Avid readers may recall that back in August, we reported on the release of a desktop app called Electron that would allow you load a safely sandboxed version of Windows 95 in an application window, right down to the hideous tiled wallpaper and belated awareness of the World Wide Web.
Upon the launch of Electron, that web part was actually a sticking point, because Windows 95 is thoroughly incapable of safely interacting with the modern internet. And in this modern world, an operating system that can't get online is more of a proof-of-concept curiosity than a usable platform.
So once you've relived the feeling of navigating around this relic like you may have in the old days, what else is there to do? Well, BetaNews reports that version 2.0 of Windows 95 as an Electron app is now available for download, and it comes with a surprising collection of pre-installed games such as Wolfenstein 3D and the original Doom, plus an early version of Netscape Navigator.
The original Electron release of Windows 95 lacked the ability to produce sound, but with the addition of these games we also get full audio support. These two games had some great MIDI synthesizer tracks, and Doom had a groundbreaking soundscape
For those of you who don't know, Netscape Navigator was a pioneering web browser that fell out of popularity when Microsoft began pre-installing its Internet Explorer in Windows, for free. Navigator retained enough adherents for it to eventually morph into Mozilla Firefox, but it was a long and winding road. And now we're coming full circle nearly 25 years later.
As for classic Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, these actually appear to be the full versions, rather than the "shareware" editions that provided the first "episode" and required a purchase to get the bulk of the game. This may have legal implications, and Id Software's owner Zenimax has not been shy about litigation to protect its intellectual property.
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Then again, it's Windows 95, so getting these DOS-based games to work within that framework, in full screen without crashing, is normally a Homeric adventure anyway. Is it a copyright violation if you can't get the software to run?
Either way, this new iteration of Windows 95 is a free download from Github, clocking in at less than 300 megabytes. In addition to Windows 7 and 10, this release can run on MacOS and Linux as well. Given its inclusion of two legendary games, we're not sure how long the download will remain available, so you might want to grab it before it's gone forever. Again.
- Version 2.0 of the Electron edition of Windows 95, which allows you to run Windows 95 within an application window, has come out and includes copies of classic Doom and Wolfenstein 3D.
- These appear to be the full versions of these games, rather than the freely distributable "shareware" demo versions, so there may be some legal entanglements.
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