Microsoft launched Windows 95 on 24th August 1995, and 20 years later it is hard to quantify the impact that the new OS had.
The internet was in its infancy in terms of public awareness, and even the graphical interface of Windows 95 was revolutionary.
Even today, the roots of the many ways that we use a range of devices lead right back to that one piece of game-changing software.
Computers were still seen as office and work devices by the majority of the public in the mid-90s, and Windows 95 changed that by using simple yet iconic ideas such as the “start button.”
Built-in support for multimedia also meant that everyone could see how a computer in the home could benefit them, far beyond the usual workplace activities such as word processing and spreadsheet creation.
Bill Gates and Microsoft not only came up with the first truly consumer-friendly OS but also virtually invented the big tech launch event, making Microsoft an overnight household name.
Last century, the idea of SEO was extremely primitive because search engines themselves were only just getting off the ground.
Archie, Gopher, Veronica and Jughead would only be names familiar to a few select innovators and early adopters, whilst Windows 95 users hooked up to the net via a dial-up connection would know Magellan, AltaVista and Yahoo!
Fairly simple indexing systems were easy to exploit by clever use of content writing, but a small search engine company named goto.com adopted the idea of selling search terms in 1998 and went on to become one of the most profitable internet businesses.
Google’s humble beginnings soon led to dominance around 2000, ironically the year that Windows 95 stopped being supported by Microsoft.