10 Ways you Know You Used Microsoft in the ’90s

Technology has come a long way since the ‘90s. And while we’re thankful that we have the cloud instead of floppy disks, and Wi-Fi instead of dial-up, there are a few things we fondly remember about the decade of Ross and Rachel. Here are 10 things that only people who used Microsoft products in the ‘90s will remember:


The game that just kept on giving—if you could avoid getting eaten by the abominable snow monster. But even if you avoided all the trees, rocks, and landed the jumps, you could never truly win before you realized you should probably quit and get back to work.


Before there was Wikipedia, there was a digital multimedia encyclopedia that you felt confident about citing. And it had full motion video—on a computer!


The 9×9 board always gave you the confidence to try and tackle the expert one. Although it no longer comes with Windows, Minesweeper (with way better graphics) is available for free download from the Windows Store.

Starfield screensaver

What better way to take off for the future with a screensaver that made it look like you were on the bridge of your own starship?


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Microsoft Flight Simulator

Believe it or not, the Flight Simulator software predated Windows. The game was lauded for its realism—even by experienced pilots.

Config.sys and Autoexec.bat

Remember before Windows, when you opened these DOS files in a text editor to hack around with your emm386.exe arguments? No? Boy, did you miss out on the fun!

Microsoft Office

It’s hard to believe that one of the defining pieces of software didn’t get its start until 1990 on MS-DOS—or 1989 on the Mac. For reference, Microsoft Office is older than Ice, Ice Baby.

Internet Explorer 1.0

Before 11, there was Internet Explorer 1—the browser that children of the ’90s remember. Admit it, you dragged your mouse over the progress bar to make webpages load faster.


Before Forward and Back, before clicking files to open them, you had to know the name of the .exe file you wanted to run and how to navigate through all 100 MB of your hard drive’s files and folders. Turns out clicking is way easier than remembering obscure commands that started in the ‘70s with punchcards.