Here’s How To Run Windows 95 In Your Browser For Some ‘Start Me Up’ Nostalgia

Few operating systems are quite as iconic as Windows 95, which turned 20 just this past August. Compared to its predecessor, Windows 3.x, Windows 95 was an update unlike most others. The desktop environment was completely overhauled to offer easier navigation and a better experience overall. It was also the first Windows release to have a Start menu, a feature that has since remained in the bottom left-hand corner, and has been updated again and again (to the chagrin of some).

Windows 95

There's lots about Windows 95 that can make people feel nostalgic. Take, for example, the classic game Hover, which Microsoft recreated back in 2013 to show off WebGL capabilities. Since then, we even saw someone put the OS on a Samsung Gear Live smartwatch!

If you're one of those who gets nostalgic about Windows 95 and you'd like to revisit the OS for old time's sake, you're in luck: thanks to modern Web technologies, the OS can run inside of a browser.

This experiment was created by Andrea Faulds, a student at Scotland's University of Aberdeen. With the help of Emscripten and DOSBox (yes, the application that lets you run old DOS games), as well as some JavaScript runtimes, she managed to get the classic OS running right inside of a modern browser. To take advantage of it, you'll need to download (automatically) a number of files, and within a few minutes, you'll be up and running.

Your mileage will vary, however, as our experience suggests:

Windows Emu Crash

Yup -- that's a full-fledged blue screen of death from a virtual Windows PC. This could have been caused by the browser we were using (Firefox) or the simple fact that the service is under some seriously heavy load. If you want to give the experiment an honest test, it might be best to wait until later in the day, or even tomorrow.

Issues or not, this is a really cool experiment, and one that highlights just how powerful our modern Web browsers are.