1995: Windows 95 - History of Desktop OSs

Slideshow: The History of the Desktop Operating System
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1995: Windows 95 - History of Desktop OSs

In August 1995, the release of Windows 95 had a similar appeal as the release of an iPad today. People stood in line to be the among the first to get their hands on the software during hyped midnight sales events around the world, listening to "Start me up" from the Rolling Stones as the promoting music track of the OS launch. The fact that the company even hired Jay Leno for the launch event of the operating system was a message that the PC had become a mass market product.

The operating system was the first major attempt to hide DOS from the user, enable Internet access with less hand coding required by the user, but still came with some 16-bit components, despite being touted as a 32-bit operating system. Windows 95 introduced the first versions of Internet Explorer, became a much more serious gaming and entertainment platform than before, but had to endure three upgrades before it could shed its 16-bit history. Windows 98 arrived in 1998, Windows 98 SE in 1999 and Windows Me in 2000.

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