Dashel, on 02 August 2012 - 16:53, said:
Except by the time Win95 hit, most apps weren't in DOS because they allowed prior versions of Windows to coexist while it developed new Win16/32 apps. The point is, Win95 users didn't spend 95% of their time in DOS or Win3.1 mode nor did MS force us to launch Win3.1 to access DOS.
I didn't say Win95 users spent 95% of their time in DOS. But at launch, many did spend an awful lot of time in DOS apps running inside of Windows (i.e. popular games like Doom and Tie Fighter, apps like WordPerfect, virtually every LOB app, appointment scheduling system, etc). Over time that changed and many users eventually stopped using DOS/console apps altogether. Not everyone did though, and even 15-20 years later, some people still use console apps.
I know you are too young to have used it at release
Hilarious, but not correct.
but Windows has always had a CLI, that didn't start with Win95.
I was specifically referring to the fact that in Windows 95 you didn't switch between two different OS's or shells, and you couldn't choose to boot to console mode (at least not easily, and how valuable was it, ultimately, to even support that advanced option?). For all intents and purposes, Win95 users were always greeted with the Win95 shell (taskbar + start menu). And even though the start menu was a GUI element, it was the central place for launching both GUI and non-GUI apps. The Win95-era GUI was responsible for allowing Windows (and indeed PCs as a whole) to reach new customers and handle new scenarios. Some console scenarios migrated well to this new world very quickly, but others took time, and still others are still with us today. Those tools are still just as important as ever to those who use them (ask anyone who uses powershell, or devs like me who live in CMD every day). But they're clearly more of a niche than they used to be, not because anything changed for those people, but because the platform and ecosystem expanded. There was a lot of resistance from a subset of these folks to move to Windows 95 where they were "forced" to interact with a GUI to launch their console tools. It was a case where something changed for them and the benefit wasn't immediately apparent, so they objected. But how much of that was still around a year later? Two years? Who would argue today that Windows 95 should've gone out of its way to enable a console-only mode?
This makes for a pretty good parallel with Windows 8, where the shell you boot into is clearly aligned with the modern platform and app UX model, but brings forward all the same ability to launch, use, and manage your traditional GUI/desktop apps (and your console ones!). Yeah it's a change, and maybe it's hard for some to see the value prop in the short term. But that doesn't mean it isn't there.
The parts aren't a unified whole like they were in Win95.
You think console apps and Win32 GUI apps felt the same on Win95? Do you remember that console apps always launched full-screen? And on higher-end systems (i.e. higher than VGA resolution) would force a long and flickery screen resolution change? (and many were generally not usable when forced into windowed mode - good windowed mode support for console apps didn't come until Win2000/XP).
I'd argue the other way. I think desktop apps feel far more natural on Windows 8 than DOS/console apps did on Windows 95.