The tech world was a very different place in 1995. Back then, a 100MHz processor was considered powerful, the upcoming Copland operating system was going to be Apple’s next big thing, and Windows 95 was going to change everything on the PC side of things.
As if to prove the point, Nick Lee of mobile app development firm Tendigi Studios hacked his Apple Watch to run Microsoft’s one-time flagship operating system.
To get the hack to work, Lee ported the Bochs x86 emulator to the Apple Watch, using a technique that lets you “patch certain files within a WatchKit app to load your own application code rather than Apple’s.” He then dropped a Windows 95 disk image into the app he created to finish the project.
Practical? No. Kind of neat to see in action? Yes.
Even though the Apple Watch is far more powerful than a typical mid-90s desktop PC, Lee writes that it takes roughly one hour for Windows 95 to start up, since he’s using an x86 emulator on top of the Watch’s hardware.
For the full details, take a look at Lee’s post on Medium. If you’re feeling daring, you can download the source code from GitHub, though you’ll need to provide certain files yourself.
The isn’t the first time Lee ran an old operating system on his Apple Watch: He previously got Mac OS 7.5.5—released in 1996—to run on his Watch. Prior to this, we’ve also seen intrepid programmers get Windows 95 to run on an Android Wear Smartwatch, a Nintendo 3DS, and an older-model Android phone.