×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bill Gates: Windows 95 Was 'A High Point'

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the almost-as-good-as-3.1 dept.

Windows 769

BobJacobsen writes "CBSnews.com has an article about Bill Gates and Steve Balmer answering questions at the 'All Things Digital' conference. When asked about 'high points' in his time at Microsoft, Gates replied 'Windows 95 was a nice milestone.' The article continues 'He also spoke highly of Microsoft SharePoint Server software, but didn't mention Vista.' Was there really nothing else that Gates considered a high point?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

769 comments

A crack-high moment. (5, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579257)

Seriously tho' - take a look [cbsnews.com] at the photo of Bill & Steve answering questions - have you ever seen such defensive body language? I almost felt sorry for them - but then I remembered they were responsible for Windows 95.

Re:A crack-high moment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579315)

No kidding. Windows 95 wasn't an operating system. It was a crime against humanity.

Re:A crack-high moment. (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579403)

It was way better than 3.1..

Re:A crack-high moment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579575)

But not as good as Bob!

Re:A crack-high moment. (2, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579599)

It was way better than 3.1..

The advantages (pentium support, better 32 bit support) were outweighed by its stability problems.

Re:A crack-high moment. (4, Interesting)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579709)

Exactly. 95 truly conquered the *world*. The OS of mass destruction.

Really, no one needs to feel sorry for Bill or Steve. They are on top of the world, and they have nothing to be defensive about.

They'll do their job and promote their latest mediocre products. But who cares, we'll end up with Vista anyway when we buy the latest Sony or Dell, and sure enough a couple hundred dollars flies from our pocket to theirs. Don't you think they know that?

Year after year, all of their innovations *flop*. Yet Office and Windows keep raking in billions, and they just don't know what to do with the money anymore. Give Bill credit for giving back.

Re:A crack-high moment. (4, Insightful)

rhombic (140326) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579485)

I'm definitely not a windows fanboy (Mac at home & work, had to push at work to get a mac in an XP shop). But windows 95 was not bad at all. In many ways more functional & easier to get stuff done that MacOS at the time. Did you install linux back in 95? Because I remember all sorts of fun in getting Slackware to fire on my Gateway. Compared to a modern linux or OSX, it's a dog. But in the day it wasn't that bad. I'd even go along with calling it a high point (especially when followed by ME)

Very defensive about Vista. (4, Interesting)

Odder (1288958) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579349)

Ballmer tried to counter Vista's reputation as a mistake and failure. CBS did not miss this.


Both Gates and Ballmer were asked about the success, or lack thereof, of Windows Vista, with Walt Mossberg asking if Vista was a failure or a mistake.

"It's not a failure and not a mistake," responded Ballmer. "With 20/20 hindsight, there are things we would do differently." Ballmer said Vista has sold 150 million units so far, but he did say that business customers will be able to request a "downgrade" to Windows XP after the company stops selling XP in June - obviously a response to the fact that many customers prefer XP to Vista.

The Register has an article [theregister.co.uk] that focuses on this and what it means.

I agree with Gates, Win95 was as good as Windows got. No, I'm not Bill Gate's sockpupet. Their vision of a unified desktop and web browser has been better implemented by KDE since. XP's copy protection and Vista's digital restrictions were tremendous mistakes. The seeds of M$'s demise were expressed early on [blinkenlights.com].

Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in hobby software.

Free software has done all of these things better than non free software.

Re:Very defensive about Vista. (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579529)

Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in hobby software.


Perhaps Mr. Gates should look to such people such as Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Ian Murdock, Larry Wall, etc.

Re:Very defensive about Vista. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579619)

Well let me correct your sig, open source-style. It's THAN, not THEN.

Ah, I remember Windows XP (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579531)

Ah, I remember way back when Windows XP was released, all the Lunix zealots tried to paint that as a failure, too.

Kind of ironic how they are now putting it forth as the greatest operating system ever created. But intellectual consistency isn't really that important among the Stallmanistas.

I predict that when the next desktop version of Windows is released, all the Lunix Zealots will be whinging about how terrible it is compared to Vista, and how Vista was the Greatest OS EVAR.

Re:Ah, I remember Windows XP (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579615)

Ah, I remember way back when Windows XP was released, all the Lunix zealots tried to paint that as a failure, too.


Compared to Windows 2K XP was a failure from the user's standpoint. Though, the upgrade path was from ME to XP for the home users making XP much, much, much better. But for those of use on Windows 2K, XP was just extra bloat. XP also suffered from major security holes, I can't remember how much spyware I remember taking off of people's computers before Service Pack 2 introduced the concept of basic security. Windows 2K also didn't suffer from WGA or other DRM nonsense.

I predict that when the next desktop version of Windows is released, all the Lunix Zealots will be whinging about how terrible it is compared to Vista, and how Vista was the Greatest OS EVAR.


Actually, I don't think that will be the case. I think that MS has learned the lesson that DRM-laden OSes will not sell and remove the DRM and bloat from Windows 7, if it goes according to their plans (which I honestly doubt it will....) it may be a decent OS. But if it is inferior to free products (such as Linux) of course those using it are going to complain.

Odd and Odder (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579591)

you sound exactly like twitter the epic fail troll.

ah, sockpuppet [slashdot.org]. Never mind.

Re:Very defensive about Vista. (2, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579665)

Win95 was as good as Windows got.
Yep. A graphical shell running on top of DOS that didn't multi-task properly and invariably killed your computer, given enough time. What a POC it was.

Re:Very defensive about Vista. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579685)

Great! Another ass hat spelling Microsoft as M$. What are you? A Greenpeace member? Do you still live in the 90's? That got old about 10 years ago just in case you hadn't noticed.

Re:Very defensive about Vista. (4, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579737)

Free software has done all of these things better than non free software.

I'm not going to go into the rest of your fabrications, infantile creative spelling and links to - wait for it - El Reg that you think somehow validate your opinion, but even if they're being deliberately obtuse about the above, there's a good point to be made about your claim.

In the beginning, FLOSS was nothing more than a hobbyist movement. It continued to be that for a long time, until corporations like IBM got into the game, and for-profit corporations like RedHat and MySQL AB and others were created around what used to be loosely related FLOSS projects.

This involvement has allowed the end to end quality of FLOSS to skyrocket in the past few years, in the sense that it went from "here's a tarball, run make install on it, perform the specified incantations, pray to Chtuhlu and you're all set" to actually mainstream, usable tools. It's that involvement that not only has employed people who otherwise would be hobby developers as well-paid professionals, but has created an entire ecosystem in which these efforts can be carried out by more and more people.

That doesn't mean that your usual "FLOSS uber alles" claim is valid in any sense, because "non free" (what the hell is that, BTW. As in "non tasty"?) software has also improved and evolved enormously in the past three decades. Some of that has come from "M$", and some hasn't. There's a lot of extremely good commercial software out there about which you have been evidently living in complete ignorance of for about as long as the same three decades I mentioned.

This is maybe similar to the mason guilds of the middle ages, who improved their collective lot by organizing themselves into sponsored groups working on well-defined and focused projects, which in turn served to lay the ground rules for formalized architecture and civil engineering.

No, I'm not Bill Gate's sockpupet.

twitter, that would be funny if it wasn't so damn dishonest. How many accounts are we at now? 12? Maybe your nemesis [slashdot.org] can jump in here and give us the full list again, and then you can insult him as usual.

Re:Very defensive about Vista. (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579791)

In the beginning, FLOSS was nothing more than a hobbyist movement. It continued to be that for a long time, until corporations like IBM got into the game
You seem to be using "hobbyist" pejoratively, but it must have been worth a lot more than your "just" implies for IBM to have decided to get into the game...

Re:Very defensive about Vista. (1, Flamebait)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579785)

I agree with Gates, Win95 was as good as Windows got.

What a load of crap. I absolutely detest working on Windoze, and ME was a poorly repackaged disaster, XP still has issues and the Vista fiasco has been well documented.

That said, 98 was better than Win95.

Re:A crack-high moment. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579721)

Well, if you are not Warren Buffett or Carlos Slim Helu, I MUST feel sorry for you!
Pathetic whining *nix users can say anything they want, but MS still holds 90% of the OS market. And Bill Gates lost 35 Billion personal wealth, but still has a PERSONAL estate more than 50 Billion worth.
So, in the end, the guy that flies private jets, and gets the RSVPs from Hugh Hefner to go hang out in Playboy Mansion is him, not you.
So, go back to your momma's basement and keep playing your WoW, my friend...

How about.. (0, Flamebait)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579291)

His big fat pay cheques and becomming one of the wealthiest men in the world? That's not a highpoint?

Re:How about.. (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579385)

He has so much money that the amount of money he has is no longer relevant to him. He is much more interested in how successful his efforts are.

Re:How about.. (1)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579433)

What you're hinting at is "how Bill made history" or infamy depending how you see it.

Re:How about.. (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579677)

Actually, I would say that hiring Steve Balmer was the greatest thing that happened to Bill, since, next to Balmer, Steve looks like an absolute saint. Because of this, he probably won't go down in history as a complete asshole, Steve will take most of the blame.

Re:How about.. (4, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579401)

It may not be, its generally only people who dislike their jobs that consider their paycheck a high-point.

If someone likes there job, the completion of the task is the high-point, the money is a benifit, and when the income gets to a certain point, especially in cases such as Bill Gates, the money becomes self-sufficient, and therefore completely arbitrary, and taken for granted, like breathing air, its only when you dont have it that it becomes precious.

Re:How about.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579781)

If someone likes their job...

Re:How about.. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579487)

His big fat pay cheques and becomming one of the wealthiest men in the world? That's not a highpoint?

I couldn't agree more. I remember my problems with Widnows 95. I had a hard drive die. To reinstall it, I had to install DOS3.21, Windows 3.1, and then the Windows 95 upgrade. Bill Gates at that time had my money. It was the time I decided to no longer do any upgrade on an upgrade.

Fastforward to today. Vista is out. With Signed Drivers, WGA, etc.. I upgraded from Breezy Badger to Gutsy Gibbon, to Hardy Heron. My dad bought a Mac. The Vista release is nothing like the Windows 95 release.

To make matters worse, Most people here know what OS I am talking about in my upgrade without even mentioning it. In the Windows 95 days, most people knew of nothing in operating systems but Microsoft software or Apple Software.

Re:How about.. (2, Insightful)

antirelic (1030688) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579557)

Microsofts ability to become a defacto monopoly by utilizing some pretty heavy handed tactics... AND get a settlement in court that actually improved its market share. Now THAT is a high point. Most companies that end up in court as a monopoly end up getting cut up into smaller companies, but not Microsoft. Nope. They actually were able to write parts of their settlement. They "gave away" software... as part of the "monetary" settlement. Which shows that not only did M$ master the market economy, but the judicial system as well (creating customers for life via lock ins). Did I mention that after a certain period of time those "customers" had to start paying to continue to use the software???

That explains it. (3, Funny)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579297)

Bill Gates: Windows 95 Was 'A High Point'

They were high when they developed it?

That would explain Windows ME.

Re:That explains it. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579363)

I am fairly certain that does explain ME,

what I really want to know though is what they were smoking for Vista. Now that must have been some good shite.

Heh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579319)

It was about then that Bill Gates found photocopying machines and began to rip off Mac OS.

2k? (5, Insightful)

sunami (751539) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579335)

How about Windows 2000? I still use it and have no real issues with it, unlike when I've used XP.

Re:2k? (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579605)

How has this post been modded Offtopic? All he did was say Windows 2000 is a high point.

Re:2k? (4, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579701)

How has this post been modded Offtopic? All he did was say Windows 2000 is a high point.

I think it's due to the degree of cognitive dissonance involved in the idea that the same company that made Windows 2000 made Windows 95.

Its probably more personal for him (4, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579355)

The time that Windows 95 came out was probably the transition from him being somewhat known outside of the computer industry, to being really well known (It was the time during which he bacame richest person). So he probably felt that he had a lot more baggage to carry after that and perhaps it wasn't as fun.

Re:Its probably more personal for him (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579667)

He already had the Office suite monopoly going for him long before the Win95 monopoly began. To be fair, though, the Office suite was pretty, err, sweet back in the day--especially the early stuff for Mac OS. I remember the day I shut down Lotus 1-2-3 for good and invested a good, what would be approximately a 20-year exercise in MS Excel. Too bad PowerPoint has always sucked big ones, and Word has grown from excellent to barely usable over the years.

Not a fan boi... (4, Insightful)

lordsid (629982) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579361)

I am not a fan boi (IANAFB), but I would say Windows 2000 is Microsoft's best operating system. I know there are those who would disagree, but the reason I say this is:

-Win2k was an improved no non-sense version of WinNT 4.0
-No special "genuine" advantage program
-No DRM
-It has all the features of XP, but none of the "rest power from the user" sludge

but alas I no longer use Microsofts products. I now work in place that has all macs (not a fan boi there either) and recently converted my household to Ubuntu with no side effects.

A favorite quote of mine that I don't know the author of:
"It was easier for Apple to make Linux user friendly than it was for them to fix Windows"

Re:Not a fan boi... (3, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579437)

"It was easier for Apple to make Linux user friendly than it was for them to fix Windows"


Actually, I believe the quote would have been it was easier for Apple to make UNIX user friendly, because OS X is mostly BSD with a nice GUI and although Linux is very similar to BSD (and other UNIX variants) OS X doesn't run Linux it runs BSD.

Re:Not a fan boi... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579579)

2k was when Windows matured.

Before 2k, you had to choose. Either you had a solid OS with a reliable foundation, but couldn't run a lot of software that wasn't written 100% to specs. Or you could have an OS that runs everything you throw at it, but barfs from now to then, not to mention the security issues.

2k managed to unify that. If anything, I'd be really proud of 2k if I was Ballmer&Gates.

Re:Not a fan boi... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579681)

Just curious, what's with the recent spate of "I work in a place with all Macs". Are they really sinking their teeth in that successfully, or is there some strange slashdot causation/correlation thing going on?

I'd've said 98se, if I were going that route... (4, Insightful)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579367)

But if I were being absolutely honest, I'd probably say that XP was a high point--possibly the high point for Microsoft. In many ways, it doesn't suck quite as much as its predecessors. A lot of people and a lot of companies like it.

Bill Gates can't say that, though, because Vista's biggest competitor right now is Windows XP...

Re:I'd've said 98se, if I were going that route... (2, Funny)

Nossie (753694) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579543)

I agree....

XP SP1 or SP2 was a good solid OS

Actually so was Win 98SE

Just proves MS cant do anything right first time

Re:I'd've said 98se, if I were going that route... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579699)

A lot of people and a lot of companies like it. /quote> It's hard to find somebody who actually "likes" WinXP (more like tolerates it) and companies only like it because it makes them money (nothing wrong with that, btw).

Re:I'd've said 98se, if I were going that route... (1)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579757)

Concur with your sentiment, Win98SE was Win95 done right finally. I remember keeping that dual booted with XP for a long time after XP came out.


But in Vista's (sort of) defense I'm typing this post on it as we speak. While it does crash nearly every game I've ever run on it everything else runs decently, Office 2007 and Visual Studio 2008 in particular are a dream to use. Microsoft needs to go to the drawing board though for their next version of Windows and think about how to better balance security with ease of use (and not make every game crash dammit!)


2007 was the year of Linux (0, Offtopic)

jebblue (1160883) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579383)

Ubuntu, or Fedora, or RedHat, or choose. Good times ahead. // This is my opinion.

It WAS a high point (5, Insightful)

Trenchbroom (1080559) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579387)

As much as it pains me to admit it, Windows 95 was a big moment in PC history. The death (slowly) of DOS, plug and play, functional networking, Direct X, gateway to 32-bit computing--all were huge at the time. Yes, OS/2 was as good or better, yes, Mac OS was still better in 1995, and yes, BeOS was soon to show everyone up. But for the needs of the many (and the needs of a world who would soon crave the Internet and 3D gaming) Windows 95 was huge: warts, blue screens and all.

Re:It WAS a high point (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579569)

Yes, and it represents Microsoft at its high point. All the world (figuratively speaking) was happy to get windows 95, it was such a clear advance over windows 3.11. It was a job (relatively) well done. Investors were happy. Customers were happy. It was the product that would push them into the clear winner position in the PC market (and by PC in this case I include Mac, since they drastically lost market share afterwards).

Then anti-trust investigations started up. Windows 98 was an incremental update that had to be dumped for windows NT. Security issues started to matter. This open source stuff became a threat. Now everyone is trying to knock them off the mountain. And may very well succeed.

Re:It WAS a high point (3, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579727)

I include Mac, since they drastically lost market share afterwards
Simply not true. Macs 'enjoyed' roughly the same market share (around 5%) from the early 90s all the way until their recent increases (no doubt due to the same reasons they never were mainstream in the 90s...Intel architecture).

Re:It WAS a high point (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579783)

Yeah, I remember people standing in line to buy it, and no one really complained about it until Win98se came out (Vista=XP=2000>NT4>98se>ME>95>98>3.1)

95 wasn't so bad.... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579389)

Windows 95 actually wasn't that bad. If you ignore all the random BSODs, it was a decently advanced OS for the time. Though just about everyone knew that Macs were better, it offered a cheap, easy-to-learn GUI for DOS that could run older Windows applications. And other then OS/2 (which really wasn't much different then Windows...) and a few obscure variants of UNIX (remember, this was before Linux could be installed without being a technology wizard) you didn't have much choice if you had an Intel computer other then to use '95 and honestly, compared to recent failures, '95 wasn't so bad....

leaps and bounds... (5, Insightful)

Alonzo Meatman (1051308) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579395)

Anybody who doubts the veracity of this claim obviously isn't old enough to remember Windows 3.1.

Re:leaps and bounds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579535)

Anybody who doubts the veracity of this claim obviously isn't old enough to remember Windows 3.1.
> Shudder <

Other Omissions (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579399)

>but didn't mention Vista

Curious, but he didn't mention "Bob" either. I would have thought meeting, romancing, and marrying Melinda would rate a mention as well. Might make for a rough night in the Gates household over that.

At least they had fans (4, Interesting)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579407)

Well, I don't feel like deciphering the exact context of the assertion (by reading TFA of course), but in a way, yeah, 95 was a high point. I remember all the excitement people had when 95 was about to come out. Long lines, news reporters hyping it up. When, since then, has a new Windows release generated so much genuine excitement? They were rock stars back then.

Now a Windows release is greeted with a 'thanks, but no thanks'. Yeah, I'd look back with longing at '95 too if I were them.

Re:At least they had fans (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579611)

Actually, a Windows release is greeted differently between home users and companies.

Home users usually shrug their shoulders with a "meh. I'll buy it with my next PC".

Companies usually greet it with a sigh and a "great. What breaks this time?"

High Point? (-1, Redundant)

dunezone (899268) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579409)

Windows 95? That thing? The best "OS" from Microsoft is Windows XP(SP2), thats the milestone in the "OS" area.

As for the best product to come out of Microsoft it would be the Office package.

Re:High Point? (2, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579545)

Windows XP is/was nice... but it wasnt really an exciting achievement, I mean it could be said that XP is just an advanced Windows 95...

Whereas Windows 95, was a HUGE step over DOS and Windows 3.x

The first time you drive a Ferrari, its exciting as hell, the second Ferrari you drive is nice, but not quite as exciting. You'd need to climb into an F1 to get that thrill back, and... Microsoft really hasnt done that since 95...

Re:High Point? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579751)

Windows XP is/was nice... but it wasnt really an exciting achievement, I mean it could be said that XP is just an advanced Windows 95...
Actually, I'd say WinXP is what Win95 should have been. Too bad it took them so long to get it (almost) right. WinXP is especially triumphant if you consider it is bogged down with legacy restrictions at nearly every aspect of the OS.

Wow! Breaking news! Stop the presses! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579415)

OMG! Bill Gates is proud of Windows 95! Why, that must mean that he's terribly ashamed of everything else Microsoft has ever done!

Get a grip. Sometimes the anti-Microsoft drivel at Slashdot is a little difficult to swallow.

The sad thing is that there is a company, Apple, which is horribly evil, which is evil in a way Microsoft only wishes it could be, yet it gets away with it and is universally adored by Slashdotters because it's cute.

Re:Wow! Breaking news! Stop the presses! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579761)

The sad thing is that there is a company, Apple, which is horribly evil, which is evil in a way Microsoft only wishes it could be, yet it gets away with it and is universally adored by Slashdotters because it's cute.
...adored by many Slashdotters because it works well. WTF does the word cute have to do with computing?

My ideas on their milestones (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579423)

Windows 95 was freaking advanced. Sure, yes, not compared to the awesome *nix but in the Windows world it was a HUGE step forward. It also laid the groundwork of the awesome delivery of XP.

Windows 2000 was an overly of 98 on NT. I loved it.

XP was simply an updated version of Windows 2000 with a greater hardware support.

Vista is a mess, but it's getting better. I'm not happy with Vista nor do I recommend it.

The next version of Windows will be a big turning point. I would like to see Microsoft cut some of the 'cords' of the old OS and backward compaitibility.

In reality, they can push the Windows API into a new direction. Have TWO versions of Windows.

Windows World - Windows with all the compatible stuff to make it run yesteryear software.
Windows Beyond - Windows, smaller, faster, lighter with NO legacy support.

There you go. Much like an SUV and a sports car. Both nice and can easily merge into the market as needed.

D~y

Re:My ideas on their milestones (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579465)

In reality, they can push the Windows API into a new direction. Have TWO versions of Windows. Windows World - Windows with all the compatible stuff to make it run yesteryear software. Windows Beyond - Windows, smaller, faster, lighter with NO legacy support. There you go. Much like an SUV and a sports car. Both nice and can easily merge into the market as needed.


A more sane method though, would be to develop a compatibility layer between the old API and new API. For example, if a program was specified to run in the new API it would, otherwise it would run in the old API. However, everything would be coded in the new API but just have a compatibility layer much as how WINE lets you run Windows programs on Linux.

Considering what came before it... (5, Interesting)

kungfoolery (1022787) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579451)

...ya gotta admit, Windows95 was a huge improvemnt. WFW was really nothing more than a crappy shell plastered on top of a not so great OS. With Win95, it seems MS really came up with something much more modern and different (please note, I'm comparing Windows to earlier iterations of itself, not Mac, Unix, or anything else). It finally implemented a TCP/IP stack, Explorer (for better or worse), 32-bit filesystem, and a workable interface. The stupid start button was still eons behind what Apple had (and still has), but it was a huge leap from WFW.

Re:Considering what came before it... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579645)

Oh, you could without problem compare Win95 to other graphic OSs of the time, it doesn't have to hide too much. Gnome and KDE were a year away, X wasn't that much to speak of, and Macs ... ok, granted. But Win95 was a leap ahead for the Windows world.

Windows 2K mostly worked (4, Interesting)

friskyfeline (1053432) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579463)

I always remember Windows NT4 transitioning into Windows 2K. This was the first time I felt like a version of Windows actually worked. I only had to reinstall it once a year to clean up the crud. It most of the time shut down when I asked it to. It for the most part let me run my programs without blue screening. I think others would agree with me it was a high point Windows 2K. I would also bet a lot of people are still using it over XP.

win 95 (4, Insightful)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579479)

while windows 95 was freaken terrible, it did introduce the windows interface that is still in use today (start button, taskbar, desktop) the interface in vista might be shinier, but the functionality is still about the same.

While everything up to 3.11 was just a fancy shell for DOS, windows 95 was (almost) a real OS. (mainly because you didn't have to type 'win' in a DOS prompt after start-up, it loaded on its own, like magic)

While 2000 and XP were huge steps forward, from a general users perspective, they weren't much different than 95. the start menu is in the same place, the taskbar is the same. the clock and system fonts are all the same.

as far as visuals and GUI design are concerned, win95 was a highpoint, and they haven't really moved beyond that.
as far as stability is concerend, windows 2000 was the highpoint. when one program crashed, the rest of my system didn't crash with it! amazing!

Re:win 95 (3, Insightful)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579659)

Yeah. Huge innovation in GUI design. Apple had a bar at the top for years, and a trash can. Microsoft put a bar at the bottom, and a recycle bin. I'll be modded down for this, I know, but to me, Windows 95 marked the beginning (or maybe a little later than the beginning) of a long tradition of copying Mac OS. Poorly.

Re:win 95 (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579669)

While everything up to 3.11 was just a fancy shell for DOS, windows 95 was (almost) a real OS. (mainly because you didn't have to type 'win' in a DOS prompt after start-up, it loaded on its own, like magic)


I don't know if this is an odd experience or not but on a used laptop that has Windows 3.1 on it, I never have had to type Win to start Windows it always started by itself, however it being a used laptop and me not messing with it much, I don't know if they added a script to type in "win" every time it booted up.

What? (2, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579489)

Has Bill already forgotten about the Softcard [apple2info.net]. That was a pretty good product from when Microsoft was in their prime.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579491)

I thought MS-DOS was the high point ...

What about NT4.0? (2, Interesting)

Aslan72 (647654) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579497)

I honestly thought NT 4.0 was a great OS; it was the paradigm shifter that brought down OS/2 and really lasted for a while.

Re:What about NT4.0? (1)

buddhaunderthetree (318870) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579639)

Agreed, why no love for old 4.0. It was fast and stable. If MS has just bitten the bullet and broke with DOS then maybe they would be better off today.

Re:What about NT4.0? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579717)

I honestly thought NT 4.0 was a great OS; it was the paradigm shifter that brought down OS/2 and really lasted for a while.
Bullshit. Or don't you remember. Anyone who shipped OS/2 on a PC lost the ability to ship Win95 (or received outrageous pricing).

NT4 Sucked donkey balls on a 16Meg Pentium machine compared to OS/2 on the same hardware.

Stop rewriting history.

Re:What about NT4.0? (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579741)

I agree. While I haven't ever thought about using Windows as a primary OS for many years, Windows NT 4 still seems like it was the best Microsoft had ever performed. No needless IE integration or special effects to slow it down (Windows 2000), instead a nice, slim, interface like Windows 95, without most of the instability or a crappy filesystem. NT4 had few UI hinderences and usually it was just enough, and perfect.

After Windows NT 4, Microsoft developed the atrocity that is Windows 98; latter slapped that UI onto Windows NT, called it Windows 2000, and it was all downhill from there. Visuals (and often performance) took priority over security, functionality, and stability.

Windows 95 made Money! (1)

Emperor Skull (680972) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579499)

As anyone who has actually used Windows knows, Bill wasn't talking about OS quality, features, security or stability; he was talking about adoption rate and profit. Windows 95 rode the new wave of consumer PCs and access to the Internet. MS made bundles of money on it and 98 (which was little more than an incremental update to Windows 95.)

More accurate high point == buying DOS? (5, Interesting)

Sparky9292 (320114) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579503)

I'd figure the major high point would be Bill Gates buying Tim Patterson's 86-DOS for $50,000 and selling it to IBM and the clones for bazillions.

Maximum point of dominance (5, Insightful)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579515)

Before Win95, Apple has a small but real Market, IBM made noise with OS/2, someone was pushing GEOS (came with my multimedia upgrade kit at some point), and most computers booted to DOS and ran Wordperfect 5.1/DOS and or LOTUS 1-2-3 and connected to the Netware box. Even if most OEMs shipped with Windows 3.11, computers didn't always boot it. The real data was a 3270 terminal away. Microsoft's high-end OSes NT Workstation was a novelty, NT Server was an also ran.

With Windows 95, they took over the desktop... DOS was hidden, OS/2 defeated, and with Office 95 shipping WELL before Wordperfect ported to Win32... With Win95 they grabbed a desktop monopoly, Office monopoly, and pushed NT Server as highly competitive with Netware and inevitably overtaking them.

It'd be another 2 years before Netscape made Microsoft wet-itself, panic, and get itself into anti-trust trouble... the SAME anti-trust trouble that caused IBM to use a third-party OS and off-the-shelf processor when creating the PC.

Microsoft's profits might grow, Win2K might have gotten NT capable of replacing the DOS/Windows combo (XP with XP Home edition finally banished it), but the high water mark was hit. When Win95 launched, everyone was excited, the cheap PC Platform got a lot of expensive Mac/Amiga capabilities. The next few years, Microsoft spent floundering around for expansion (most of which didn't pan out), focused on suffocating competitors like Netscape, and Bill Gates spent time being deposed for court cases...

So yeah, it was the pinnacle of their success financially, and the peak for him before he went from geek hero to generally appreciated business hero, before his downfall as tech villain... It was the end of his being able to focus on technology and products, and the beginning of managing legal problems.

Re:Maximum point of dominance (1)

JakartaDean (834076) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579793)

Before Win95, Apple has a small but real Market, IBM made noise with OS/2, someone was pushing GEOS (came with my multimedia upgrade kit at some point), and most computers booted to DOS and ran Wordperfect 5.1/DOS and or LOTUS 1-2-3 and connected to the Netware box. Even if most OEMs shipped with Windows 3.11, computers didn't always boot it. The real data was a 3270 terminal away. Microsoft's high-end OSes NT Workstation was a novelty, NT Server was an also ran. With Windows 95, they took over the desktop... DOS was hidden, OS/2 defeated, and with Office 95 shipping WELL before Wordperfect ported to Win32... With Win95 they grabbed a desktop monopoly, Office monopoly, and pushed NT Server as highly competitive with Netware and inevitably overtaking them.
I think you've hit the two critical points, one technical one business. From a technical point of view, Win 95 hid|did away with DOS, providing a "real" graphical OS for the first time. From a business point of view, OS/2 had the then-considerable backing of IBM. Win 95 broke compatibility (probably for business reasons as much as technical) and Windows became the acknowledged winner in what had been a battle.

Windows 95 -- right before the DOJ stepped in (3, Interesting)

Julie188 (991243) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579519)

Not sure if I've got all the history right, but if I do, I can see why this would be a highlight for dear old Bill. Windows 95 at first shipped without IE, then included it and by 1998, Bill was embroiled in a nice stressful antitrust case with the DOJ. So Windows 95 represents the height of his power-grabbing, smash-the-competition days. Also, Windows 95 was the first time Bill became cool -- remember the Rolling Stones singing "Start me up" over the start button? They were high in those days, for sure -- high and mighty.

"Start me up" came long before 95 (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579719)

remember the Rolling Stones singing "Start me up" over the start button?

No, I don't remember that. I remember the Rolling Stones singing "Start me up" in their 1981 album "Tattoo You". I have that album in four different versions, LP, cassette, CD, and mp3, so I should know.


Fourteen years later, microsoft bought the right to use that music in their marketing, but that's a different story.

Honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579555)

Folks, honestly, Windows 95 was a high point for me as well....

I started my career in the OS/2 world, as a tech support guy focusing on a real complex banking application that ran on the OS/2 Platform.

When I first had in my hands the Win95 release... I honestly could not believe how innovative it was.

Obviously, Microsoft is losing groung in innovation, however I suspect that Bill's "High Point" was very justified. I know. I shared it with him.

It *was* (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579577)

right... the VxD and virtual driver model that 95/98/ME used was a steaming pile of donkey turd. In the grand comparison of things, it was a security nightmare.

But consider that it was the first MS OS (for consumer!) that was 100% GUI. Yes, it was really running on top of DOS 7.0. But it also installed and booted up to a GUI, and all of the configuration/tweaking/etc. was a major step forward.

You need to compare it against the alternatives in 1995, not the alternatives in 2008. Yes, NT 4.0 came out in 1994 and had basically the same user interface, but NT was intended for an enterprise and server environment, and was never marketed towards consumers until Windows XP came out.

So.... yes. Windows 95 *was* a high point for MS. It was an enormous step forward for the company.

Well... It was the KO of the Mac (1)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579583)

95 was effectively the near-fatal blow to Apple and nearly sent the company into a death spiral. Of course, Vista seems to be their near-death experience.

Windows 95 was a good time (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579629)

It was a time of hope, promises and expansion.

It was all down-hill from there. To this day, the best way to secure a Windows box is to unplug the network cable. And if you can't do that, remove TCP/IP. (Can you run Exchange over IPX or NetBEUI?)

The ride ain't over yet though... the disappointment of Vista was gradual since they started breaking promises before they released it... and Windows 7 is no different since we're not going to break binary compatibility in order to get away from the virus and malware ridden environment that INCLUDES Vista in spite of all its security enhancements.

Weezer, and the cast of Friends (1)

OG (15008) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579641)

I can understand how he'd consider 95 a high point, at least in terms of excitement. It was a bit of a cultural phenomenon and extremely popular. It was the first widely-adopted even-your-grandma-can-use-it OS. They had taken Windows beyond a glorified file manager, and it was used by lay-people and techies. There was a zeitgeist around it that I haven't really felt until OS X in the last few years. I'd count that as a high point.

blathering (1)

Haxx (314221) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579651)


    Was there really nothing else that Gates considered a high point?"
 


Could we keep the Micro$oft bashing relevent please. This is nonsense.

Did they also say why? (1, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579749)

For some reason I doubt they love 95 for the technical leap ahead it was. Else they'd probably love 2k more, which was truely a revelation. Finally you didn't have to choose between stability and compatibility. 2k was the OS Microsoft can be proud of.

I think what they love 95 for was the hype it created. It was a huge success, not because it was so terribly good (it wasn't bad, actually, but it was anything but a pinnacle of OS design), but because of the hype surrounding it. Hell, people who didn't even have a computer bought it. It was a hype success if there ever was one. The world loved them. Of course that's something anyone would enjoy.

Since then, the criticism has increased. Before 95, there was hardly anything really noticable of MSs attempt to monopolize everything and use their market share muscle to force companies to do their bidding. And this of course reflects on the reception of their products. Of course people start looking for the bad things. It feels good to badmouth someone you just love to hate.

When 95 came onto the market, they were not hated in the IT community. They were liked by many, actually. They offered an easy to use OS that you could code for in a fairly easy way (if you disagree, you never tried to code for Macs before 2000). What else could you ask for?

The decline of MSs goodwill started after 95. When they muscled into the browser market, when they tried to push Linux off the shelves with adhesion contracts, that's when their star began to decline.

So I can well understand why they see 95 as their favorite OS. Back then, the MS world was all fun and candy.

win95 was bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23579767)

I hated win95 and still do. However win95 united a world living in darkness. It is in this collective unity that the power of microsoft would shine. Best of all is that it could run on a 386 with only 4 megs of ram. No major OS since has been able to top that. Win95 opened up an era of peace and love. It is the reason we have what we enjoy today!!! No more would we be mindlessly toiling away at a dos screen. Now anyone could enjoy the desktop. All could be united in a country that had no walls and no limits.
To infinity and beyond!!!!

I wonder if it bothers him? (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#23579787)

TFA quotes Gates as saying "We got to dream about a software industry and the greatest tool of empowerment ever - the personal computer - and be part of creating that in terms of the platform and the applications,"

I wonder if the fact that MS is now decisively on the wrong side of the computer-as-tool-of-empowerment bothers him? I don't mean as a CEO or shareholder, obviously MS' strategy has made him giant piles of money; but personally. It can be argued that MS had a considerable hand in making cheap and common x86 gear a reality, back in the bad old days of fragmented consumer gear and hyperexpensive IBM suitware; but it has been a while now. Perhaps more than ever, MS is working against empowerment(and no, I'm not just fudding about Vista DRM-OMG!, I'm talking about things like Rights Management Services, and mandatory driver signing.) Even when they feel charitable, their notion of empowerment is "like corporate; but cheaper".

I wonder, does that bother Bill? What does he feel, privately, about the fact that MS has become the tyrant it overthrew, and has basically settled down to make money by offering software for enforcing corporate control? Does he like that or would he, off the record, admit a certain desire to be on the other side?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...