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The lowdown on Windows

Everyone has preconceived notions about what Windows is and isn't. Check out our overview for an objective view.

Windows is a personal computer operating system from Microsoft that, together with some commonly used business applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel, has become a de facto "standard" for individual users in most corporations as well as in most homes.

The original 1985 version of Windows introduced to home and business PC users many of the graphical user interface (GUI) ideas that were developed at an experimental lab at Xerox and introduced commercially by Apple's Lisa and Macintosh computers. Some of the well-known versions of Windows have included:

With the advent of the Internet, Microsoft has repositioned Windows as a kind of "window to the world," and its efforts to take the lead in Web browsers have made Internet Explorer the most popular browser. Microsoft's .NET initiative represents an attempt to become industry-dominant in furnishing products and services that facilitate the use of remote application services on the Web.

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