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"Windows 95" is "the most important OS in history"-a look back on MS's veteran engineers

”Windows 95” was officially released on August 25, 25 years ago in the United States. To commemorate that, Rico Mariani, a former Microsoft engineer, elaborates on the operating system in the context of its historical background, and even though Windows 95 wasn't the best operating system Microsoft could offer at the time, I explained why it was the most important OS in the world.

Mr. Mariani has been involved with "Microsoft Edge" installed in "Windows 10", before that "Internet Explorer" and "Sidewalk", a city information guide that Microsoft was working on in the 1990s. He left the company for nearly 30 years in 2017 and is now working as a software engineer on Facebook.

In a nostalgic article posted on Medium, Mariani said that Windows 95 was a very good OS at the time and described it as "the most important OS in history." That's a legitimate argument, considering that more than 20 years have passed since the advent of "UNIX," and 10 years have passed since the advent of Apple's "Mac OS," based on UNIX.

According to Mariani, Windows 95 was a rough diamond that brought exactly what the computer industry needed, given the hardware and software constraints of the day.

Mariani, who said that the OS played a role of "a lifeboat that could be used for several years and had the ability to safely transport the industry to a new world", said Intel's microprocessor in the 1970s However, the new world is a place where there is a reasonable hardware / software architecture that escaped the world of "Windows 3.1" based on "the inflexible architecture of 16-bit segment pushed by 8086" I explained that.

In Windows 3.1, he said, "Most of the most important software ran in the shared address space without memory protection. Even critical software, such as essential printer and disk drivers, was in that mode. It was running in "real mode" of 8086."

"The most important GUI application was also running in the same 16-bit mode shared memory space by a scheduling method called cooperative multitasking. Therefore, any application could easily bring down the entire system, It often went down, and debugging in such a world was a difficult task that required miracles."

The PC industry at that time was said to be in an "unreasonable situation", even though Microsoft recorded tens of millions of sales of Apple's "Mac" products in 1995.

Interestingly, according to Mariani, Windows 95 is not the best operating system Microsoft could have released at the time. But that's not because the company's engineers wanted to bring poor quality products to market.

“This [Windows 95] is not the best OS that Microsoft at that time knew how to build, or the build capacity that the company had at that time,'' he said.

”I actually have evidence. For example,Windows NT]and think about other operating systems of the same period. "Is Microsoft doing all it can to develop [Windows 95]?" I think it was easier to find a cleaner solution than Windows 95. But those solutions didn't see the light of day." [Mariani]

Rather, the limitation imposed on Windows 95 was that it had to support existing Windows 3.1 applications while maintaining compatibility with legacy drivers and "DOS" applications.

▽ Microsoft needed to create a platform that could run Win32 applications compatible with Windows NT. According to Mariani, Windows 95 was a technology lifeboat that connects these worlds.

Mariani said, "Windows 95 was a huge success for this purpose. There were a large number of compromises, special cases, and first aid measures, but nonetheless, they served their intended purpose. Over a million on the first day, and the first. About 40 million were sold in a year."

By: Microsoft

By: Microsoft

This article is from overseas CBS InteractivearticleIs edited by Asahi Interactive for Japan.


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