Windows 95

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Windows 95

(operating system)
(Win95) Microsoft's successor to their Windows 3.11 operating system for IBM PCs. It was known as "Chicago" during development. Its release was originally scheduled for late 1994 but eventually happened on 11 Jul 1995, followed by Service Release 1 on 1995-12-31 and OSR2 (OEM Service Release 2) on 1996-08-24.

In contrast to earlier versions, Windows 95 is a complete operating system rather than a graphical user interface running on top of MS-DOS.

It provides 32-bit application support, pre-emptive multitasking, threading and built-in networking (TCP/IP, IPX, SLIP, PPP, and Windows Sockets). It includes MS-DOS 7.0, but takes over completely after booting. The graphical user interface, while similar to previous Windows versions, is significantly improved.

Windows 95 has also been described as "32-bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16-bit patch to an 8-bit operating system originally coded for a 4-bit microprocessor, written by a 2-bit company that can't stand 1-bit of competition".

The successor to Windows 95 was Windows 98.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

Windows 95

The first 32-bit Windows operating system and a major upgrade to Windows 3.1. Introduced in August 1995, it added a completely redesigned user interface featuring the Start menu and Taskbar. The Windows 3.1 interface (Program Manager and File Manager) was also included as an option. Windows 95 became popular very quickly.

Major Improvements
Windows 95 improved networking and added long file names and Plug and Play, the latter a welcome relief for users. Memory limitations, plaguing users in Windows 3.1, were greatly diminished. Windows 95 also included preemptive multitasking, which allowed programs to be timeshared together more effectively than in Windows 3.1.

No More Booting DOS First
Windows 95 was the first Windows that booted directly. Previously, Windows 3.1 was loaded after the machine booted into DOS. In Windows 95, DOS was built in. See Windows, Win95B and Win 9x/3.1 Differences.
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