Short for Windows Internet Name Service, WINS is a name server and database for NetBIOS computer names. Essentially, WINS is a means for mapping NetBIOS names to IP addresses. It was implemented by Microsoft and consists of two parts: a Server Service and a TCP/IP Client. The Server Service manages the server-to-server replication, service requests and conflicts. The TCP/IP Client handles the registration of computer names and renewal of those computer names.
By using WINS on a network NetBIOS traffic over the network is significantly decreased, and you no longer need to manage lmhost files.