Microsoft has confirmed the next version of Windows 95, codenamed Memphis, will not be as significant an upgrade as its predecessor.
Adam Taylor, group product manager at Microsoft in the US, told PC Week last week that Memphis is a "customer satisfaction release" and "not a complete redesign" of the operating system.
Windows 95, released in August 1995, represented a major step forward, taking the operating system into the realms of 32-bit computing.
Memphis is expected to go into beta in the second quarter of the year.
However, that date could slip, as its development is tied in closely with Internet Explorer 4.0, which is not due to go into beta until the end of the month.
Memphis will feature a new file system viewer based on a Web metaphor.
Users will be provided with a Web view of the file system based on the IE 4.0 interface, in addition to the Explorer and Windows Explorer views which are currently available.
One benefit of the new viewer is that it will give users hypertext links.
In theory, this should allow users to navigate the file system more quickly than at present.
Taylor also said Memphis will share a lot of code with the next version of Windows NT, release 5.0. He added that Microsoft has been tackling criticism of Windows 95' performance and investigating how it could improve the speed at which applications launch. "We have done a lot of plumbing," said Taylor.
Memphis will also support the FAT32 file system, which Microsoft said is more efficient than the file system in Windows 95. Previously, FAT32 was available only in the OEM System Release 2 of Windows 95.
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