Yesterday was the 25th Anniversary of the Windows 95. The version of Windows shaped the Microsoft operating system in the ways we see it today. The OS was the first member of the Windows 9x family and a big leap in terms of GUI over its predecessor Windows 3.1x.
It introduced many Windows features that we still use on the OS in their modern form. For example, the good old Start Menu that Microsoft tried to kill in Windows 8 but failed.
To celebrate Windows 95’s 25th birthday, Microsoft has released a short video showing how various Windows elements have evolved over the years. The video starts with the Start Menu and shows other things like icons, Recycle bin, Minesweeper, and other built-in apps.
With time, the aspect ratio of the Windows desktop has also shifted from being a square-shaped (4:3) to a rectangle (16.9).
It’s not just the Start Menu, the Windows 95 brought other stuff, including the Taskbar, support for long filenames, Device Manager, and Plug and Play. Moreover, the Internet Explorer web browser that recently lost support for Microsoft services was also released alongside Windows 95.
Speaking of the Taskbar, just like today, it featured the icons of running apps. The volume control, time, and icons for some background apps were displayed in the notifications area.
Interestingly, Windows 95 didn’t support many features that we take for granted today; for example, support for USB and FAT32 file systems was added in later updates.
Windows 95 received feature updates until November 1997, after which the Windows 98 came into existence. However, Microsoft continued to support the OS until December 31, 2001 (extended support).