Preliminary name Windows 4.0, 93, 94
Final name Windows 95
Release to manufacturing July 14, 1995
Official release date August 24, 1995

Chicago is the codename for Windows 95, Microsoft's most groundbreaking version to date. Rather than being a mere graphical environment, it was effectively a complete operating system, albeit one that still ran on MS-DOS 7.0. Some of Chicago's most critical points to its success were a completely redone user interface that could outclass the Macintosh Finder, emphasis on easy hardware installation with Plug and Play, greatly refined "online" help, and (almost) full support for 32-bit Windows NT software.

Some of the most readily apparent differences across all the Chicago builds are the considerably different incarnations of the shell, in terms of functionality and style. As Chicago's shell evolved, so too did its underlying kernel.

Earliest leaked build of Chicago, with the shell in a very primitive state
Another early build still using three buttons at the lower left corner
One of the last builds to still be called Chicago
Earliest leaked build to be branded Windows 95
Last beta release of Windows 95, able to run a good plentiful of programs designed for the final release at this point
May test release of Windows 95

This version of Windows has not yet been fully covered on this website, so more build pages will be added or updated whenever any of us get around to them. Thanks for dropping by!

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