It's all about ME!
The Windows generation
Windows. You either love it or you hate it. Whatever your opinion is, no one can dispute the fact that for gaming, the Windows 9X family of operating systems is the only option available.
Over the years, the Windows 9X family of operating systems has been the brunt of many jokes. Most often, the operating system has been heavily criticized for its purported stability problems, while the Windows NT operating system was lambasted for not having Plug and Play support and for poor multimedia performance. Windows NT was designed as the business operating system, intended for high power networking applications. Windows 95 was made to be the operating system for the "everyman." For the general user, there was no doubt about the choice; Windows 95 (and later Windows 98) was the best operating system for the home user.
The first generation of the Windows operating system was really nothing more than a graphical shell laid on top of DOS. No one really liked the Windows 3.X operating system. It was ugly, it had limited functionality, it wasn't user friendly, and getting new hardware to work was normally a trial of futility. Hours of your life could easily disappear as you tried in vain to figure out how to get the sound card to make sound.
As terrible as Windows 3.X was, users flocked to the operating system. As far as the average person was concerned, anything was better than the cryptic DOS command line that people had to cope with before. Yes, Windows 3.X was ugly, but it was graphical, not text based, and that was all that mattered to the average computer user.
Windows 3.X did offer some customization options, but it was never really "user friendly." When things happened, they just happened, and you were never told exactly why. Help files were practically non-existent, and what help files did exist were not very helpful at all. Even though Windows 3.X had finally broke users away from the DOS command line, troubleshooting Windows problems was almost impossible if you were not familiar with the DOS command structure.
The true GUI
Windows 95 sought to change everything. An entirely new operating system was built from the ground up. DOS still existed in the operating system, but it operated under Windows95, instead of having Windows operating on top of DOS as it had been in the past.
The Windows Explorer made navigation of the operating system a much simpler task with an entirely new, and very attractive GUI interface. Of all the major improvements that Windows 95 offered, "Plug and Play" was the most famous.
No longer did users have to spend hours manually fiddling with device settings, you could simply plug the new device into the computer and have Windows take care of identifying and installing the device for you. All you had to do was to provide the system with the correct driver software. Plug and Play was far from perfect, but it was far better than the old, manual method of device installation.
The Windows 9X family is the standard PC gaming platform. With its massive installed user base, it would be suicide for a developer to not support Windows. Windows 9X does exactly what it is supposed to do: sit there, look pretty and let people play games, type documents, scan photos, do e-mail, and browse the web. People always demand more. Windows caters to the everyday user, and Microsoft's newest version, Windows ME, is even more user friendly than before.