This Guy Got His Apple Watch To Run Windows 95

Who says desktop software can't be on your wrist?

With any piece of technology, they’ll be people who try and hack it or get it to do something that it wasn’t originally intended to. One creative developer did just that with his Apple Watch recently, hacking the device to run Windows 95. The developer, Nick Lee, wrote a blog post on Medium this week explaining how he did it, as well as posted a YouTube video of the Apple Watch running the OS.

While getting Windows to run on a smartwatch might seem absurd at first, Lee points out in his blog post that the specs of the Apple Watch are actually bit better than your average Windows 95 computer, so getting the device to run the OS is a little easier than you might initially think.

“With a 520 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, the Apple Watch packs a lot of computing horsepower into a very small package. On paper, its processor alone is about twenty-five times faster than the average 386, and 512 MB was the size of a hard drive in the mid-nineties, not memory,” says Lee in his post. “As a result, 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.”

In the post, Lee details how he was able to get the OS running, a process that included not only software work but also a tiny hardware modification. As it turns out, the Apple Watch is pretty adamant about powering itself off when it’s not in use. That’s awesome when you’re wearing it around town and want to conserve battery power, but if you’re trying to run Windows on it you need that screen to stay away.

To take care of the situation, Lee hot glued a motor to the crown on the Apple Watch, preventing it from falling asleep.

Running Windows 95 on the Watch also isn’t exactly a seamless process. Because the software is emulated rather tan virtualized, it takes roughly an hour for the Apple Watch to boot up.

  Not exactly something you’d want in a real-world scenario.

Want to give it a try for yourself? Lee uploaded the code for the GitHub and has an outline of the steps needs to make the magic happen included in his post on Medium.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not so surprisingly), this actually isn’t the first time that Lee has hacked his Apple Watch to run different software. Also included in his Medium post is a video of his Apple Watch running Mac OS 7.5.5, an old version of Apple’s desktop operating system.

Lee wasn’t the first person to put a desktop operating system on the Apple Watch. Earlier this year a 15-year-old developer named Billy Ellis posted a video on YouTube where he had put a simulator of OS X Yosemite on his Apple Watch. Once launched, the simulation includes icons for things like the App Store, Launchpad, Finder and even a trash can. At the time everything wasn’t fully functional, but Ellis was optimistic that he would be able to add some functionality to the simulation in the future.

Previously, Ellis was able to get iOS 4.2.1, designed for the iPad and iPhone, to run on the Apple Watch.

“The reason why I create these apps is really just to show people how certain things could look/work on such a small device,” Ellis told Cult of Mac in February.

“So they are really just fun concepts that allow people to see how the Apple Watch could have been if Apple had decided to do things differently. Also, a lot of people seem to just love seeing unique apps and ideas that you wouldn’t find on the App Store.”