Twenty one years ago this August, the Windows 95 operating system launched to great fanfare around the world.
Now you can relive those heady days with a Windows 95 emulator that runs in your browser. Built by Andrea Faulds, a student at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, the emulator uses Emscripten and DOSBox to give you that authentic ’95 experience.
According to Faulds’ website, she started the project for the sake of nostalgia, and because it was fun. It will give users a chance to experience the birth of now well-known Windows features including the start menu and the task bar.
However, she writes the emulator is “strictly for educational purposes,” stating Windows controls all copyright to its software and she can’t guarantee users will not be infringing its rights by using the emulator.
“While Microsoft no longer sell Windows 95 as a retail product, nor do they still sell licenses or support for it (which ended on December 31, 2001), it is still very much protected by copyright law,” she writes. “I would argue that this might (and that is quite tenuous) be protected under United States fair use and United Kingdom fair dealing provisions, given that this is a non-commercial use for the purposes of research and education.”
If Windows sends a cease and desist letter, she’ll take it down.
Retro browsers are having a bit of a moment. In 2015, YouTuber Nick Lee used Mini vMac, an early Mac operating systems emulator, to get his Apple Watch to run the 1996 version of OS 7.5.5.