One of several pieces of software from Microsoft:

1. Windows 1.0 was a graphical shell that allowed the user of an IBM PC to have several MS-DOS programs running at the same time, sharing the screen through viewports called "windows," hence the name. It was released after the first Apple Macintosh computer, and most users did not install it because it required too much memory. MS-DOS was an operating system that could only have one application open at any given time, and those applications could only access up to 640 kilobytes of RAM. Files stored by it had names consisting of eight characters, a dot, and three more characters, and certain characters, such as spaces, were not allowed. TEXTFILE.TXT was a typical DOS filename.

2. ~ 3.0 was a graphical shell that also had dynamic library support, a feature normally built into an operating system. Applications had to be written "for" ~, almost as if it was an operating system. It did things on behalf of applications, like an operating system. It was started from DOS as an application, and exiting ~ returned the user to DOS. Instead of folders, there were program groups, where programs had to be explicitly placed. Placement of a program in the Program Groups typically involved telling ~ the complete path to the program executable (ie, "C:\COREL\WP.EXE")

3. ~ 95 was a graphical shell that was booted directly by DOS, so that it appeared to be the entire operating system. It imitated the look and feel of a Macintosh. It was capable of running most ~ NT binaries, and it implemented pre-emptive multitasking, a feature commonly found in operating systems, and added support for "long filenames" (LFN), which allowed files to have Macintosh-like names. The "Restart in DOS mode" feature is equivalent to the "Exit Windows" feature in older versions of ~.

4. Windows NT ("New" Technology) is a real operating system that was written completely independantly of the line of graphical shells that are also called Windows. Microsoft hired the employees of DEC that designed VMS to work on ~ NT. Unlike ~ versions that were already on the market, ~ NT took full advantage of the Intel 386's 32-bit capabilities. Its design was so closely tied to the Intel 32-bit architecture that it could not be ported to a 64-bit platform easily.

The "New" technology in ~ was new only to Windows. Features new to NT, such as true multitasking and virtual memory, had been available in other operating systems since the 1970s and even before that.

Microsoft eventually began to market Windows NT as an alternative to UNIX, but they did so at the same time that Linux was becoming ever more popular as a UNIX replacement. Windows NT had many bugs of its own, and its superficial similarities to Windows 95 caused users to expect Windows 95 bugs to be present in Windows NT. Its Internet server offerings were notably inferior to the UNIX programs they were meant to replace.

All current versions of Windows are descended from Windows NT, and not from the DOS shells that were also called Windows.

Though 64-bit Intel processors are already available in 2004, a 64-bit version of Windows is still years away.
This program requires Microsoft Windows.
by Shaka Zulu September 03, 2004
A 32-bit operatijng system designed by the Microsoft corporation. Favored by many users due to its ease of use, deprecated by many geeks because of a myriad of reasons, and Yet Another thing to have a religious war about.
I use Linux because I just don't like Windows. That's it.
by Dennis October 15, 2003
Ghetto way of saying "when" and "though"
Baby mama: when am i getting my damn child support?
Man: ill pay yew ur sh*t, I just don't know window
by synyster_gates12_27 May 13, 2011
Windows is an common, popular operating system developed by Microsoft. It comes in many improving versions which are released every 1-4 years. It uses a simple point-and-click graphical interface for easy navigation. Windows can be used both for simple tasks that any newbie could carry out, complex operations involving months of coding and studying, and everything in between. Windows used to be highly unstable and prone to crashes, but they fixed that when they made Windows XP. They also got rid of DOS when they made the XP. Some versions are: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millenium, and Windows XP.
I used to use Windows 98. It could play my old favorites like DooM, but had a lot of problems and frequent, unexplained errors. I have Windows XP now. I mis DooM but not the errors.
by Party Pooper September 11, 2004
The name of the operating systems made by Microsoft, which has developed from quite simple beginnings, into a more and more bloated and resource hungry OS. The reason 99% of people use it is because it's the only fucking thing available with good software/hardware support.

Each succesive release was designed to take advantage of the new and more powerful technologies available. Or in plain English, the extra bloat in the new version would require more powerful hardware, negating the extra processing power available and cancelling out the benefits of more powerful (not to mention expensive) hardware.
Person A: Windows sucks.
Person B: Why don't you use something else then?
Person A: Like what?
Person B: Linux? Mac?
Person A: Do they support all my hardware and programs?
Person B: Ah.
by generic October 16, 2004
In my opinion, Windows is a fairly nice operating system that I haven't had any problems with since we installed XP.
Windows XP is better than Windows ME.
by Alexi November 12, 2003
Something so easy to hack it's unbelieveable.
A: "I got hacked last night."
B: "No surprise. You run Windows."
by RENEGATUS DOT COM October 20, 2003
An operating system marketed by Microsoft. Many people hate it, but still use it. Here's some proof. WinXP-75% Win2000-6.5% WinVista-3.1% Linux-3.3% Mac-3.8% Other-about 3%
I am using a PSP to write this, and not windows. :)
by omgsandwich June 06, 2007

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