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Windows 95 was the operating system from Microsoft which succeeded the Windows 3.1 operating system. It was considered a complete operating system, as it was not a graphical interface running on MS-DOS, and it also performed without any need of the MS-DOS environment after the boot process. A popular operating system at the time of launch, it introduced a plethora of new features and functions.
Windows 95 was succeeded by Windows 98 and all support from Microsoft ended by late 2001.
Windows 95 was capable of running DOS and Windows-based applications, although it had completely removed DOS as the underlying platform, unlike previous versions of Windows. This helped in overcoming two limitations: eight-character file names and memory-related problems.
Windows 95 sported new technical features along with updating existing features. It brought updated visual styles and interface advancements. It had new and improved Windows control and introduced the desktop, which was represented as a folder which holds different files. Shortcuts, icons and the recycle bin were introduced in Windows 95. An improved help system was provided with a help window which could provide information in the content window. The "plug & play" feature was introduced, which allowed automatic recognition of hardware. Another significant feature introduced was the registry; this helped in combining the configuration files essentially into two files, which also allowed easier location of the system configurations. Windows 95 enhanced the memory handling processes compared to previous versions. Another user-friendly feature introduced from Windows 95 was the representation of files and folders as icons. File modification was possible through menus and the drives were all listed in the folder called "My Computer."
Windows 95 came with built-in network support for different protocols including ones for Internet access. The 32-bit application support gave Windows 95 the ability to execute complex tasks and applications more efficiently.