't make enough money from it yet, because it will still have copyright protection for some 60 years.
  • If Microsoft had to re-imburse businesses for all the hours lost and wasted dealing with the steaming pile of crap (aka Windows 95) they would have been bankrupted years ago.

  • Now, can anyone honestly say that there is any valid reason why the complete source code to Windows 95 should not be in the Public Domain already?
  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:18AM (#33354778) Homepage Journal
    From the summary:

    Of course if you were alive then, you've probably seen the commercials.

    You don't honestly think that slashdot is in any way relevant to kids 15 and under, do you? If we even said "old enough to remember seeing the commercials" and graciously said that someone 5 years old at the time might remember them, that would mean you expect slashdot to have relevance to the 20-and-under set.

    Although I honestly don't remember the commercials, and Windows 95 was the first OS I bought (or pirated? I don't remember now) on CD. I do recall that 95 was the first windows release that actually required you to enter a registration key at installation; 3.1 would graciously let you "enter it later".

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SleazyRidr (1563649)

      Seriously? You don't remember the commercials with the Rolling Stones 'Start Me Up' playing while someone clicked on the start button?

      Surely you at least remember the jokes that the second verse would have been more appropriate. (You, you, you make a grown man cry.)

  • I think Windows 95 is greatly under-appreciated. I remember one of the biggest jokes was "Oh, its more Mac Like!". People who made that claim seem to not remember the horrors that was MacOS 7, 8 or 9. I did not become familer with Linux until 1997, so I cannot compare, but, as far as I can remember, the only thing even in the same league with Windows '95 OS/2, which Microsoft wrote a good deal of the code for, if I remember right. It pretty much standardized Plug N Play on the PC platform (granted, it was b

  • A legacy bit of device programming kit I have only runs on Windows and needs a serial port, and I have an old Toshiba satellite laptop with not enough memory to boot XP .. Win95 works fine. I bought the world's oldest PCMCIA (non-32 bit) network adapter off a certain Internet Auction Site; I just drop Intel Hex files into a shared folder and off it goes. AND it doesn't insist on my downloading multiple updates for Windows security fixes every time I boot it. I did have to take the hard disk out, put a DOS b
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dynedain (141758)

      It might be time to look into running a virtual machine for that legacy tool. You also can get modern motherboards with serial ports, or even USB to serial port adapters.

  • ...is the Win95's ease of copying and piracy really established their dominance in the PC market.

    OS2 was a better system, but iirc much harder to pirate.

    The fact that sneaker-net distribution meant EVERYONE grew up with a system running Win95 ended up making Gates a bajillionaire.

  • Win 95 was disgusting. I hated that OS and Win 98 was awful as well. The only thing those OSs ever did was get me to use Linux!

  • We went from Windows For Workgroups to NT 3 in the IT dept where I was at and I never went back to consumer-grade MS OS. Three years ago I switched to Mac, and am quite happy. Sadly I keep an XP Pro VM around, will probably have to upgrade it to 7 so I can remote support my dad.
  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @10:41AM (#33355122) Homepage Journal

    I know someone who took a drink everytime W95 blue-screened. He died of liver damage in 97.

  • It was shoddy product and ridiculously unreliable.

    What it did contribute, though, was that it showed the Apple Menu to the whole world. Mac OS has now moved away from that, but pretty much everyone else is now using some sort of logo, in the upper or lower left corner of the screen, to access a menu of applications and/or OS settings. And I think Windows 95 (not MacOS) really gets the credit for that. If they hadn't used the idea, I really just can't help but wonder if anyone would be doing it anymore.

  • by PPH (736903) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @11:14AM (#33355670)

    I was at Boeing back then. Everyone in engineering had Macs but the fix was in with Microsoft. W3.1 was judged unsuitable for use, so only a few poor suckers were stuck with that. We had a number of PCs running DOS. Great for lab use, as numerous ISA cards were avaiilable, or easily cobbled up by our technicians.

    One day, the IT folks showed up and dropped a Dell 166 on my desk (between my Mac and X terminal). It only had a DOS command prompt, but the hardware guys assured me that the Windows guys would follow shortly with their install disks.

    About 3 months later, this pig was still sitting there with nothing but a DOS command prompt staring back at me. The story was that initial W95 installs were proving to be a disaster and IT was in the process of staffing up to levels needed to support the platform. I went to my boss and told him, "While I'm waiting, there's this other system available now that I can load and try out. Its called Linux."

    He said, "OK" and I've never looked back. Thank you Mr. Gates.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mangu (126918)

      I started with Linux in 1995, too. It was Yggdrasil, took twenty minutes to boot on a 386/33 MHz machine. To make it boot faster one had to configure it to look only for the available hardware, otherwise it would look for everything it had drivers for and wait for timeout.

      Then I learned about Slackware and never looked back.

  • Yeah... It would be 15 years old today if it were still alive.

    (Coincidentally, 15 years is roughly 95 in IT years.)

  • by FridayBob (619244) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @11:57AM (#33356368) Homepage
    • CPU and memory requirements were so much higher, that you basically needed a brand new machine to run it.
    • Because of the registry, it was no longer possible to copy a program to another machine by simply copying a particular directory structure and a few .ini files. For M$, of course, this was the entire point. Unfortunately...
    • Because the registry was so easily corruptible, people who used it would regularly see their machine's performance drop and/or encounter regular lock-ups and blue screens, and subsequently find themselves spending hours reinstalling everything. It was no longer possible to fix things by modifying a few .ini files with a text editor.
    • Because of the registry, which would quickly grow beyond the size of a 1.44 MB floppy disk, the only real backups possible were disk-image backups.
    • Because the registry could so easily be exploited, the number of species of computer viruses exploded. Without that, the virus industry would certainly not be as successful as it is today.
    • Because of the registry, it could become next to impossible to get certain complicated machines, particularly fancy laptops, to work properly after installing all of the necessary drivers.
    • It would not lend itself to the simple remote boot method that was previously so popular with Win311 (well, I do know of one NetWare shop that actually managed this feat anyway, but it was very complex). For many of us who thought we had things licked, this made network maintenance an order of magnitude more complicated.

    At the time may career as a NetWare sysadmin was just taking off, so it was another six years before I made the switch to Linux, but for me Win95 marked the beginning of the end of my belief in proprietary software.

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