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Twenty-five years ago today: Microsoft launched Windows 95

On August 24, 1995, Microsoft held what's likely to go down in history as its biggest Windows launch in history with Windows 95.
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Written by Mary Jo Foley, Contributor on
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Credit: Stephen Chapman, BetaCollector.com

During a year when every day feels like Monday, the passage of time is harder than usual to calculate (at least for me). But today is a milestone worth marking: On August 24, 1995, Microsoft officially launched Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 1.0.

Since that launch, the company has rolled out a number of additional Windows iterations, though none of them anywhere near as grandly (and like, as costly) as Windows 95. 

I've previously written a couple of commemorative posts about the Windows 95 launch. In 2010, I remembered being part of the Windows 95 launch audience on the grounds of the Microsoft Redmond campus. In 2015, I looked back at how the Windows franchise had changed since the Windows 95 launch

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Credit: Stephen Chapman, BetaCollector.com

Right now, massively orchestrated in-person launches like the Windows 95 one are nearly unfathomable. Even the period leading up to the launch of a new Windows release has changed so completely over the past 25 years that it's hard for many to remember -- or even believe -- that many testers installed Windows 95 test builds weekly from loads of diskettes in order to have a chance to test the new features ahead of time. 

Will there ever be another launch like the Windows 95 one? Highly unlikely, I'd say, given Microsoft's focus on the cloud and the way new Windows releases have become little more than blips on the Redmond radar screen.

If you want to reminisce via some fun Windows 95 memorabilia, check out Stephen Chapman's BetaCollector.com blog for everything from Windows 95 beer, to beta tester letters and launch programs. 

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