August 23, 1995: Windows 95 Goes on Sale at Midnight

by Chris Seibold Aug 23, 2010

The original Mac exposed the wider world to the concept of the Graphical User Interface (GUI). PC users widely derided the GUI as a toy-like interface for people who really didn't "understand" computers. Then, with the release of Windows 3.1, they snapped up a poor copy of the Mac GUI that was so often derided when it was a Mac thing.

People's lust for more accurate copies of the Mac GUI did not go unnoticed by Microsoft. Hard at work Microsoft developed Windows 95, a system that saw the introduction of the Start menu, Long file names, and plethora of other enhancements. Using a massive amount of hype (the Empire State Building was lit in Windows colors) Microsoft had buyers literally lined up to buy a copy of Windows 95 at midnight on August 23, 1995.


  • I remember watching a football game which must have been on August 24th or 25th, 1995 (and probably pre-season that early)... they pointed the cameras into the stands at some random happy screaming football fan and the color commentator said “and there’s someone who’s happy because they finally got Windows 95 installed”

    It surprised me because I think it was the first time I heard a sports figure reference something in the computer industry like that. When the Win95 hype was so huge it was fodder for NFL commentary, that tells you how ridiculous it was (and how prevalent problems where that someone would be screaming because the “finally” got it installed!)

    Kris Thom White had this to say on Aug 23, 2006 Posts: 18
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