Microsoft Windows 95
The Windows 95 Boot screen (actually from the OSR-2 version, the original does
not have that stupid "Microsoft Internet Explorer" text.).
The Windows user interface has, once again, been
completely revamped. This time it actually makes some sense. Not much, but some.
There is also much more to Windows 95 than other versions, and is more than I
could possibly show with a few screen shots, but here are some highlights:
In Windows 95, the window controls, located in the upper
right of each window, have a new look. The system box now displays a small icon,
and a "close" button has been added. Dialog box controls such as check boxes,
option buttons, and text boxes all now have a 3D look to them.
The Program Manager has been replaced by an application called Windows Explorer.
The Windows desktop is no longer just for minimized
programs, it may now contain files and folders, as well as certain system icons.
The system icons, which are normally on the Windows 95 desktop are "My
Computer", "Network Neighborhood" (if networking is present) , and "Recycle Bin".
The briefcase is a special type of folder, and the other icons are just pointers
to other programs.
"Inbox" is a shortcut Microsoft Exchange (AKA Windows
Messaging), a Mail and Fax program.
"The Internet" is a shortcut to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Installation of
this application is mandatory unless you installed from the 14-disk floppy disk
"The Microsoft Network" or a shortcut to its setup is advertising for
Microsoft's own internet service.
"Online Services": Found in the SR-2 versions of Windows 95, this is advertising
for other on-line service providers.
Windows Explorer, by default, displays open folders as cascading windows.
Folders may be dragged and dropped on the desktop, in other folders, or program
The Recycle Bin is actually a special folder that stores
files until the user chooses to empty it.
The task bar at the bottom of the screen replaces the
minimized icons floating around on the desktop and puts them back in a
controlled area, like Windows Version 1.x.
The new "Start" menu can be annoying at times. If I want to play solitaire I
would click Start, then Programs, then Accessories, then Games, then Solitaire.
If I closed the application and wanted to re-open it, I would have to go through
the same thing again.
This is a step backwards from Program Manager which kept
the last accessed program group on top. Of course, an advanced user could create
a shortcut to the application on the desktop or add it to the top of the main
The Windows Explorer also includes the ability to display network resources as
folders. Sharing resources can be done through the Windows Explorer.
In previous versions of Windows, the user interface revolved around programs. A
user would start a program, work on a document, and then save it somewhere.
Windows 95 reverses this concept with the ability to create new documents in a
folder on the desktop and then open them. This results in a more
The Windows help system has also been changed significantly. The Windows Help
application is basically the same as the one in Windows 3.0, but the style of
help files created by Microsoft has changed. Now the help window will jump
around, resize, or even close when you click on buttons or hyper links. The idea
is that it conserves desktop space, letting the user read the help and use the
application at the same time. In practice, it makes users dizzy.
Windows 95 also comes with an optional dial-up networking application that
supports NetBeui, IPX and TCP/IP protocols over Point-to-Point-Protocol.
The CD-ROM versions of Windows 95 force you to install this application for no
reason. Microsoft Internet Explorer is ripped off from NCSA Mosaic.
The Windows 95 OSR-2 user interface and the original are
mostly the same. The main differences in OSR-2 are MS-DOS 7.10 with FAT 32,
bugfixes, Personal webserver, mandatory IE 3, OpenGL screen savers, "Imaging"
applications, and "Windows Messaging" in place of Exchange.