8 Classic Operating Systems You Can Access In Your Browser
We all love today’s cutting-edge operating systems. But there are times when it’s fun to reminisce about the past and relive some of the operating systems of yesteryear.
And no, we’re not talking about those of you who still insist on running Windows 7, or worse, XP.
If you want to emulate Windows 95, Mac OS X Lion and more, you’ve come to the right place. Here are eight classic operating systems you can access in your browser.
Released in August 1995, Windows 95 was one of the defining operating systems of the decade.
It laid the foundation for the Windows we all recognize today. the To start up menu and the Taskbar made their respective debuts and, for the first time, a Windows operating system did not rely on MS-DOS for file and disk access.
This Windows 95 emulator runs Windows 95 OSR2. The version had no USB support and struggled with the Pentium.
While running the emulator, you can use the controls in the upper right corner to toggle full screen mode and to enable/disable the mouse. As with all browser-based operating system emulations, changes you make will not be saved between sessions.
In 1984, Apple released its first machine in the Macintosh—later “Mac”—product line. It was a revolutionary computer, becoming the first mass-marketed PC to offer a graphical user interface.
This Macintosh emulator runs 7.0.1 system with three first Mac applications—MacPaint, MacDraw and Kid Pix.
Since the operating system requires much less system resources than the Windows 95 emulator, it will load much faster in your browser.
Two years after the introduction of the first Macintosh computer, Apple launched the successor: Macintosh Plus.
It had an original price of $2,600, proving that Apple’s penchant for sky-high prices is far from a modern phenomenon. The computer came with 1 MB of RAM (and supported up to 4 MB), it supported up to seven devices, and it had an 800 KB floppy drive.
By 1986, many more apps and games were available. This emulation includes Risk, Cannon Fodder and Shufflepuck.
Windows 3.1 was released in April 1992, replacing the original Windows 3.0.
Despite the similar name, it offered great improvements over its predecessor. Most notably, the introduction of a TrueType font system transformed the operating system into a desktop publishing powerhouse for the first time. Three fonts were natively available —Arial, Mail New, and Times New Roman.
Other features seen for the first time include drag-and-drop icons, mouse support in MS-DOS applications, and Program manager application. The theoretical maximum memory limit was 4 GB, while in practice it was 256 MB.
Windows 3.1 was superseded by Windows 95, but support continued until 2008.
The Windows 3.1 emulator offers classic games like Minesweeper and Solitaire, add-ons like Write, Paintbrush, and even control panel access.
5. Amiga OS 1.2 [Broken URL Removed]
AmigaOS version 1.2 was first seen on the Commodore Amiga 500.
The 500 was the best-selling computer in the entire Amiga line. Announced at CES 1987, it was released worldwide in the spring.
Despite being a versatile home computer, the PC has carved out a place for itself as a gaming machine. Titles such as The Secret of Monkey Island, Lemmings, Elite, and Sensitive Football won worldwide fame.
In terms of specifications, the Amiga 500 had a resolution between 320×200 and 640×400, a 32-color screen and 512 KB of RAM.
This Amiga 500 emulator includes old Amiga applications such as Boing, Robocity, Juggler, Dots, Boxes, Lines and Speech.
Even as Apple and Commodore vied for market place with their respective Mac and Amiga lines, IBM quickly became the manufacturer to beat with its IBM PC line.
The first IBM PCs went on sale in 1981, but this PC DOS 5 emulation runs on the 1986 update—the IBM PC XT286.
The XT 286 had 640 KB of RAM, a 20 MB hard drive, and 6 MHz processors.
PC DOS 5 itself was released in 1991 and marked one of the most significant DOS revisions in its history. Perhaps most notably, however, it was the last version of DOS for which Microsoft and IBM shared the complete code.
PC DOS 5 emulation offers three classic games to experience: Wolfenstein 3D, the first Civilization and Monkey Island.
(Remember, it’s still possible to play old DOS games on a Mac if you want.)
Mac OS X 10.7 — also known as Mac OS X Lion — is the newest operating system on our list. It only went live in July 2011.
Like the other operating systems we reviewed, Mac OS X 10.7 had many “firsts” for Apple users. For example, it was the first time we saw AirDrop and the Launcher app, and it was the first Mac operating system to ship with emoji font and FaceTime.
Lion also saw the end of the line for some features. Front Row, iSync, and QuickTime Streaming Server have all been discontinued.
Unfortunately, modern restrictions mean that Mac OS Lion emulation is more restricted than other systems. It’s a CSS recreation, so you can only access the desktop, menus, and some basic system information. However, you will still be able to get an idea of what the operating system looked like.
Released in November 1985, Windows 1.01 was the first publicly available version of Bill Gates’ operating system.
The operating system is essentially a GUI for MS-DOS. Indeed, Windows 1.01 worked like an MS-DOS program.
Applications on the operating system included calculator, calendar, clipboard viewer, clock, notepad, paint, flip, map file, terminal, and handwriting. They are all available in this emulation.
Behind the scenes, Windows 1.0 also had its own drivers for video cards, mice, keyboards, printers, serial communications, and applications.
What’s your favorite classic operating system?
These seven classic browser-based operating systems are sure to evoke memories, no matter how old you are or when you started using computers.
We’d love to know what your favorite classic OS is, so be sure to let us know in the comments below. To learn more about how we got here, be sure to check out our article on the history of computers. And if you’re curious about what lies beyond Windows, macOS, and Linux, explore these obscure free operating systems.
So you want to boost the storage capacity of your new Xbox Series X? Cool, you’ve come to the right place… let’s look at the options.
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