Nick Lee, an adventurous developer, successfully installed Windows 95 into the Apple Watch by using a few hacks of his own and modifying a WatchKit app to load his code instead of Apple’s usual information.
Lee assured that the once powerful software runned by the most powerful hardware at the time is now able to be supported in the simplest device that users will just use in their wrists. Although is not the most practical experiment in history, it shows how far technology has come.
With a 520 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, the Apple packs a lot of computing horsepower into a very small package, Lee said. From a specific point of view, the watch’s processor is about 25 times faster than the average 386, and 512 MB was the size of a hard drive in the mid nineties, not memory, the developer added.
“I was feeling confident that the Apple Watch had the ability to run one of the most revered desktop operating systems Redmond has ever produced,” Lee wrote in a blogpost in Medium.
However, the risky experiment could leave the watch without warranty so any other adventurous developer should be aware. In addition, Lee has some previous experience in installing old operating systems in Apple’s watches, once he made his watch run Mac OS 7.7.5.
The installation process
He explained in his post that first he had to overcome the fact that Apple’s devices just do not come with the option of installing a new operating system. He modified the company’s developer software in “rather unorthodox ways”, according to a comment from him to The Verge.
This, allowed the device to support Windows 95, but other characteristics were still pending, such as the automatic sleeping which turns off the watch when this is not being used. The option was a particular problems due to the operating system took about 1 hour to install.
Lee set up a motorized tube that constantly turned the watch’s crown so the sleep option was not activated during the all process. In addition, he also altered the device’s software to let the operating system to track a single fingertip and this was used as a moose.