Windows

Windows logo1. When referring to an operating system, Windows or win is an operating environment created by Microsoft that provides an interface, known as a Graphical User Interface (GUI), for computers. Windows eliminates the need to memorize commands for the command line (MS-DOS) by using a mouse to navigate through menus, dialog boxes, buttons, tabs, and icons. If you are using a PC (IBM) computer you are most likely using a version of Windows. If you are on an Apple computer you are using macOS.

Microsoft Windows was first introduced with version 1.0 on November 10, 1983. Since its release, there have been over a dozen versions of Windows. The most current version of Windows for end users is Windows 10.

Microsoft Windows help pages

Why is Microsoft Windows called Windows?

Before the release of Microsoft Windows, Microsoft users were used to the single-task command line operating system MS-DOS. Because Microsoft names most of its products with one word, it needed a word that best described its new GUI operating system. Microsoft chose "Windows" because of the multiple windows that allow different tasks and programs to be run at the same time. Because you cannot trademark a common name like "Windows" it is officially known as "Microsoft Windows" and the first version of Microsoft Windows was version 1.0 that was released in 1985.

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2. The term window is also used to describe the visual square area of a program. See the window definition for additional information about this term.

Also see: Operating system terms, Window, Windows 2000, Windows 3.x, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP