Over the years, advances in multimedia software technology have coincided with advances in multimedia hardware technology. Graphics accelerator boards, 16-bit audio cards, increasingly fast CD-ROM drives, video capture cards, and local bus technologies all served to make the PC an attractive multimedia platform.
However, Windows-based multimedia suffered from two glaring problems:
All this new hardware was still difficult to set up, thanks to the rigors of setting IRQs and other configuration parameters.
Except for the basic multimedia subsystem included in Windows 3.1, Microsoft relied on third-party developers, OEMs, and end-users to implement, distribute, and install new features.
Windows 95 solved these problems by ...