Defenestrate is a transitive verb (to throw something out a window), but has one definition that is intransitive: to stop using the Windows operating system.
Windows 95 was released on August 24, 1995 (The Verge), twenty five years ago today (ZD Net). People loved it or hated it (or both, I’m a 30%/70% split). it changed computing, and not just because it increased Microsoft’s monopoly. It radically increased the expectation of what a GUI can and should do, forcing other operating systems to improve and add features. Linux might still be a command line OS and Macintosh still have a black, grey and white screen. Windows 95 introduced multitasking, plug-and-play support (*), USB support, accessibility features, long file names, multilanguage fonts, among other things. One major failing of the OS was a lack of a TCP/IP stack as default. Dialup modems were the standard way to go online at the time without a cable connection and knowing how to configure the system.
(* Plug-and-pray as it was jokingly called for its unreliability.)
As much as I slam Microsoft, I give them credit for one thing: They have maintained backwards compatibility for decades and still do. Software made for Windows 3.1 (or even 2.0 and 1.0) could run on XP, programs for Windows 95 until Windows 7. A disk, file or program created in CP/M in 1978 can still be read and used by a Windows 10 computer today (either in emulation or native), which is an amazing feat. And even now with emulators and multibooting, it’s still possible to keep running software made forty years ago. Apple intentionally prevents the use of software from two or three previous Macintosh OS generations.
But I would also like Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer to suffer a punishment: One slap across the face for every Blue Screen of Death experienced by users (with billions of people each suffering hundreds of BSoDs, that’s going to hurt). I want them to receive a kick in the shin for every time they blamed the user by saying “windows was not shut down properly!” after the OS crashed. I never once shut down windows “improperly” (i.e. hitting the power button instead of closing from the start menu). All the crashes were the fault of the OS. (Linux says “Whoops, something went wrong,” which doesn’t assign blame.)
More below the fold.