It was bound to happen sooner or later, and now it’s finally happened: one savvy developer has, after a fair bit of work, managed to port Microsoft's Windows 95 onto an Apple Watch. In fact, the nature of the components inside the Apple Watch mean the wearable is actually more powerful than many of the desktop computers which originally ran the operating system.
MacRumors explains that once developer Nick Lee “realized that the Apple Watch's 520 MHz processor, 512 MB or RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage made it more powerful than many desktops running Windows 95 in the 1990s, he felt confident he could get it to run Microsoft's successful operating system.” Yet the process, as you can probably imagine, wasn't exactly simple:
To get Windows 95 to run on the Apple Watch, Lee knew he couldn't rely on Apple's WatchKit SDK because it doesn't allow developers to directly access user touch locations. Instead, the SDK forces developers to use Apple's stock controls. So Lee had to patch certain files within a WatchKit app to load his own app code rather than Apple's. Lee tells MacRumors the process, which puts an x86 emulator into a self-contained Watch app, essentially turned Windows 95 into an an app.
This of course isn't the first time an Apple product has emulated Windows 95: before now, emulators have brought the operating system to Apple's iOS devices using similarly complex methods. Though if you were hoping to take on a few rounds of Minesweeper on your Apple Watch, don't hold your breath. As you can see in the above video, the Windows 95-powered Apple Watch is largely unusable, though it does indeed boot up and run the operating system.
Nevertheless, it's a nice achievement. You can read through Lee's Medium post for more information on the process.