After developer Nick Lee realized that the Apple Watch's 520 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage made it more powerful than many desktops running Windows 95 in the 1990s, he felt confident he could get it to run Microsoft's successful operating system.

applewatchwindows95

Photo via Nick Lee

To get Windows 95 to run on the Apple Watch, Lee knew he couldn't rely on Apple's WatchKit SDK because it doesn't allow developers to directly access user touch locations. Instead, the SDK forces developers to use Apple's stock controls. So Lee had to patch certain files within a WatchKit app to load his own app code rather than Apple's. Lee tells MacRumors the process, which puts an x86 emulator into a self-contained Watch app, essentially turned Windows 95 into an an app.

Once Windows 95 was loaded onto the Apple Watch, the booting process took an hour because it's being emulated rather than virtualized. Lee also had to attach a straw to a small motor that nudged the Digital Crown periodically to keep the Watch awake. Once the Watch is all booted up and ready, users can control the mouse with their finger. However, because the emulation is so slow, Lee told MacRumors that "it only registers a few pixels per movement on the screen." To combat the lack of speed users can queue up commands by rapidly swiping on the display.


The Watch can be seen booting up and running Windows 95 in the video above, and Lee goes into further detail about the process in his Medium post.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

garirry Avatar
70 months ago
It's quite impressive how a once very big computer can all be ran on a tiny watch today.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
andrewgasson Avatar
70 months ago
('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/04/29/apple-watch-windows-95/')


After developer Nick Lee ('https://twitter.com/nickplee') realized that the Apple Watch's 520 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage made it more powerful than many desktops running Windows 95 in the 1990s, he felt confident he could get it to run ('https://medium.com/tendigi-insights/i-installed-windows-95-on-my-apple-watch-589fda5e36d#.3h04a5jwq') Microsoft's successful operating system.


Photo via Nick Lee
To get Windows 95 to run on the Apple Watch, Lee knew he couldn't rely on Apple's WatchKit SDK because it doesn't allow developers to directly access user touch locations. Instead, the SDK forces developers to use Apple's stock controls. So Lee had to patch certain files within a WatchKit app to load his own app code rather than Apple's. Lee tells MacRumors the process, which puts an x86 emulator into a self-contained Watch app, essentially turned Windows 95 into an an app.

Once Windows 95 was loaded onto the Apple Watch, the booting process took an hour because it's being emulated rather than virtualized. Lee also had to attach a straw to a small motor that nudged the Digital Crown periodically to keep the Watch awake. Once the Watch is all booted up and ready, users can control the mouse with their finger. However, because the emulation is so slow, Lee told MacRumors that "it only registers a few pixels per movement on the screen." To combat the lack of speed users can queue up commands by rapidly swiping on the display.



The Watch can be seen booting up and running Windows 95 in the video above, and Lee goes into further detail about the process in his Medium post ('https://medium.com/tendigi-insights/i-installed-windows-95-on-my-apple-watch-589fda5e36d#.3h04a5jwq').

Article Link: Developer Gets Apple Watch to Run Windows 95 ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/04/29/apple-watch-windows-95/')
Laggy as hell. Just like watch OS.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
edenwaith Avatar
70 months ago
My initial reaction was an amused laugh. Quite clever what can be done.

Still, not as impressive as Dilbert's web browser in a ring:

('http://assets.amuniversal.com/57a9bd10a12a012f2fe600163e41dd5b')
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
corbindavenport Avatar
70 months ago
I got this working on Android Wear a while back. Was really fun to try, and certainly didn't expect for it to go viral:



For that video I was using a pretty awful port of DOSBox to Android. I found out after that video you could add RAM/CPU cycles by changing the config file hidden in the app's files.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacsRgr8 Avatar
70 months ago

BUT WHY?
Because:
a) You can
b) It's amusing
c) Gives perspective to how the tech of modern a smartwatch compares to a desktop PC of some 15 - 20 years ago.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MH01 Avatar
70 months ago
That's cool, beats constant news about new bands.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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