Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows
Windows darkblue 2012.svg
Source model
Initial releaseNovember 20, 1985 (1985-11-20), as version 1.0 (unsupported)
Latest release2004 (19041.331) June 18, 2020 (2020-06-18)
Latest preview10.0.20162 July 1, 2020 (2020-07-01)
Marketing targetPersonal computing
Available in138 languages[1]
Update method
Package managerWindows Installer (.msi, .msix, .msp), executable file (.exe), Universal Windows Platform (.appx, .appxbundle)[2]
PlatformsIA-32, x86-64, ARM, ARM64
Previously: 16-bit x86, DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC, Itanium
Kernel type
Default user interfaceWindows shell
LicenseProprietary commercial software

Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary graphical operating system families, all of which are developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. Active Microsoft Windows families include Windows NT and Windows IoT; these may encompass subfamilies, e.g. Windows Server or Windows Embedded Compact (Windows CE). Defunct Microsoft Windows families include Windows 9x, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).[3] Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer (PC) market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced in 1984. Apple came to see Windows as an unfair encroachment on their innovation in GUI development as implemented on products such as the Lisa and Macintosh (eventually settled in court in Microsoft's favor in 1993). On PCs, Windows is still the most popular operating system. However, in 2014, Microsoft admitted losing the majority of the overall operating system market to Android,[4] because of the massive growth in sales of Android smartphones. In 2014, the number of Windows devices sold was less than 25% that of Android devices sold. This comparison, however, may not be fully relevant, as the two operating systems traditionally target different platforms. Still, numbers for server use of Windows (that are comparable to competitors) show one third market share, similar to that for end user use.

As of February 2020, the most recent version of Windows for PCs, tablets and embedded devices is Windows 10. The most recent version for server computers is Windows Server, version 1909.[5] A specialized version of Windows also runs on the Xbox One video game console.[6]

  1. ^ "Listing of available Windows 7 language packs". Archived from the original on August 2, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  2. ^ "App packages and deployment (Windows Store apps) (Windows)". Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "The Unusual History of Microsoft Windows". Retrieved April 22, 2007.
  4. ^ Keizer, Gregg (July 14, 2014). "Microsoft gets real, admits its device share is just 14%". Computerworld. IDG. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. [Microsoft's chief operating officer] Turner's 14% came from a new forecast released last week by Gartner, which estimated Windows' share of the shipped device market last year was 14%, and would decrease slightly to 13.7% in 2014. Android will dominate, Gartner said, with a 48% share this year
  5. ^ "Microsoft". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "Xbox One Architecture Finally Explained - Runs OS 'Virtually Indistinguishable' from Windows 8". WCCFtech. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015.

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