Windows 95 launched 20 years ago today

On August 24th 1995 Windows 95 was launched. The minimum required specs were:

  • a 386 cpu (around 25MHz at the time?)
  • 4MB RAM
  • 55MB free disk space

Fast forward to 2015. The minimum specs for Windows 10 are:

  • a 1 GHz cpu
  • 1 GB RAM for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit (really? I find this hard to believe, 4GB probably a realistic minimum, 8GB to be comfortable)
  • 16 GB disk space for 32-bit OS, 20 GB for 64-bit OS

Somehow this is supposed to be better, but I’m not sure exactly how. Running an OS in 4MB? How exactly was that possible?! That seems impossible by today’s standards. And yet, Windows 10 is so much better? Better at needing more resources than any previous Windows version?

If there’s one thing for sure, no-one has danced with such enthusiasm for the launch of a new operating system in the past 20 years since Steve Balmer, doing whatever he was doing here.

And yes, Windows 95, with your blue screens and all, “you made a grown man cry”.

I’ve always wondered what was the intent of using the Stones “Start Me Up” as the theme music for Windows 95. Yes ok, start button, “Start Me Up”, ok, I get it. But didn’t they listen to the rest of the lyrics? Maybe they were thinking crying in happiness, but in reality it was more often crying in despair :-0

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