What Was Old Is New Again.

Windows ’95 is something special in a number of ways. For many software enthusiasts, it exists on a separate plane from modern Windows products and has achieved a level of instant recognition comparable to other instantly-recognizable product names such as “You Won’t Believe It’s Not Butter” or “Band-Aid”.

And for many more, it’s seen as a point of comparison used to distinguish and compare the new features of modern operating systems, especially newer Windows systems. In fact, many tech-savvy consumers see Windows ’95 as not only the standard but as a golden standard, and believe that modern Windows operating systems have taken steps to simplify the user experience that interrupts a consumer’s ability to learn the ins and outs of their machines – steps that have resulted in the addition of more systems that end up causing the operating system to run much more slowly or react more poorly to user modifications.

It’s worth noting that I’m not one of these people. I’m no tech whiz, but I do have a soft spot for the general aesthetic of Windows ’95 and the nostalgia it holds for me. Which is why this announcement is a pretty big deal – both for Windows ’95 purists and for those a little lower on the tech-savvy spectrum.

The app is available now via GitHub. Created by developer Felix Rieseberg, it projects the Windows ’95 operating system – with an install size of merely 129 MegaBytes – over the user’s operating system of choice. The app works wonderfully on all manner of home systems and performs just as fluidly on Windows 10 as it does on MacOS. I haven’t had the opportunity to test its functionality on Linux yet, but I’m told it does well there as well.

While running, the app reserves and occupies a constant 200MB of RAM – Once again, that’s very low by today’s standards. It reserves this RAM from the start meaning that it’ll be using the same amount while it’s doing nothing or while it’s doing everything; Just a little bit of insurance to make sure it doesn’t suddenly run your PC over its RAM limit and cause a problem.

While I haven’t been able to push this app to such an extreme where that RAM limitation becomes a negative element, I’d imagine those looking to push it that far will be able to find a way to modify how much it takes up. But for casual trips down memory lane, don’t worry about it – It’s not a concern.

I have encountered a few issues with the app as a whole, however. Nothing specific, just the occasional freeze or glitch-up while running certain bits of the software. These issues are infrequent enough to be ignorable, and the system’s tiny size makes it easy to restart when / if issues arise.

This app is not official, but it’s also 100% free. I’m no expert on Copyright laws, but I’m fairly certain Microsoft will look to remove it in the future if it grows to a certain level of popularity. In the meantime, however, it is up on Github, so nab it while you can if this holds even a slight interest to you. 129MB is a pretty low price to pay for nostalgia.

  • Nicole Rattigan

    What a throwback! I personally woulnd’t download it but it’s cool to see it making a ‘come back.’

  • Maya Asregadoo

    It’s strange to see such an old operating system being brought back for its “aesthetic” value.