Launched on August 24th 1995, Windows 95 represented a radical change not just because of its more modern and feature-filled interface, but also in how it was launched. The Rolling Stones' Start Me Up was used as the soundtrack behind adverts (like the one above) and some of the Friends cast were paid to star in an instructional video explaining how to use the new Start menu and other new features. Jay Leno even introduced Bill Gates at the launch event:

Today, of course, we have Windows 10 (with the Start menu reinstated) but no-one queued around the block to buy it like they did for Windows 95. It was the first time (that we know of) that the launch of a piece of software became a global event.

PC Advisor was launched just weeks before Windows 95 and contained a full review of Microsoft's brand new operating system which quickly became the most popular version. These days, people still cling to Windows XP, claiming it's the best version of Windows there has ever been. And XP owes an awful lot - in terms of interface design - to Windows 95.

Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry had some very poor jokes to deliver in the hour-long video guide:

Here's when each version of Windows was launched:

  • 1985: Windows 1
  • 1987: Windows 2
  • 1990: Windows 3
  • 1993: Windows NT
  • 1995: Windows 95
  • 1998: Windows 98
  • 2000: Windows 2000
  • 2000: Windows ME
  • 2001: Windows XP
  • 2007: Windows Vista
  • 2009: Windows 7
  • 2012: Windows 8
  • 2015: Windows 10

When you put the desktops next to each other, it's easy to see how little things have changed between Windows 95 and Windows 10:

Windows 95 20 years old - 20th birthday

Windows 95 20 years old - 20th birthday