(Win95) Microsoft's successor to their Windows 3.11 operating system for IBM PCs. It was known as "Chicago" during development. Its release was originally scheduled for late 1994 but eventually happened on 11 Jul 1995, followed by Service Release 1 on 1995-12-31 and OSR2 (OEM Service Release 2) on 1996-08-24.
In contrast to earlier versions, Windows 95 is a complete operating system rather than a graphical user interface running on top of MS-DOS.
It provides 32-bit application support, pre-emptive multitasking, threading and built-in networking (TCP/IP, IPX, SLIP, PPP, and Windows Sockets). It includes MS-DOS 7.0, but takes over completely after booting. The graphical user interface, while similar to previous Windows versions, is significantly improved.
Windows 95 has also been described as "32-bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16-bit patch to an 8-bit operating system originally coded for a 4-bit microprocessor, written by a 2-bit company that can't stand 1-bit of competition".
The successor to Windows 95 was Windows 98.