Inside Windows 95

by Adrian King

     Title: Inside Windows 95
    Author: Adrian King
 Publisher: Microsoft Press
      ISBN: 1-55615-626-X
      Info: 480 pages (softcover)
     Price: $24.95
Adrian King has worked very closely with Microsoft when writing this book. In fact, he is a former MS employee, and managed in 1987/1988 the project that produced Windows/386, so he truly knows what he is writing about.

This book provides a lot of insight into the thinking behind the design and implementation of Windows 95 - or at least BETA-1 (from 1994). That's right, the author himself warns us that the information is based on a pre-release version of Windows 95. By the time it was announced (as Chicago), Microsoft wanted to release it by the end of the year - 1993. By the time the book was written, Windows 95 was expected by the end of the year - 1994. And by the time you read this review Windows 95 is still expected to ship at the end of the year - 1995.

The intention of the book is to provide a technical introduction to the Windows 95 system, including enough detail to satisfy Windows power users and developers. The emphasis of the book is on what Windows 95 can do, how it does it, and why its features were designed and implemented in particular ways (although some things may change in the final release).

Among the topics that are covered are: the 32-bit protected mode environment, the revised user interface and new system shell, the new device-independent color and display drivers, the new enhanced file system with long filenames, plug and play, network support, built-in internet access utilities and so on. The only thing that was not included in the book was pen support and the multimedia support of Windows 95, like WinG. The book contains several charts and some example code (in C), but still the most interesting parts are those where design choices are made and motivated against possible alternatives. This really makes you feel almost part of the Windows 95 team itself.

The book does certainly not claim to cover it all, but only to privide pre-release knowledge of Windows 95, for people that want to prepare before it's there (people who don't (or do) have access to a Windows 95 BETA version themselves). I think everyone should read Inside Windows 95 - especially the power users and developers. I can recommend this book to anyone who wants to prepare NOW for Windows 95 (and we all know Delphi for Windows 95 will ship just shortly after Windows 95 itself)...

You can reach the author by e-mail at

For more (free) information on Windows 95, you can subscribe to Microsoft's electronic newsletter WinNews, by sending an e-mail message to with the contents SUBSCRIBE WINNEWS.

(Bob Swart)

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