Microsoft Corporation is having an important anniversary today but the firm might want to reflect on where it would be in the next 20 years. Today marks the 20th year since the launch on the iconic Windows 95 OS on August 24, 1995. It was reported that the New York at referred to Windows 95 as “the splashiest, most frenzied, most expensive introduction of a computer product in the industry’s history.”
Windows 95 helped to set Microsoft on the path to the top in the tech space. Windows 95 was home to the iconic Start Menu, it birthed the multi-tasking toolbar, and it set the pace for GUI (graphical user interface). Windows 95 turned out to be a cash cow for Microsoft as the firm sold 7 million copies (in CD packs) for $210 per box – it sold 40 million units in the first year.
A trip down memory lane
Microsoft operating systems control a combined 70%+ of the global market share for PCs and the firm has done a great job in keeping its lead in the last 20 years. Below is quick recap of the OSes that Microsoft has released since after Windows 95 twenty years ago.
1995: Windows 95 was launched; it brought Microsoft to limelight as the firm changed the face of personal computing with PCs.
1998: Windows 98 was released; it went on to be the most popular OS from Microsoft for much of the 90’s. It brought out Internet Explorer to the PC market
2000: Windows 2000 was released for the enterprise market and business markets. The lesser known Windows ME, Millennium Edition OSes was released
2001: Windows XP, another iconic Windows OS made its debut. Windows XP made PC took PC use from being a North American affair to becoming a global affair
2001: Windows Vista was released; it failed to make a hit –largely because XP was awesone and because it wasn’t secure
2009: Many people are familiar with Windows 7, which remains popular even after six years of its launch. Windows 7 powers more than 50% of the global operating system for computers.
2012: Microsoft debuted Windows 8 on which it dared to remove the iconic “Start Menu”. Consumers didn’t take it lightly with the firm and Windows 8 still lags Windows 7 in market share.
2015: Microsoft took the industry by surprise when it stood from its slumber to debut Window 10. Windows 10 is already having rave reviews and great install numbers.
Can Windows 10 be iconic?
There’s no denying the fact that Microsoft has a potential winner in Windows 10. Windows 10 has erased the bitter aftertaste of Windows 8 as it holds several similarities with Windows 95.
For instance, it debuts a revamped Start Button, it has a new Edge Browser, its UI is game changing with Continuum Mode, and Universal Apps might be a hit. It is still too early to know if Windows 10 can do for Microsoft what Windows 95 did for the firm – time will tell and 20 years is not that far away.