Why I Still Love Windows 95

Wow. I just had a flashback and it had nothing to do with anything I consumed. I just checked in on my six-year-old son. I noticed that he had an old laptop of mine, circa 1996, in his room. And it had Windows 95 pre-installed. Say what you want about that old operating system, but it was a nice time for the age of Windows. Here’s why.

Remember a world without pop-up ads, endless spam, phishing, pharming and all the other nonsense that now plagues us — particularly Windows users?

Well, that’s the world I just saw in my son’s room. A standalone Dell laptop running Windows 95. And running it well, I might add. I actually reviewed that system for CMP’s Windows Magazine (which has long since died).

Of course, my son prefers a networked PC that offers Internet access. I could network the old Dell laptop to my Linksys switch. But that would be tempting fate. For now, he’s using it in standalone mode and keeping a small summer diary on it.

Perhaps I look back fondly on Windows 95 because I spent most of 1993 through 1995 covering the operating system’s development for InformationWeek. At the time, I considered Windows 95 — code-named “Chicago” — a short-term business distraction until Microsoft got its act together with Windows NT.

Here’s one of my old interviews with Bill Gates. I was 25 at the time, and assumed all GenX kids got to sit down with Bill for a chat about Windows…

Yes folks, I was a huge NT advocate in the mid-to-late 1990s. I thought little of Apple, Unix and Linux. These days, I’m running Mac OS X during my day job and typing this blog on my Ubuntu PC.

My how times have changed.

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