15 years ago today, Microsoft launched Windows 95. In 1995 I was 11 years old and in the 5th grade. At that time, I never thought that today I’d be working at Microsoft – let alone helping to tell the story of Windows. So this is a really fun and personal topic for me to recall my memories of Windows 95 – today has been a neat day.
Windows 95 was the first operating system that I ever beta tested. My dad, who worked for a technology company at the time, brought home an unbranded package of disks labeled “Chicago” from Microsoft (“Chicago” was the codename for Windows 95) a few months prior. When he brought these disks home, I desperately wanted to see “the new Windows”. My dad tried to explain to me what beta software was. I didn’t care – I wanted to see the new Windows! Eventually he caved in to my excitement and decided to install the “new” version of Windows on our family’s (translation: my dad’s) HP Vectra PC. Windows 95 introduced the Start Menu in Windows for the first time and presented a different way of using Windows over previous versions. I had grown used to Windows 3.11 at the time. I was literally stunned with excitement when I saw all the “new” Windows. My dad and I share a common interest in Windows and the PC and this was what I consider the biggest defining moment in a bond with my dad that would continue to grow as I also grew older and with each new Windows release. I also still remember seeing the Windows 95 “Start Me Up” commercials on TV and all the news segments about the people lining up to pick up their copy in stores!
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