Windows 95 merged Microsoft's formerly separate MS-DOS and Windows products. It featured significant improvements over its predecessor, Windows 3.1, most notably in the graphical user interface (GUI) and in its simplified "plug-and-play" features. There were also major changes made to the core components of the operating system, such as moving from a mainly co-operatively multitasked 16-bit architecture to a 32-bit preemptive multitasking architecture.
Accompanied by an extensive marketing campaign, Windows 95 introduced numerous functions and features that were featured in later Windows versions, such as the taskbar, the "Start" button and the way the user navigates. It was also suggested that Windows 95 had an effect of driving other major players (including OS/2) out of business, something which would later be used in court against Microsoft.
Three years after its introduction, Windows 95 was succeeded by Windows 98. Microsoft ended support for Windows 95 on December 31, 2001.
Windows 95 followed Windows for Workgroups 3.11 with its lack of support for older, 16-bit x86 processors, thus requiring an Intel 80386 (or compatible). While the OS kernel is 32-bit, much code (especially for the user interface) remained 16-bit for performance reasons as well as development time constraints. This had a rather detrimental effect on system stability and led to frequent application crashes.
The introduction of 32-bit file access in Windows for Workgroups 3.11 meant that 16-bit real mode MS-DOS is not used for managing the files while Windows is running, and the earlier introduction of the 32-bit disk access means that the PC BIOS is often no longer used for managing hard disks. DOS can be used for running old-style drivers for compatibility, but Microsoft discourages using them, as this prevents proper multitasking and impairs system stability. Control Panel allows a user to see which MS-DOS components are used by the system; optimal performance is achieved when they are bypassed. The Windows kernel uses MS-DOS style real-mode drivers in Safe Mode, which exists to allow a user to fix problems relating to loading native, protected-mode drivers.
Wilmington, Kingston upon Hull
Wilmington, a village in the civil parish of Long Man, East Sussex, England
Lordship of Wilmington, an ancient manor in Kent in the parish of Sellindge
Sapporo, Japan, and Gothenburg, Sweden, were front-runners to host the 1984 Winter Olympics. It was therefore a surprise when Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, was selected as host. The Games were well-organised and not affected by the run-up to the war that engulfed the country eight years later. A total of 49 nations and 1,272 athletes participated in 39 events. Host nation Yugoslavia won its first Olympic medal when alpine skier Jure Franko won a silver in the giant slalom. Another sporting highlight was the free dance performance of British ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Their performance to Ravel's Bolro earned the pair the gold medal after achieving unanimous perfect scores for artistic impression.
In 1988 the Canadian city of Calgary hosted the first Winter Olympics to span 16 days. New events were added in ski-jumping and speed skating; while future Olympic sports curling, short track speed skating and freestyle skiing made their appearance as demonstration sports. For the first time the speed skating events were held indoors, on the Olympic Oval. Dutch skater Yvonne van Gennip won three gold medals and set two world records, beating skaters from the favoured East German team in every race. Her medal total was equalled by Finnish ski jumper Matti Nyknen, who won all three events in his sport. Alberto Tomba, an Italian skier, made his Olympic debut by winning both the giant slalom and slalom. East German Christa Rothenburger won the women's 1,000 metre speed skating event. Seven months later she would earn a silver in track cycling at the Summer Games in Seoul, to become the only athlete to win medals in both a Summer and Winter Olympics in the same year.
The 1992 Games were the last to be held in the same year as the Summer Games. They were hosted in the French Savoie region in the city of Albertville, though only 18 events were held in the city. The rest of the events were spread out over the Savoie. Political changes of the time were reflected in the Olympic teams appearing in France: this was the first Games to be held after the fall of Communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Germany competed as a single nation for the first time since the 1964 Games; former Yugoslavian republics Croatia and Slovenia made their debuts as independent nations; most of the former Soviet republics still competed as a single team known as the Unified Team, but the Baltic States made independent appearances for the first time since before World War II. At 16 years old, Finnish ski jumper Toni Nieminen made history by becoming the youngest male Winter Olympic champion. New Zealand skier Annelise Coberger became the first Winter Olympic medallist from the southern hemisphere when she won a silver medal in the women's slalom.
In 1986 the IOC had voted to separate the Summer and Winter Games and place them in alternating even-numbered years. This change became effective for the 1994 Games, held in Lillehammer, Norway, which became the first Winter Olympics to be held separately from the Summer Games. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the Czech Republic and Slovakia made their Olympic debuts. The women's figure skating competition drew media attention when American skater Nancy Kerrigan was injured on 6 January 1994, in an assault planned by the ex-husband of opponent Tonya Harding. Both skaters competed in the Games, but the gold medal was won by Oksana Baiul. She became Ukraine's first Olympic champion. Johann Olav Koss of Norway won three gold medals, coming first in all of the distance speed skating events. Russia won the most gold medals with 11 overall, closely followed by Norway with 10. Juan Antonio Samaranch described Lillehammer as the best Olympic Winter Games ever in his closing ceremony speech.
The 1998 Winter Olympics were held in the Japanese city of Nagano and were the first Games to host more than 2,000 athletes. The men's ice hockey tournament was opened to professionals for the first time. Canada and the United States, with their many NHL players, were favoured to win the tournament. Neither won any hockey medals however; the Czech Republic prevailed. Women's ice hockey made its debut and the United States won the gold medal. Bjrn Dhlie of Norway won three gold medals in Nordic skiing, becoming the most decorated Winter Olympic athlete, with eight gold medals and twelve medals overall. Austrian Hermann Maier survived a crash during the downhill competition and returned to win gold in the super-g and the giant slalom. New world records were set in speed skating because of the introduction of the clap skate.