Windows 95 OSR2 turns 25

What’s remarkable about the update?

It took the OS to a new level, so that Windows 92 OSR2 can be considered a completely modern operating system, of course, with certain assumptions.

Hardware part

Probably one of the most important innovations in Windows 95 OSR2 (“B” version) is the 32-bit FAT32 file system. It gave the user the ability to work with huge disks – up to 8 GB. Before that, it was possible to work with disks up to 2 GB in size.

The update fixed a huge number of bugs, of which, of course, there were many in the fresh operating system. Even more enjoyable for users was the addition of a huge number of drivers for a wide variety of devices, including even support for the Infrared Communication Driver 2.0 port. At that time, not so many users needed it, but it was still important.

By the way, it was in Windows 95 that such a powerful tool as the Add New Hardware Wizard appeared. Users often had to install new devices and it was not an easy task. In order to make life easier for the user, Microsoft has developed a “hardware wizard”. In OSR2, the wizard has been optimized.

Before the release of the Windows 95 update, when working with this OS, there were errors among PC owners with ATX motherboards that were new at that time. OSR2 has fixed the vast majority of incompatibility issues.

Networking

And the OS also added support for modems with combined data and voice transmission – this was also important for that time.

But at the same time, other network functions have been improved, some of which have been added. The latter include support for network management applications using the Desktop Management Interface 1.1 specification and work with Novell NetWare 4.x.

And it was in OSR2 that the company introduced the Internet Explorer 3.0 browser, which made it possible to surf the still not very large Internet without any problems and worries. The browser quickly gained popularity among users – if only because there were almost no alternatives to it. For those who had the ability to connect to the global network, an e-mail program and a news viewing system were added to the distribution kit. These were Microsoft Internet Mail and Microsoft Internet News, respectively.

And, of course, we must not forget the relatively progressive Microsoft NetMeeting, a program that made it possible to organize electronic conferences, communicate with users over the network, etc. NetMeeting users, if necessary, could even work on the network with video files – this is, of course, not about editing, but about file sharing and viewing.

Multimedia

Windows 95 OSR2 is a treasure for any user who needs to work with media files. Several elements have appeared in the OS, which are basic even now, in 2021.

The developers added a set of DirectX drivers, which was mainly intended to ensure the normal operation of games created with the Microsoft Game SDK. Among such games is Final Doom. The main components of DirectX are DirectDraw, which provides direct access to video equipment, DirectInput, which provides support for joysticks, DirectPlay, which provides network capabilities, and DirectSound for working with audio devices.

For the first time, support for OpenGL was introduced, which until Windows 95 was only available on Windows NT. Well, then OpenGL was added to operating systems for ordinary users.

Change of screen parameters in “hot” mode. The point is that before Windows 95, users had to restart their PC after changing the screen resolution or other settings. After OSR2, this need disappeared, a reboot was no longer required.

Long-lived system

Despite the fact that soon after the appearance of Windows 95, the next OS was released – Windows 98, the previous version worked on users’ PCs and laptops for a very long time. So,

according to

analytical agency International Data Corporation, in 2001, Windows 95 occupied 57.4% of the desktop OS market. Windows 98 gained only 17.2% of the market over the same period.

According to MicrosoftBy the end of 2002, 73% of corporate PCs were running Windows 95, 98, or Windows NT Workstation 2.

What about modern use of Windows 95?

Perhaps this OS controls the operation of some specific equipment in enterprises. In general, Windows 95 was discontinued many years ago. Now it serves as an entertainment of the kind “let’s make a trolleybus out of bread.”

So, Windows 95 was installed on the Nintendo DS.

They managed to run this OS on the Apple Watch. True, it took the system an hour to boot, despite the fact that the characteristics of even the first generation of Apple smartwatches significantly exceed the minimum OS requirements.

Windows 95 was also installed inside Minecraft, after which Doom was installed in the environment of this OS, and it is quite playable.

In addition, this operating system was able to be delivered to the PSP – and back in 2013. It was, in fact, emulation via DosBox. At the same time, the sound did not work, but most of the other functions did work.

In general, experiments with Windows 95 continue, they try to install it on the most exotic hardware. I am glad that this OS is not forgotten by enthusiasts.

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