The holy trinity, Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME, collectively known as "Windows 9x", is a series of DOS-based, preemptively multitasking graphical operating systems developed by Microsoft between 1995 and 2000. Having an affinity for Windows 9x is known to be the heaviest form of Windowsism, which, while said victim of Windows is happy to use Win9x, others look on in disgust wondering how such a creature could exist, a creature that could actually use Win9x.

This article will outline the traits of this specific form of Windowsism. While most people infected with Windowsism have a much more recent NT-based Windows operating system as their master, Win9x users are known as "Elder Ones" and are revered in the Windows community.

Detection Signs

Before someone with Win9x Windowsism will properly turn into a Windows user, they may exhibit signs suggesting they are turning into a Win9x Windows user. If they do have these traits, it is advised you perform a purging ritual by giving them a ThinkPad with a GNU/Linux distribution on it. If this does not work, then they have succumb to the curse of Windowsism and it may be too late. If they are seeking help, they can still be saved, but if they accept their chosen Windows 9x operating system as their master, then the only option is to kill them by driving a stake though their computer.

These signs include:

  • A history with Windows 9x. If they have used Windows 9x in the past, Windows 9x may have influenced them in their earlier years, which would cause them to grow up with a mild yet growing affinity for Windows 9x. In the worst cases, Win9x may have nearly fully turned them into a Win9x Windows user, and by the time they grow up they may have a severe case of it.
  • Has been seen talking about Windows 9x. If they have been seen to converse on topics regarding Windows 9x without having some sort of disdain for it or mocking it, they may be showing early signs of Windowsism. If they are asking others if they know of any 9x software, this is a very clear sign and you must confront them about their condition.
  • Using Windows 9x in a virtual machine. If they have done this, they may already be infected with early Win9x Windowsism. Even if they talk negatively about 9x from this point, they may be covering their affinity for it. If they have used 9x in a virtual machine multiple times, they are infected and must be confronted. This is the final sign before they install 9x on their actual computer, and by this point they will be fully infected.

If anyone you know has any of these traits, attempt to install a freedom-respecting operating system on their computer. If they do not wish to cooperate, you may need to consult a local Free Software Supporter in your area, which may attempt to cure them, but may also attempt to slay them.


A fully-infected Win9x user will devote themselves entirely to their respective Win9x version (95, 98, or ME). They will have it installed on one of their computers. While newer computers are immune to Win9x Windowsism, older computers are shown to be difficult to kill if not outright indestructible when inflicted with Win9x, which makes them far more dangerous than more recent NT-infected computers.

This is a blessing and a curse, as while Win9x is much harder to kill than other Windows user, a Win9x has a very difficult time infecting others. They will try, and maybe even succeed once or twice, but that's all. A Win9x Windows user is very easy to corner and contain to make sure they cannot infect anyone else.

Unlike much more recent NT-based Windows users, Win9x users are very difficult to cure. They become entirely devoted to their Win9x, and even showing them freedom-respecting alternatives like ReactOS, which can run Win9x software, will not convince them to abandon their master. So far nobody infected with Win9x has been cured, but rather slain. It is difficult to tell if Win9x users are just that stubborn, or there are simply not enough of them to tell if some could be saved.

Interestingly enough, Win9x Windows users are often immune to an affinity for C#, however this will, instead, be replaced by an even more dangerous addiction to x86 Assembly language. Instead of what C# does by swaying others into Windowsism, 9x x86 Assembly has the ability to make it's victims comatose or even kill them, making easy pray for the 9x Windows user. Keep in mind though that not all 9x Windows users are immune to C# infection, and in fact some have reported to shown an addiction to C#, which is extremely conflicting to them as only very old versions of .NET run on 98 and ME, .NET not supporting 95 at all, and Mono does not run on Win9x. Unless the Windows user themselves can find inner peace on this matter, this will drive them to insanity and the problem will solve itself.

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