OK, the headline is clickbait. While there is a young boffin and while he has done something amazing, the jury is still out – way out – on whether or not it is a useful something. The egghead in question goes by Corbin Davenport and he has got Windows 95 to run on an Android Wear device.
Even more shocking than that, Davenport is younger than Windows 95. The operating system was launched in 1995, while Davenport himself was launched in 1998 – making him 16.
Admittedly, Windows 95 runs pretty atrociously on Android, thanks to the fact that it’s sitting on a on an emulator and must have the living daylights confused out of it by the combination of future hardware and software the likes of which it sure as eggs wasn’t ever designed to encounter.
From a purely technical perspective, it’s an impressive oddity. After all, back in the days where scenes like this were still possible (picture the future Windows 10 launch…good money says your mental imagery isn’t anywhere near it), running Windows 95 required around 15 kilogrammes of the finest computer equipment available to consumers anywhere. Back on 24 August, 1995, that meant a state-of-the-art Pentium 90, which a quick bit of research reminds us would have cost in the order of US$3000.
Back then, cash of that sort of heft would get you that 90MHz chip, up to 16MB of RAM and a ‘massive’ 540MB hard drive.
A Samsung Gear 2 costs around a tenth of that price. It has a 1.0GHz processor (~10x faster), 512MB RAM (~32x more) and 4GB storage space (~100x more). And weighs 68g (220x less).
But still. At least someone has found something, useful or otherwise, to do with a smartwatch. For that we salute you, Corbin Davenport.