A line of Microsoft products that provide OS functionality for x86 based PC architectures. Whether Win9x actually is an operating system is subject to some debate. While most casual users would agree that it is, many people who should know - i.e. geeks - argue that it is not, since all products in the line (Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition) are still based on a version of MS-DOS. Hence, the argument goes, Win9x is merely a graphical front-end to MS-DOS, much like earlier revisions, such as Windows 3.11.
Win9x, for all its technological inferiority to competing products such as Linux and other flavors of Unix, OS/2, and even the Amiga OS, has been wildly successful in the consumer market (many will argue due to Microsoft's unfair business practices), and has arguably made PCs easier to use and more accessible to millions of newbies - for better or worse.

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