Porting .NET Framework to Windows 95: Technical Challenge Successfully Overcome!

Today, I’d like to talk to you about something that will make more than one of you dream: Running modern .NET apps on that good old Windows 95! Impossible, you say? And no, you can imagine that a developer who is a bit crazy has managed this feat!

This code genius is called Matt, and he even shared his crazy project on GitHub. Its goal was simple: Backport .NET 2.0 to 3.5 on Windows 95. Originally, even Windows XP support wasn’t planned for these versions of .NET, so Windows 95, let’s not talk about it!

But that didn’t discourage our tinkerer who rolled up his sleeves. First of all, it was necessary to install Internet Explorer 5.01 and the Microsoft USB Supplement on a version of Windows 95 OSR 2. No choice, it’s necessary for .NET to work.

Then, most of the work was to implement all the missing Windows APIs that .NET uses on newer versions of the OS. A real titanic job and Matt had to recode stuff in all directions, intercept system calls, in short, he got his hands dirty and you know what?

It’s working!

Well, of course not everything is perfect, there are still some bugs and incompatibilities here and there, but you can already run a lot of .NET applications on Windows 95 thanks to your project. Classy, isn’t it?

Frankly, hats off. It’s these kinds of crazy projects that make us still love computer science. Well, I’m not sure it’s very useful in real life, but it doesn’t matter, the idea is to push the limits!

I’ll leave you with his explanations. It’s a real movie; you’ll see!

In any case, if you want to have fun installing .NET apps on your Windows 95 (or in a VM, we’re not wild), don’t hesitate to test his project. You can then put it on your Tinder profile and show off by showing your future conquests a screenshot of Paint.NET that magically rotates on your old cuckoo clock! (Just kidding, DON’T DO THAT!!)

Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

My name is Mohamed, and I'm the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek. Through this little blog, I share with you my passion for technology. I specialize in various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, focusing on providing practical and valuable guides.

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