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Microsoft alums are getting ready to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the launch of Windows 95.
Microsoft alums are getting ready to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the launch of Windows 95.

Windows 10 is already shaping up to be a big launch for Microsoft, but it’s always going to be hard to live up to the aura that surrounds one of the biggest days in the company’s history: August 24, 1995.

A group of Microsoft alums are getting together to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of that day. It was when the company released Windows 95 and the world got its first look at the Start Menu — introduced to the tune of the Rolling Stones classic “Start Me Up.”

“Windows 95 – we knew it would be big. Now we know just how big. Let’s celebrate one of the greatest accomplishments in software history,” Brad Silverberg, the former Microsoft executive who led the operating system’s development team way back when, said on the site promoting the event.

Windows 95 desktop
Windows 95 desktop

The reunion is being hosted by Microsoft Alumni Network with all-stars like Silverberg, Windows 95 lead architect David D’Souza, former web browser head Brad Chase and former VP of product development John Ludwig.

The event’s Facebook group shows 177 members, including Joe Belfiore, who now heads up the Windows experience for PC, tablets and smartphones and Washington state senator Andy Hill, who was once a Windows manager.

Bill Gates introduces Windows 95 during a launch event in August 1995.
Bill Gates introduces Windows 95 during a launch event in August 1995.

These are the coders who together built some of Microsoft’s most prolific features, from built-in Internet support with the first version Internet Explorer, to the task bar and minimize buttons on each window.

It was the golden era for Microsoft, and Windows 95 was the product launch that took things to even greater heights.

Wired once even called it the “iPhone launch of its day,” with crowds lining up to get their hands on the “biggest transformation yet in desktop computing.”

The reunion party costs $47.50 and is being held in Seattle on Sept. 12.

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