I was working at Microsoft when W95 was released. There were still a few small pockets of greatness there back then but you had to look really hard for them; they had mostly dried up beginning with the release of Window 3.1 on 5/22/90.

A few notes

1) The motivation for the precipitous release of this unready operating system was a belief by management that IBM’s OS/2 was gaining ground. I had worked on OS/2 and I was one of the 240 developers who were reassigned to mismatched groups when IBM and Microsoft had their divorce. In reality OS/2 was never a real threat; its selling points were technical ("preemptive multitasking"; ask anyone not in IT what that meant), not utilitarian. Nobody wrote apps for it.

2) Internally W95 had some of the worst code ever. It thunked back and forth between 16- and 32-bit operation hundreds of times per second and the kernel was bound together like a biplane from WWI, with chicken wire and spit.

3) it was LOADED with special-casing code to identify existing 16-bit applications and handle them in a way that would make them appear to work. This was an operating system assembled from pieces of corpses and animated with electricity

4) the advertising campaign for its release was simply nauseating. A teenage girl sitting before a monitor showing the out-of-the-box desktop bitmap turned toward the camera with eyes amphetamine-overdose bright and grimacing was captioned

"I eat drink and breathe Windows 95!!!!"

Me, I stuck with WindowNT. I never touched 95, 98, or Millennium.

American Software Developer living in Vietnam. Classical musician (guitar, woodwinds), weightlifter, multilingual, misanthrope • XY

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