As we get closer to the release of Microsoft's latest touch-orientated OS, Windows 8, we celebrate a milestone in Microsoft's history. The company's first graphical user interface (GUI) powered version of their OS, Windows 95, turns 17 today!
Windows 95 ushered in a completely dominant lifestyle for Microsoft, with its powerful GUI, much-improved "plug and play" system that helped hardware installations and reduced conflicts, as well as moving from a 16-bit architecture , to a 32-bit architecture which bought with it a multitasking-friendly architecture.
Windows 95 pushed Microsoft into an antitrust case in 1998, where a later revision of the OS included Internet Explorer 4.0, which plaintiffs claimed gave Microsoft a monopoly in the browser market. Competitors such as Netscape Navigator and Opera required a download, over slow dial-up connections, or purchased in store, compared to IE which came included with the OS.
Windows 95 was supported by Microsoft until December 31, 2001.