Microsoft Windows

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

Source model
Initial releaseNovember 20, 1985; 36 years ago (1985-11-20)
Latest release21H2 (10.0.22000.856) (August 9, 2022; 8 days ago (2022-08-09)[1]) [±]
Latest preview
Release Preview Channel

22H2 (10.0.22621.382) (August 9, 2022; 8 days ago (2022-08-09)[2]) [±]

Beta Channel

22H2 (10.0.22622.575) (August 10, 2022; 7 days ago (2022-08-10)[3]) [±]

Dev Channel
10.0.25182.1000 (August 17, 2022; 0 days ago (2022-08-17)[4]) [±]
Marketing targetPersonal computing
Available in110 languages
Update method
Package managerWindows Installer (.msi, .msix, .msp), Microsoft Store (.appx, .appxbundle),[5] Windows Package Manager
PlatformsIA-32, x86-64, ARM, ARM64
Previously: 16-bit x86, DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC, Itanium
Kernel type
user interface
Windows shell
LicenseProprietary commercial software

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).[6]

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 in all countries.[7][8] However, in 2014, Microsoft admitted losing the majority of the overall operating system market to Android,[9] 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. According to StatCounter, for desktop and laptop computers Windows has approximately 75% market share as of April 2022.[10]

As of October 2021, the most recent version of Windows for PCs and tablets is Windows 11, version 21H2. The most recent version for embedded devices is Windows 11, version 21H2.[11] The most recent version for server computers is Windows Server 2022, version 21H2.[12] A specialized version of Windows also runs on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S video game consoles.[13]

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Microsoft Windows, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.