Microsoft Windows

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Microsoft Windows is a popular operating system that is widely used in both home and business environments.

What is an operating system?

An operating system (OS) is a software program that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs.
It is the most important software on a computer, and without it, no other software would be able to run.

Microsoft Windows Versions

The first version of Microsoft Windows, Windows 1.0, was released in November 1985, and over the years, there have been several new versions released.

The more popular versions included Windows 3.x, Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10, and more recently, Windows 11, which was released in October of 2021.

As newer versions are released, support and updates for older versions are discontinued.

For example, support for Windows XP ended in April 2014, and for Windows 7, in January 2020.

Windows 10 is scheduled for end of service in October 2025.

What are Windows core functions?

User Interface

Windows has a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows users to interact with the computer through the use of windows, icons, menus, and a mouse.

It’s easier to complete tasks, manage files and programs in Windows with this.

Managing files

Windows helps the user to organize and manage files and folders on the their computer.

Support for other applications

With Windows, you can install other software programs, such as Microsoft Office, Accounting applications, etc.


You can have several applications running on your computer at the same time as Windows will manage the processes and system resources such as memory, to ensure that each application runs efficiently.

Device Drivers

A device driver is a software provided by the manufacturer that allows Windows to communicate and control hardware.

One example is a device driver for the printer that you have.

Windows maintains a library of device drivers to manage graphic cards, printers, sound cards, etc.


Windows has security features including a firewall to protect your computer from unauthorised access.

Besides providing user authentication, user accounts control access to the computer’s resources, including files, folders, and applications.


Windows has networking features that lets users share files and other resources like printers on a local network.

It also helps the user connect to the internet using a shared connection.


Users can customise Windows environment to suit their requirements, including changing the desktop, regional or country settings, etc.

While these are the core functionalities that Windows provides, there are also other useful features, quite a few of which are not obvious to the user.

In this series, we explore some of the features that a user would find useful in day to day use.

This article is also available in: Bahasa Malaysia Bahasa Indonesia