• Microsoft Windows 95

Microsoft Windows 95 (Photo : Twitter)

August 24, Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of Microsoft Windows 95's birthday, which had a huge launch of the CD-ROM operating system (OS), a technological breakthrough and cultural sensation. The tech giant spent big bucks to advertise the new software on TV commercials that often featured "Start Me Up" by the Rolling Stones, whose rights reportedly had an $8 million price tag.  

Like Us on Facebook

As a birthday gift of sorts the Bill Gates co-founded OS giant commemorated the red letter date by giving away the theme song until 11:59 PM at the Windows Store.

At midnight on Aug. 24, 1995, thousands of people lined up to buy their copy of the latest version of Windows, according to The Verge. Microsoft's golden age had begun.

Windows 1 had actually been released a decade earlier in November 1985. However, Windows 95 was innovative in its tech features and cultural impact.

The Empire State Building was lit up in the Microsoft logo's colors, according to The Telegraph. In addition, "Friends" stars Matthew Perry (Chandler) and Jennifer Aniston (Rachel) were featured in an instructional video.   

However, the launch of Windows 95 was not fool's gold. It was not only a big moment for Microsoft, but also for personal computers.

Microsoft's '95 OS had various new features. They included the Start Menu, which was brought back by popular demand for Windows 10; and the taskbar.

 The software itself was also a big step forward. It featured innovations in graphic design, and was compatible with nearly all types of hardware.  

Internet Explorer was launched one week after Windows 95. Although it was retired in the company's latest OS version, the browser introduced the Web as an invaluable tool for finding information and communicating faster.

Windows 95 even boosted PC sales. About 60 million machines were sold worldwide during 1995, which was a 25 percent increase from the year before.

Microsoft became the world's largest company by 1998, and its $631 market value was the highest in recent history, after adjusted for inflation. The rest is history.

Here is a retro Windows 95 TV ad: