Remember Windows 95? Now you can download it on most OS systems, for free.

Microsoft Windows 95 was launched exactly 23 years ago today, selling for the tidy sum of $209.95. Now you can download it for free on almost any device. Go ahead. You know you want to.

Do you pine for the days of the Start button, Microsoft Paint, the iconic Solitaire, and Minesweeper? (What, really, was the point of that game? Can anybody tell me?)


Now, on the 23rd anniversary of its launch, you can download Windows 95 for free, to anything running Windows, macOS, or Linux. It's about 130MB in size, so not bad, and it takes up about 200MB of RAM when operating on a modern system. And it's listed as "Windows 95 V 1.0," which would indicate further releases are planned. (Note: There is already a fresh release that allows for—get this—floppy disk support, so now it's at V. 1.1.0). 


Image by Flickr user sintaxiseb.

There are a few things missing from this software-as-an-app release, including the classic Space Cadet Pinball, but most of the rest is intact. Note that you cannot access the Web from the classic original Internet Explorer included with this release, but that's OK. It's so rife with security holes, that's probably a good thing.

As Design Museum says, the original release sold seven million copies in five weeks. That's about $1.5 billion in revenue at full price. No wonder; Microsoft had allocated $300 million for marketing and advertising.

I find myself wishing I could go back to that time period and purchase stock in Microsoft and AOL. Ahhh... dreams.

It was all put together by one of Slack's developers Felix Rieseberg, based on multiple existing releases of the OS (including one that runs on an Apple Watch. Not quite sure why, exactly, you'd want to do that.) Get yours here: https://copy.sh/v86/

Challenge: For the full nostalgic experience, can you try your best to get the infamous Blue Screen of Death?


Windows 95 Blue Screen Of Death. (Image: Public domain)

Lastly, just in case you forgot, the launch of Windows 95 was accompanied by a live video of a collection of white men including Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer dancing, clapping, and pumping their fists excitedly to the discomfort of all who watched it then, and ever since. Bless their hearts: 

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