Windows is a Graphical User Interface and Multitasking Operating System developed by Microsoft.
Graphical User Interface enables the user to give commands to the computer by using pointing devices such as mouse, joy stick, touch pad, trackball etc.
Multitasking enables performing multiple tasks simultaneously. For example, you can seevideo in one window, edit some file in another window and also do some other task like copying of files in the background simultaneously.
An operating system is a program that is initially loaded into the computer by a boot program. It communicates with computer hardware at the most basic level. Without an operating system, no software program can run. The operating system allocates memory, processes tasks, accesses hardware components and peripherals, and serves as the user interface. It manages all other programs in a computer. The other programs are called applications or application programs. The application programs make use of the operating system by making requests for services through a defined application program interface (API). In addition, users can interact directly with the operating system through a user interface such as a command language or a Graphical User Interface (GUI).
Microsoft's first popular graphical user interface operating system was Windows 3.1 which was launched in early nineties. Prior to this DOS (Disk Operating System) was the popular operating system from Microsoft. DOS was a command based operating system, where the user was required to remember and type various commands for working on the computer.
The popular operating systems launched by Microsoft have been as under:
In this tutorial, users can learn working on Windows XP.