- /win"dohz/Trademark. any of several microcomputer operating systems or environments featuring a graphical user interface.
* * *Family of software products developed by Microsoft Corp., mainly for personal computers and workstations, that began as a graphical user interface and developed into an operating system. Version 1.0 (1985) provided a graphical user interface, multitasking, and virtual memory management; it ran on top of MS-DOS and was supported on Intel-based personal computers. Version 3.1 (1992) sold over 3 million copies in its first two months and helped establish Microsoft's dominance of the operating-system market for microcomputers. Windows 95 and Windows 98 (named for the years of their release) continued its success. Windows NT (1993), which can run on RISC-based computers as well as traditional Intel-based systems, is a high-end version of Windows intended for more powerful personal computers, workstations, and servers. Windows CE (1996) is an embedded operating system for palm PCs and other handheld devices. Microsoft continues to release new versions of its operating system: Windows 2000 for corporate-oriented computers, Windows Me (2000) for consumer-oriented computers, and in 2001 a version for both environments, Windows XP. Today Windows runs on more than 90% of all personal computers.
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