This week is the 20th anniversary of Windows 95 and it was the OS that became Microsoft’s game changer. The TV advert for it which you can see below, was recognisable because it used the Rolling Stones song Start Me Up which cost them $3M in licensing fees.
When Windows 95 was released it brought a GUI (Graphic User Interface) OS to the masses and every Windows OS since 95 has been a major improvement. There have been some notable exceptions such as Windows ME, Vista and 8 which should have never seen the light of day.
In the past twenty years we have seen a lot of major technical advances that Windows 95 made possible. How many of you can remember using Iomega Zip drives to back up data and how many of you remember marvelling at the new USB connectors that Windows 95 supported. Windows 95 also promoted the use of CD Rom’s and their replacements DVD’s to replace installing software from floppy disks, and I can remember the hell of installing Office 97 on numerous computers via 43 floppy disks.
You could also use CD’s and DVD’s to back up files and this along with USB memory sticks made floppy disks redundant. The Start button, Start menu and also the taskbar is something that we now find hard to live without since we first used them twenty years ago. Microsoft also bundled their browser Internet Explorer with Windows 95, which allowed us to experience the internet in all its splendour for the first time.
As I already mentioned some OS’s that Microsoft have launched since Windows 95 have been woeful, and Windows 8 and 8.1 are probably top of the list of Microsoft turkeys. My current laptop is nearly 2 years old and when I bought it Windows 8 came with it. A year later I made the mistake of upgrading to Windows 8.1, which proceeded to remove the drivers for my laptops touch pad which I then stupidly assumed was broken. When I installed Windows 10, it magically upgraded my touch pads driver.
Windows 10 has brought Microsoft full circle back to an OS that is a modern version of Windows 95, which has the start button at the heart of its system, and Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 users can upgrade to it for free. Like Windows 95, Windows 10 is ground breaking, innovative and it also brings plug and play to the next dimension.