Microsoft fans are remembering a significant moment during Windows’ history as today marks the 20-year anniversary for Windows 95, the company’s most popular operating system to date. The Windows 95 launch was most-noted for enticing people and businesses to use personal computers. Overall computer use became widespread, and Microsoft helped the market grow thanks to easy-to-use software that made the entire computing experience more enjoyable.

Windows 95 Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary Today

Windows 95 launch was a defining moment for Microsoft

Although Windows 95 was not Microsoft’s first OS release, it was a catalyst for modern computing. The system brought a redesigned shell based on a desktop design. Unlike the old Windows 3.1 operating system which displayed running applications, Windows 95 used the desktop to show application shortcuts and folders. It also brought along many features that would later become key components for future products in the Windows series, including the Start menu and taskbar.

The history of Windows 10

Microsoft started thinking about the next great operating system (dubbed Chicago) shortly after the Windows 3.1 release. Development for the operating system started in March 1992, and the initial plan was to usher in the era of 32-bit system and replace MS-DOS. However, the final version of Windows 95 still retained some of the 16-bit features for certain elements.

One of the most important milestones happened when Microsoft confirmed the name Windows 95 less than a year before the official release. Prior to the August debut, Microsoft also offered eager customers a chance to try the new system with the Windows 95 Preview Program. For $19.95, customers could purchase a 3.5-inch floppy disk that would install the new OS on computers that already ran on Windows 3.1. The original version of Windows 95 did not include Internet Explorer. IE 1.0 became available with the Plus! add-on pack, which was sold separately.