It’s garish. It’s twisted. It’s, as Engadget calls it, “your childhood on acid.”
It’s the Windows 93 operating system, in website form.
No, Windows 93 never existed. The site is simply an art project, it seems, both celebrating and poking fun at the clunky design and terrible aesthetics of early computer history. It’s basically a fully functional, more sophisticated version of Windows Really Good Edition—another Internet gem for nostalgic users—that includes applications that throw back to Internet jokes upon Internet jokes, presented in breathtakingly glitchy fashion.
The point of the project seems to be two-fold. Its first goal, clearly, is to boggle your mind as you click through the files: There’s a text version of Star Wars, a web browser dubbed the "Cat Explorer," multiple viruses (hydra.exe's the worst, trust me), and games (Solitaire is aptly renamed "Solitude"). If none of that makes sense, just go and poke around for yourself with the volume on.
The second—and possibly unintentional—goal of the project is to examine computing as it was. It’s part of a phenomenon Kyle Chayka described Tuesday on Gizmodo as “The Great Web 1.0 Revival.” In other words, new sites and platforms (think Ello, or Facebook’s new Rooms app) are returning to the nature of the early Internet out of collective nostalgia. “Like artisanal hipster nostalgia for a time when men were men, shoes were handmade, and everyone pickled their own vegetables,” Chayka wrote, “the Internet’s vanguard is pushing for a return toward a simpler digital era.”