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The successful launch of Windows 95 worries Cupertino

September 6: Today in Apple history: The success of Windows 95 worries CupertinoSeptember 6, 1995: The newly launched Windows 95 operating system dominates software sales, sending almost all other companies looking for coverage – Apple included.

Microsoft’s $ 85 PC operating system was first sold in late August. But in early September, the company reportedly sells a massive 1.63 million copies of Windows 95, according to enthusiastic analysts. It represents a massive triumph for Apple’s biggest rival in the 1990s.

Sizzling sales for Windows 95

“Early sales sis from Windows 95,” claimed the September 6 issue of Computer Reseller News, sums up the excitement.

While sales began to fall after the two-week mark, it’s hard to overstate how big Windows 95 seemed at the time of launch. For the debut of the operating system, Microsoft went into marketing exaggeration – even paying to light up the New York Empire State Building in Microsoft colors.

It became clear from the start that Windows 95 would be big. But when the news stories began to roll out at the end of the second week, the new Windows OS was clearly a juggernaut.

The success proved to be a major blow to Apple’s psyche, as Microsoft delivered what many had feared: an operating system close enough to Apple’s to represent a threat.

“Microsoft delivered a” look and feel “that, while throwing stones and saying,” It’s not as good as ours, “there was a fear that it was good enough that everyone who used Macs because they were easier to use , would then say that Windows was just as simple, ”said Mitch Stein, Apple’s former director of human interfaces, as I spoke to him as I researched my book. The Apple Revolution.

Brad Silverberg, who started his career at Apple as a programmer on the Lisa computer, led the development of Windows 95. “I thought it was really the end of Apple,” Silverberg told me, reminding me of his thoughts on Windows 95. “I did not see how they could compete. ”

How Windows 95 inspired Apple

Inside Apple, the company tried to cope with the huge success with the launch of Windows 95. Unfortunately, this did not turn out to be as good as hoped. Copland OS, Apple’s long-awaited update of the aging System 7, splashed to a halt. (It was never sent to more than a handful of developers.)

Instead of Copland, Apple management began looking for something to replace it. What they eventually settled on was an operating system developed at NeXT, the company founded by Steve Jobs after he left Apple. An appointment took some time to train. But the following year, Jobs returned to Apple.

Finally, the launch of Windows 95 – which looked like a guaranteed Apple killer – helped stimulate Cupertino to greater heights than ever.

What computer system, if any, did you use in 1995? Leave the comments below.

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