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This article was published on July 26, 2017


Windows 95 running natively in your browser is a sight to behold

Windows 95 running natively in your browser is a sight to behold
Owen Williams
Story by

Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

That Windows 95 startup sound always gives me nostalgia, but how about taking it for a whirl without setting anything up whatsoever?

Andrea Faulds, a 19-year-old developer in Scotland, managed to get Windows 95 to function fully in the browser without any plugins.

It’s a truly incredible sight to behold: seeing the 20-year-old operating system fully functioning in pure JavaScript is amazing — you can play Freecell, mess around in DOS or just enjoy the nostalgia.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 10.24.24 AM

The project uses emscripten, an emulator that compiles C++ code to JavaScript at runtime so you can enjoy the full retro experience without needing to install a plugin or set up Windows 95 from scratch.

Just the thought of how many layers of complexity are here is dizzying: an operating system being compiled to JavaScript, delivered over the internet and successfully interpreted by a browser.

The emulator isn’t perfect (Internet Explorer crashes inside the emulator, which is to be expected) but it’s an impressive demo of how far we’ve come and a cool trip down memory lane.

Windows 95 in the browser


TNW originally published this piece in January of 2016. We sometimes update and/or re-publish articles from our archives that are fun, informative, or highly-relevant… like this one.

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