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Encyclopedia > Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Screenshot of Windows Vista Ultimate, the latest version of Microsoft Windows (Build 6000).
Company/developer: Microsoft Corporation
OS family: MS-DOS/9x-based, Windows CE, Windows NT
Source model: Closed source / Shared source
License: MS-EULA
Working state: Current
Website: Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of software operating systems by Microsoft. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows in November 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).[1] Microsoft Windows eventually came to dominate the world's personal computer market, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced previously. At the 2004 IDC Directions conference, IDC Vice President Avneesh Saxena stated that Windows had approximately 90% of the client operating system market.[2] The current client version of Windows is Windows Vista. The current server version of Windows is Windows Server 2003. The successor to Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 is currently being beta tested. For other uses, see Window (disambiguation). ... Look up Windows, windows in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Windows_logo. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 350 KB, MIME type: image/png) // Screenshot of the Windows Vista desktop on first boot. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... The term software company could be applied to: a) a company that produces software, distributes software from a third party, or provides services such as custom software development. ... For other uses, see Software developer (disambiguation). ... Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), (founded 1975), headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, is the worlds largest software company (with over 50,000 employees in various countries, as of May 2004). ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... Windows 9x is the family of Microsoft Windows operating systems that comprises the 32-bit, DOS-based Windows versions: Windows 95, Windows 98, and often also Windows Me. ... Windows CE (sometimes abbreviated WinCE) is a variation of Microsofts Windows operating system for minimalistic computers and embedded systems. ... Windows NT (New Technology) is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. ... The text below is generated by a template, which has been proposed for deletion. ... Shared source is Microsoft’s framework for sharing computer program source code with individuals and organizations. ... is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... September 2007 is the ninth month of that year. ... A software license is a legal agreement which may take the form of a proprietary or gratuitous license as well as a memorandum of contract between a producer and a user of computer software. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... A software license is a type of proprietary or gratiuitious license as well as a memorandum of contract between a producer and a user of computer software — sometimes called an End User License Agreement (EULA) — that specifies the perimeters of the permission granted by the owner to the... A website (alternatively, Web site or web site) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or several Web server(s), usually accessible via the Internet, cell phone or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer and provides programmers with an interface used to access those resources. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... GUI redirects here. ... This article relates to both the original Classic Mac OS as well as Mac OS X, Apples more recent operating system. ... IDC Analyze the Future-logo. ... Look up Client in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Look up server in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ... Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ... Windows Server 2008 is the name of the next server operating system from Microsoft. ... Code complete redirects here. ...

Contents

Versions

See also: List of Microsoft Windows versions
Windows OS market share[3]
Windows Version Market share
All versions 92.63%
Windows XP 79.07%
Windows Vista 7.91%
Windows 2000 3.16%
Windows 98 0.82%
Windows NT 0.61%
Windows ME 0.46%
Windows CE 0.06%
Windows 95 0.02%

The term Windows collectively describes any or all of several generations of Microsoft (MS) operating system (OS) products. These products are generally categorized as follows: This is a listing of the versions of the operating systems offered by Microsoft as Windows. ...


16-bit operating environments

The box art of Windows 1.0, the first version that Microsoft released to the public.
The box art of Windows 1.0, the first version that Microsoft released to the public.

The early versions of Windows were often thought of as just graphical user interfaces, mostly because they ran on top of MS-DOS and used it for file system services.[citation needed] However even the earliest 16-bit Windows versions already assumed many typical operating system functions, notably having their own executable file format and providing their own device drivers (timer, graphics, printer, mouse, keyboard and sound) for applications. Unlike MS-DOS, Windows allowed users to execute multiple graphical applications at the same time, through cooperative multitasking. Finally, Windows implemented an elaborate, segment-based, software virtual memory scheme which allowed it to run applications larger than available memory: code segments and resources were swapped in and thrown away when memory became scarce, and data segments moved in memory when a given application had relinquished processor control, typically waiting for user input.[citation needed] 16-bit Windows versions include Windows 1.0 (1985), Windows 2.0 (1987) and its close relative Windows/286. Image File history File links Windows_1. ... Image File history File links Windows_1. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... For library and office filing systems, see Library classification. ... In computer science, object file or object code is an intermediate representation of code generated by a compiler after it processes a source code file. ... A device driver, or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a computer hardware device. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... In computing, multitasking is a method by which multiple tasks, also known as processes, share common processing resources such as a CPU. In the case of a computer with a single CPU, only one task is said to be running at any point in time, meaning that the CPU is... In Microsoft Windows, resources are read-only data embedded in an EXE or DLL files. ... Windows 1. ... Windows 2. ... Windows 2. ... AMD 80286 at 12 MHz. ...


Hybrid 16/32-bit operating environments

A classic Windows logo. Was used from 1992 to 2000.

Windows/386 introduced a 32-bit protected mode kernel and virtual machine monitor. For the duration of a Windows session, it created one or more virtual 8086 environments and provided device virtualization for the video card, keyboard, mouse, timer and interrupt controller inside each of them. The user-visible consequence was that it became possible to preemptively multitask multiple MS-DOS environments in separate Windows (graphical applications required switching the window to full screen mode). Windows applications were still multi-tasked cooperatively inside one of such real-mode environments. Image File history File links Microsoft_Windows. ... Image File history File links Microsoft_Windows. ... Windows 2. ... The Intel386[1] is a microprocessor which was used as the central processing unit (CPU) of many personal computers from 1986 until 2007. ... Protected mode is an operational mode of x86-compatible CPUs of the 80286 series or later. ... A kernel connects the application software to the hardware of a computer. ... In computer science, a virtual machine is software that creates a virtualized environment between the computer platform and its operating system, so that the end user can operate software on an abstract machine. ... In the 80386 and later, Virtual 8086 mode, also called virtual real mode (or VM86), allows the execution of real mode applications that violate the rules under the control of a protected mode operating system. ... In computing, an interrupt is an asynchronous signal from hardware or software indicating the need for attention. ...


Windows 3.0 (1990) and Windows 3.1 (1992) improved the design, mostly because of virtual memory and loadable virtual device drivers (VxDs) which allowed them to share arbitrary devices between multitasked DOS windows.[citation needed] Because of this, Windows applications could now run in 16-bit protected mode (when Windows was running in Standard or 386 Enhanced Mode), which gave them access to several megabytes of memory and removed the obligation to participate in the software virtual memory scheme. They still ran inside the same address space, where the segmented memory provided a degree of protection, and multi-tasked cooperatively. For Windows 3.0, Microsoft also rewrote critical operations from C into assembly, making this release faster and less memory-hungry than its predecessors.[citation needed] Windows 3. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The program thinks it has a large range of contiguous addresses; but in reality the parts it is currently using are scattered around RAM, and the inactive parts are saved in a disk file. ... In Microsoft computing, a VxD is a virtual device driver. ... C is a general-purpose, block structured, procedural, imperative computer programming language developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories for use with the Unix operating system. ... See the terminology section, below, regarding inconsistent use of the terms assembly and assembler. ...


Hybrid 16/32-bit operating systems

The Windows logo that was used from late 1999 to 2001.

With the introduction of 32-bit Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Windows was able to stop relying on DOS for file management.[citation needed] Levering this, Windows 95 introduced Long File Names, reducing the 8.3 filename DOS environment to the role of a boot loader. MS-DOS was now bundled with Windows; this notably made it (partially) aware of long file names when its utilities were run from within Windows. The most important novelty was the possibility of running 32-bit multi-threaded preemptively multitasked graphical programs. However, the necessity of keeping compatibility with 16-bit programs meant the GUI components were still 16-bit only and not fully reentrant, which resulted in reduced performance and stability. Image File history File links Wlogo. ... Image File history File links Wlogo. ... 32-bit is a term applied to processors, and computer architectures which manipulate the address and data in 32-bit chunks. ... The Windows 3. ... Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. ... Long filename is the name given to the longer and therefore more descriptive titles on the FAT filesystem, which was previously restricted to eight characters and a three-character extension (referred to as 8. ... A 8. ... In computing, booting is a bootstrapping process that starts operating systems when the user turns on a computer system. ...


There were three releases of Windows 95 (the first in 1995, then subsequent bug-fix versions in 1996 and 1997, only released to OEMs, which added extra features such as FAT32 and primitive USB support). Microsoft's next OS was Windows 98; there were two versions of this (the first in 1998 and the second, named "Windows 98 Second Edition", in 1999). In 2000, Microsoft released Windows Me (Me standing for Millennium Edition), which used the same core as Windows 98 but adopted the visual appearance of Windows 2000, as well as a new feature called System Restore, allowing the user to set the computer's settings back to an earlier date. Microsoft left little time for Windows 2000 to become popular before announcing their next version of Windows which would be called Windows XP. File Allocation Table (FAT) is a partially patented file system developed by Microsoft for MS-DOS and was the primary file system for consumer versions of Microsoft Windows up to and including Windows Me. ... Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft and the successor to Windows 95. ... Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me (IPA pronunciation: [miː], [ɛm iː]), is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ...


32-bit operating systems

The Windows logo that was used from 2001 to November 2006.

This family of Windows systems was fashioned and marketed for higher reliability business use, and was unencumbered by any Microsoft DOS patrimony.[citation needed] The first release was Windows NT 3.1 (1993, numbered "3.1" to match the Windows version and to one-up OS/2 2.1[citation needed], IBM's flagship OS co-developed by Microsoft and was Windows NT's main competitor at the time), which was followed by NT 3.5 (1994), NT 3.51 (1995), and NT 4.0 (1996); NT 4.0 was the first in this line to implement the Windows 95 user interface. Microsoft then moved to combine their consumer and business operating systems. Their first attempt, Windows 2000, failed to meet their goals,[citation needed] and was released as a business system. The home consumer edition of Windows 2000, codenamed "Windows Neptune," ceased development and Microsoft released Windows Me in its place.[citation needed] Eventually "Neptune" was merged into their new project, Whistler, which later became Windows XP, which came in both home and professional versions. Then, Windows Server 2003 brought Windows Server up to date with Windows XP. Since then, Windows Vista was released and Windows Server 2008 will bring Windows Server up to date with Windows Vista. Windows CE, Microsoft's offering in the mobile and embedded markets, is also a true 32-bit operating system that offers various services for all sub-operating workstations. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1196x817, 158 KB) Summary Microsoft Windows logo http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1196x817, 158 KB) Summary Microsoft Windows logo http://www. ... Windows NT 3. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Windows NT 4. ... Windows 2000 (also referred to as Win2K) is a preemptive, interruptible, graphical and business-oriented operating system designed to work with either uniprocessor or symmetric multi-processor computers. ... Microsoft codenames are the codenames given by Microsoft to products it has in development, before these products are given the names by which they appear on store shelves. ... Windows Neptune desktop. ... Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me (IPA pronunciation: [miː], [ɛm iː]), is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ... Windows Server may refer to: Windows 2000 Server, the release based on Windows 2000 Windows Server 2003, the current release of Windows Server Windows Server Longhorn, the upcoming release of Windows Server Windows Home Server, an upcoming server operating system intended for home use Microsoft Servers, a family of servers... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Windows Server 2008 is the name of the next server operating system from Microsoft. ... Windows Server may refer to: Windows 2000 Server, the release based on Windows 2000 Windows Server 2003, the current release of Windows Server Windows Server Longhorn, the upcoming release of Windows Server Windows Home Server, an upcoming server operating system intended for home use Microsoft Servers, a family of servers... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Windows CE (sometimes abbreviated WinCE) is a variation of Microsofts Windows operating system for minimalistic computers and embedded systems. ...


64-bit operating systems

The current Windows logo
The current Windows logo

Windows NT included support for several different platforms before the x86-based personal computer became dominant in the professional world. Versions of NT from 3.1 to 4.0 supported DEC Alpha and MIPS R4000, which were 64-bit processors, although the operating system treated them as 32-bit processors. Image File history File links Windows_logo_full. ... Image File history File links Windows_logo_full. ... Windows NT (New Technology) is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. ... Intel Pentium 4 (Northwood version), one example out of a huge number of x86 implementations from Intel, AMD, and others. ... DEC Alpha AXP 21064 Microprocessor die photo Package for DEC Alpha AXP 21064 Microprocessor Alpha AXP 21064 bare die mounted on a business card with some statistics The DEC Alpha, also known as the Alpha AXP, is a 64-bit RISC microprocessor originally developed and fabricated by Digital Equipment Corp... MIPS Technologies, formerly MIPS Computer Systems, is most widely known for developing the MIPS architecture and a series of pioneering RISC CPUs. ...


With the introduction of the Intel Itanium architecture, which is referred to as IA-64, Microsoft released new versions of Windows 2000 to support it. Itanium versions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 were released at the same time as their mainstream x86 (32-bit) counterparts. On April 25, 2005, Microsoft released Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and x64 versions of Windows Server 2003 to support the AMD64/Intel64 (or x64 in Microsoft terminology) architecture. Microsoft dropped support for the Itanium version of Windows XP in 2005. Windows Vista is the first end-user version of Windows that Microsoft has released simultaneously in 32-bit and x64 editions. Windows Vista does not support the Itanium architecture. The modern 64-bit Windows family comprises AMD64/Intel64 versions of Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003, in both Itanium and x64 editions. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... 2007 Itanium logo Itanium is the brand name for 64-bit Intel microprocessors that implement the Intel Itanium architecture (formerly called IA-64). ... In computing, IA-64 (short for Intel Architecture-64) is a 64-bit processor architecture developed cooperatively by Intel Corporation and Hewlett-Packard (HP), and implemented in the Itanium and Itanium 2 processors. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ... is the 115th day of the year (116th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the 64-bit Windows XP for Itanium systems, see Windows XP 64-bit Edition. ... The AMD64 or x86-64 is a 64-bit processor architecture invented by AMD. It is a superset of the x86 architecture, which it natively supports. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ...


History

Main article: History of Microsoft Windows

Microsoft has taken two parallel routes in operating systems. One route has been the home user and the other has been the professional IT user. The dual route has generally led to the home versions with greater multimedia support and less functionality in networking and security, and professional versions with inferior multimedia support and better networking and security. The Windows logo used since November 2006. ... Look up Multimedia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The first independent version of Microsoft Windows, version 1.0, released in November 1985, lacked a degree of functionality and achieved little popularity, and was to compete with Apple's own operating system.[citation needed] Windows 1.0 did not provide a complete operating system; rather, it extended MS-DOS. Microsoft Windows version 2.0 was released in November, 1987 and was slightly more popular than its predecessor. Windows 2.03 (release date January 1988) had changed the OS from tiled Windows to overlapping Windows. The result of this change led to Apple Computer filing a suit against Microsoft alleging infringement on Apple's copyrights.[citation needed]

A Windows for Workgroups 3.11 desktop.
A Windows for Workgroups 3.11 desktop.

Microsoft Windows version 3.0, released in 1990, was the first Microsoft Windows version to achieve broad commercial success, selling 2 million copies in the first six months.[citation needed] It featured improvements to the user interface and to multitasking capabilities. It received a facelift in Windows 3.1, made generally available on March 1, 1992. Windows 3.1 support ended on December 31, 2001.[4] This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software. ... This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software. ... is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...


In July 1993, Microsoft released Windows NT based on a new kernel. NT was considered to be the professional OS and was the first Windows version to utilize preemptive multitasking.[citation needed]. Windows NT and the Windows DOS/9x based line would later be fused together to create Windows XP. Windows NT (New Technology) is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. ... Pre-emptive multitasking is a form of multitasking in which processes are not allowed to take an indefinitely long time to complete execution in the CPU. Each process, in turn, is granted a portion of CPU time (usually called a time slice, on the order of milliseconds). ...


In August 1995, Microsoft released Windows 95, a new consumer version that made further changes to the user interface, and also used preemptive multitasking. Mainstream support for Windows 95 ended on December 31, 2000 and extended support for Windows 95 ended on December 31, 2001.[5] Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. ... Pre-emptive multitasking is a form of multitasking in which processes are not allowed to take an indefinitely long time to complete execution in the CPU. Each process, in turn, is granted a portion of CPU time (usually called a time slice, on the order of milliseconds). ... Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. ... is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ... Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. ... is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...


The next in the consumer line was Microsoft Windows 98 released in June 1998. It was substantially criticized for its slowness and for its unreliability compared with Windows 95, but many of its basic problems were later rectified with the release of Windows 98 Second Edition in 1999.[citation needed] Mainstream support for Windows 98 ended on June 30, 2002 and extended support for Windows 98 ended on July 11, 2006.[6] Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft and the successor to Windows 95. ... Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. ... Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft and the successor to Windows 95. ... Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft and the successor to Windows 95. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft and the successor to Windows 95. ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


As part of its "professional" line, Microsoft released Windows 2000 in February 2000. The consumer version following Windows 98 was Windows Me (Windows Millennium Edition). Released in September 2000, Windows Me attempted to implement a number of new technologies for Microsoft: most notably publicized was "Universal Plug and Play." However, the OS was heavily criticized for its lack of compatibility and stability and it was even rated by PC World as the fourth worst product of all time.[7] Windows 2000 (also referred to as Win2K) is a preemptive, interruptible, graphical and business-oriented operating system designed to work with either uniprocessor or symmetric multi-processor computers. ... Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me (IPA pronunciation: [miː], [ɛm iː]), is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ... Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me (IPA pronunciation: [miː], [ɛm iː]), is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ... Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a set of computer network protocols promulgated by the UPnP Forum. ...


In October 2001, Microsoft released Windows XP, a version built on the Windows NT kernel that also retained the consumer-oriented usability of Windows 95 and its successors. This new version was widely praised in computer magazines.[8] It shipped in two distinct editions, "Home" and "Professional", the former lacking many of the superior security and networking features of the Professional edition. Additionally, the first "Media Center" edition was released in 2002,[9] with an emphasis on support for DVD and TV functionality including program recording and a remote control. Mainstream support for Windows XP will continue until April 14, 2009 and extended support will continue until April 8, 2014.[10] Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... A kernel connects the application software to the hardware of a computer. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... is the 104th day of the year (105th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2009 (MMIX) will be a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... April 8 is the 98th day of the year (99th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2014 (MMXIV) will be a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In April 2003, Windows Server 2003 was introduced, replacing the Windows 2000 line of server products with a number of new features and a strong focus on security; this was followed in December 2005 by Windows Server 2003 R2. Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ... Windows 2000 (also referred to as Win2K) is a preemptive, interruptible, graphical and business-oriented operating system designed to work with either uniprocessor or symmetric multi-processor computers. ...


On January 30, 2007 Microsoft released Windows Vista. It contains a number of new features, from a redesigned shell and user interface to significant technical changes, with a particular focus on security features. It is available in a number of different editions, more than any previous version of Windows. is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Windows Vista (formerly codenamed Longhorn) has many significant new features compared with previous Microsoft Windows versions, covering most aspects of the operating system. ... Windows Vista (formerly codenamed Windows Longhorn) has many significant new features compared with previous Microsoft Windows versions, covering most aspects of the operating system. ... There are a number of security and safety features new to Windows Vista, most of which are not available in any prior Microsoft Windows operating system release. ... Windows Vista is available in six editions. ...


Timeline of releases

Release date Product name Version Notes
April 1987 Windows 1.04 1.0 Unsupported
November 1987 Windows 2.03 2.0 Unsupported
March 1989 Windows 2.11 2.1 Unsupported
May 1990 Windows 3.0 3.0 Unsupported
March 1992 Windows 3.1 3.1 Unsupported
October 1992 Windows For Workgroups 3.1 3.1 Unsupported
July 1993 Windows NT 3.1 3.1 Unsupported
December 1993 Windows For Workgroups 3.11 3.11 Unsupported
January 1994 Windows 3.2 (released in Simplified Chinese only) 3.2 Unsupported
September 1994 Windows NT 3.5 3.5 Unsupported
May 1995 Windows NT 3.51 3.51 Unsupported
August 1995 Windows 95 4.0.950 Unsupported
July 1996 Windows NT 4.0 4.0 Unsupported
June 1998 Windows 98 4.10.1998 Unsupported
May 1999 Windows 98 SE 4.10.2222 Unsupported
February 2000 Windows 2000 5.0.3700.6690 Extended Support until July 13, 2010[11]
September 2000 Windows Me 4.90.3000 Unsupported
October 2001 Windows XP 5.1.2600 Unsupported for RTM and Service Pack 1. Current for Service Pack 2.
March 2003 Windows XP 64-bit Edition 2003 5.2.3790 Unsupported
April 2003 Windows Server 2003 5.2.3790 Unsupported for RTM. Current for Service Pack 1, R2 and, Service Pack 2.
April 2005 Windows XP Professional x64 Edition 5.2.3790 Current
July 2006 Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs 5.1.2600 Current
November 2006 (for companies)/January 2007 (for consumers) Windows Vista 6.0.6000 Current
July 2007 Windows Home Server 5.2.3790 Current
February 2008 (planned) Windows Server 2008 6.0.6001 Future release
2009 or later (planned) Windows 7 (formerly codenamed Blackcomb and later Vienna) 7.0 Future release

Windows 1. ... Windows 2. ... Windows 2. ... Windows 3. ... A typical Windows 3. ... A typical Windows 3. ... Windows NT 3. ... A typical Windows 3. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Windows NT 3. ... Windows NT 3. ... Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. ... Windows NT 4. ... Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft and the successor to Windows 95. ... Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft and the successor to Windows 95. ... Windows 2000 (also referred to as Win2K) is a preemptive, interruptible, graphical and business-oriented operating system designed to work with either uniprocessor or symmetric multi-processor computers. ... is the 194th day of the year (195th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2010 (MMX) will be a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me (IPA pronunciation: [miː], [ɛm iː]), is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... RTM may stand for: Read the manual, as a variant of RTFM. Release to manufacturing, a synonym of Gone gold. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ... For the 64-bit Windows XP for Itanium systems, see Windows XP 64-bit Edition. ... Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (WinFLP) is an operating system from Microsoft, based on Windows XP, but optimized for older, less powerful hardware. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Windows Home Server is a home server operating system from Microsoft. ... Windows Server 2008 is the name of the next server operating system from Microsoft. ... Windows 7 (formerly codenamed Blackcomb, then Vienna) is a future version of Microsoft Windows. ...

Security

The Windows Security Center was introduced with Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Security has been a hot topic with Windows for many years, and even Microsoft itself has been the victim of security breaches. Consumer versions of Windows were originally designed for ease-of-use on a single-user PC without a network connection, and did not have security features built in from the outset. Windows NT and its successors are designed for security (including on a network) and multi-user PCs, but are not designed with Internet security in mind as much since, when it was first developed in the early 1990s, Internet use was less prevalent. These design issues combined with flawed code (such as buffer overflows) and the popularity of Windows means that it is a frequent target of worm and virus writers. In June 2005, Bruce Schneier's Counterpane Internet Security reported that it had seen over 1,000 new viruses and worms in the previous six months.[12] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (750x655, 71 KB) Microsoft Windows XP Security Center This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software for Microsoft Windows, and copyright for it is most likely held by the author(s) or the company that created the software. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (750x655, 71 KB) Microsoft Windows XP Security Center This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software for Microsoft Windows, and copyright for it is most likely held by the author(s) or the company that created the software. ... Screenshot of Windows Security Center in Windows Vista. ... This article describes how security can be achieved through design and engineering. ... Windows NT (New Technology) is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. ... In computer security and programming, a buffer overflow, or buffer overrun, is a programming error which may result in a memory access exception and program termination, or in the event of the user being malicious, a possible breach of system security. ... A computer worm is a self-replicating computer program. ... A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. ... Bruce Schneier Bruce Schneier (born January 15, 1963) is an American cryptographer, computer security specialist, and writer. ...


Microsoft releases security patches through its Windows Update service approximately once a month (usually the second Tuesday of the month), although critical updates are made available at shorter intervals when necessary.[13] In Windows 2000 (SP3 and later), Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, updates can be automatically downloaded and installed if the user selects to do so. As a result, Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, as well as Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003, were installed by users more quickly than it otherwise might have been.[14] Windows Update version 5 through Netscape Browser 8. ...


Windows Defender

On 6 January 2005, Microsoft released a beta version of Microsoft AntiSpyware, based upon the previously released Giant AntiSpyware. On 14 February 2006, Microsoft AntiSpyware became Windows Defender with the release of beta 2. Windows Defender is a freeware program designed to protect against spyware and other unwanted software. Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 users who have genuine copies of Microsoft Windows can freely download the program from Microsoft's web site, and Windows Defender ships as part of Windows Vista.[15] Image File history File links Windows_Defender_Vista. ... Image File history File links Windows_Defender_Vista. ... Windows Defender, previously known as Microsoft AntiSpyware, is a software product from Microsoft designed to prevent, remove and quarantine spyware on Microsofts Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista operating systems. ... is the 6th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... GIANT Company Software, Inc. ... is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Windows Defender, previously known as Microsoft AntiSpyware, is a software product from Microsoft designed to prevent, remove and quarantine spyware on Microsofts Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista operating systems. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ... Windows Genuine Advantage Notification in Windows XP Windows Genuine Advantage Notification in Windows Vista Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) is an anti-piracy system enacted by Microsoft that enforces Microsoft Windows online validation of the authenticity of several recent Microsoft operating systems when accessing several Microsoft Windows services, such as Windows... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ...


Third-party analysis

In an article based on a report by Symantec,[16] internetnews.com has described Microsoft Windows as having the "fewest number of patches and the shortest average patch development time of the five operating systems it monitored in the last six months of 2006."[17] And the number of vulnerabilities found in Windows has significantly increased— Windows: 12+, Red Hat + Fedora: 2, Apple OS X: 1, HP-UX: 2, Solaris: 1.


A study conducted by Kevin Mitnick and marketing communications firm Avantgarde in 2004 found that an unprotected and unpatched Windows XP system with Service Pack 1 lasted only 4 minutes on the Internet before it was compromised, and an unprotected and also unpatched Windows Server 2003 system was compromised after being connected to the internet for 8 hours.[18] However, it is important to note that this study does not apply to Windows XP systems running the Service Pack 2 update (released in late 2004), which vastly improved the security of Windows XP. The computer that was running Windows XP Service Pack 2 was not compromised. The AOL National Cyber Security Alliance Online Safety Study of October 2004 determined that 80% of Windows users were infected by at least one spyware/adware product.[19] Much documentation is available describing how to increase the security of Microsoft Windows products. Typical suggestions include deploying Microsoft Windows behind a hardware or software firewall, running anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and installing patches as they become available through Windows Update.[citation needed] Kevin David Mitnick (born October 6, 1963) is a controversial computer cracker and convicted criminal in the United States. ... Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ... For other uses, see AOL (disambiguation). ... A large number of toolbars, some added by spyware, overwhelm an Internet Explorer session. ... This article is about advertising-supported software. ... Firewall may refer to: Firewall (construction), a physical barrier inside a building or vehicle, designed to limit the spread of fire, heat and structural collapse Firewall (networking), a logical barrier designed to prevent unauthorized or unwanted communications between sections of a computer network Firewall (film), a 2006 action film written... Anti-virus software consists of computer programs that attempt to identify, thwart and eliminate computer viruses and other malicious software (malware). ... Anti spyware is a tool to detect and remove spyware. ... Windows Update version 5 through Netscape Browser 8. ...


Windows Lifecycle Policy

Microsoft has stopped releasing updates and hotfixes for many old Windows operating systems, including all versions of Windows 9x and earlier versions of Windows NT. Windows versions prior to XP are no longer supported, with the exception of Windows 2000, which is currently in the Extended Support Period, that will end on July 13, 2010. Windows XP versions prior to SP2 are no longer supported as well. Also, support for Windows XP 64-bit Edition ended after the release of the more recent Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.[citation needed] No new updates are created for unsupported versions of Windows. However, it is possible for users of older, now unsupported versions of Windows to download and install previously released updates, by going to the Windows Update catalog.[citation needed] Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Windows 2000 (also referred to as Win2K) is a preemptive, interruptible, graphical and business-oriented operating system designed to work with either uniprocessor or symmetric multi-processor computers. ... is the 194th day of the year (195th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2010 (MMX) will be a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... For the 64-bit Windows XP for Itanium systems, see Windows XP 64-bit Edition. ...


Emulation software

Emulation allows the use of some Windows applications without using Microsoft Windows. These include:

  • Wine - (Stands for "Wine Is Not an Emulator") an almost-complete free software/open-source software implementation of the Windows API, allowing one to run most Windows applications on x86-based platforms, including GNU/Linux. Wine is technically not an emulator; an emulator effectively 'pretends' to be a different CPU, while Wine makes use of Windows-style APIs to 'simulate' the Windows environment directly.
  • CrossOver - A Wine package with licensed fonts. Its developers are regular contributors to Wine, and focus on Wine running officially supported applications.
  • Cedega - TransGaming Technologies' proprietary fork of Wine, which is designed specifically for running games written for Microsoft Windows under GNU/Linux.
  • ReactOS - An open-source OS that intends to run the same software as Windows, at an early alpha stage.
  • Darwine - This project intends to port and develop Wine as well as other supporting tools that will allow Darwin and Mac OS X users to run Microsoft Windows applications, and to provide Win32 API compatibility at application source code level.

Wine is a project which aims to allow a PC with an x86 architecture processor running a Unix-like operating system and the X Window System to execute programs that were originally written for Microsoft Windows. ... Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... Open source software is computer software which source code is available under a license (or arrangement such as the public domain) that meets the Open_source_definition. ... The Windows API, informally WinAPI, is the name given by Microsoft to the core set of application programming interfaces (APIs) available in the Microsoft Windows operating systems. ... GNU (pronounced ) is a computer operating system composed entirely of free software. ... The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ... CrossOver (before version 6. ... Cedega (formerly known as WineX) is TransGaming Technologies proprietary fork of Wine (from when the license of Wine wasnt the LGPL but the X11 license), which is designed specifically for running games written for Microsoft Windows under Linux. ... TransGaming Technologies is a company that sells a proprietary fork of Wine for running Windows games on Linux and other operating systems. ... In software engineering, a project fork or branch happens when a developer (or a group of them) takes a copy of source code from one software package and starts to independently develop a new package. ... ReactOS is a project to develop an operating system that is binary-compatible with application software and device drivers for Microsoft Windows NT version 5. ... Darwine is a port of the WINE libraries to Darwin and Mac OS X. The intention is to make it possible to compile Win32 source code to Mach-O/PowerPC binaries. ... Darwin is a free and open source, Unix-like operating system first released by Apple Inc. ... Mac OS X (pronounced ) is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... Windows API is a set of APIs, (application programming interfaces) available in the Microsoft Windows operating systems. ... API and Api redirect here. ...

See also

Microsoft Portal
Wikibooks
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of

General: Image File history File links Portal. ... Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo-en. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ...

Further reading: These tables compare general and technical information for a number of widely used and currently available operating systems. ... Operating systems can be categorized by technology, ownership, licensing, working state, usage, and by many other characteristics. ... Caution! This Article Is Under Construction However, you are welcome to assist in its construction by editing it as well. ... For a broader comparison of closed source and Open Source software, see Comparison of open source and closed source. ...

The Windows NT operating system familys architecture consists of two layers (user mode and kernel mode), with many different modules within both of these layers. ... The various versions of Microsofts desktop operating system, Windows, have been the target of a number of criticisms over the years. ... The following is a list of Microsoft Windows components. ... Windows Explorer running on Windows Vista Windows Explorer running on Windows XP Windows Explorer is an application that is part of modern versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system that provides a graphical user interface for accessing the file systems. ... Windows Genuine Advantage Notification in Windows XP Windows Genuine Advantage Notification in Windows Vista Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) is an anti-piracy system enacted by Microsoft that enforces Microsoft Windows online validation of the authenticity of several recent Microsoft operating systems when accessing several Microsoft Windows services, such as Windows... Windows Media is a multimedia framework for media creation and distribution for Microsoft Windows. ... The Windows Startup Process is the process by which Microsofts Windows series of operating systems initializes. ...

References

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 112th day of the year (113th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 84th day of the year (85th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Bruce Schneier Bruce Schneier (born January 15, 1963) is an American cryptographer, computer security specialist, and writer. ... is the 166th day of the year (167th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... BT Counterpane, formerly Counterpane Internet Security, Inc. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 112th day of the year (113th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... eWeek:the Enterprise Newsweekly is a weekly magazine published by Ziff Davis Media, featuring editorials, reviews, labs and rumors. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 112th day of the year (113th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 112th day of the year (113th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 201st day of the year (202nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


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