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Why do Computer OS still have the Screensavers, yet they haven’t been useful for Decades

by Felix Omondi

It is funny that even the most recent computer operating system (OS) like Windows 10 still gives users the option of turning on a Screensaver. Although in Windows 10, they come on the Lock screen, unlike earlier versions of Windows.

Personally, I think Screensavers have become redundant, and the fact that all the computer OSs come with this feature automatically disabled prove me right. There was a time and place when you would have needed a Screensaver if you were using a computer between 1970 and 1999. At the turn of the century, they became obsolete other than the need for aesthetic display when you are not using your computer.

Screensaver, were literally the savior for your screen, back in the days when Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) displays were the common type of screens for computers. These CRTs had images burn into them if left with a still image showing for a long time. The image burned into the screen would be visible (in an annoying way) when the CRT display was on or off. Meaning if you had left your computer on, without any video playing, you would come back finding the image burnt into the screen for life.

These images will remain there even when you’re showing other images; sort of like an overlay. However, no one still uses CRT; at least not that many. So why do OS makers like Microsoft and Apple still have this feature even in their most recent OS release?

The reason is simple; nowadays screensaver serves other purposes other than saving your screen. For businesses, it is a nice way to display your company brand and logo around the office space. For individuals, it gives your computer a life of its own; things it can do when its human master has moved away from it for a while.

Some of the memorable Screensavers from back in the days

Windows 3D Maze Screensaver

Classic Windows 95 and 98 Screensaver

218 After Dark Screensaver

Johnny Castaway Screensaver

Screensavers aren’t these days because most people are using mobile devices in the form of laptops and smartphones, all of which runs on battery. If you decided to enable a screensaver on your laptop, you will drain your battery fast. As for smartphones, neither Android nor iOS devices have enabled the option of s screensaver. Because they will drain your already fast draining smartphone battery even faster.

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