It’s getting easier and easier to indulge in computing nostalgia, with the latest opportunity coming courtesy of a new Windows 95 app.
The vintage OS can now be downloaded and booted in less than five minutes, thanks to being bundled into an 128MB Electron app by developer Felix Rieseberg.
While classic versions of Windows have been available in the browser for many years, the app allows users to run a Windows 95 machine locally and save its state.
The desktop is responsive and runs smoothly. There are limitations, networking doesn’t work and the default desktop software is fairly bare bones, although it includes old favorites such as Minesweeper, Solitaire and Paint among the Accessories.
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However, if you want to test out some ancient piece of software, the app now supports floppy disks, allowing users to mount them as .img disk images. One YouTuber has already got the game Doom 95 running relatively smoothly on the OS and there seems to be interest in using it to revive other old software, such as Microsoft Office 2003.
Work is also going on to fix the network stack and get Internet Explorer up and running on the system, as unsafe as that might be.
Emulators of old hardware are increasingly common online, including Windows 95, and Windows 98 — and these browser emulators should improve in performance as they are compiled to WebAssembly.
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