Mainstream support: Ended on April 10, 2012.
Windows Vista is an operating system by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablet PCs, and media center PCs. Prior to its announcement on July 22, 2005, Windows Vista was known by its codename "Longhorn". Development was completed on November 8, 2006, and over the following three months, it was released in stages to computer hardware and software manufacturers, business customers and retail channels. On January 30, 2007, it was released worldwide and was made available for purchase and download from Microsoft's website. The release of Windows Vista came more than five years after the introduction of its predecessor, Windows XP, the longest time span between successive releases of Microsoft Windows desktop operating systems. It was succeeded by Windows 7, which was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009 and released worldwide for retail on October 22, 2009.
Microsoft Windows is a series of graphical interface operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Microsoft.
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 (GUI). Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced in 1984.
System software (or systems software) is computer software designed to operate and control the computer hardware and to provide a platform for running application software.
System software includes the following:
In computer science and engineering, computer architecture is a set of disciplines that describes a computer system by specifying its parts and their relations.
For example, at a high level, computer architecture may be concerned with how the central processing unit (CPU) acts and how it uses computer memory. Some fashionable (2011) computer architectures include cluster computing and Non-Uniform Memory Access.
Windows NT is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. It was a powerful high-level-language-based, processor-independent, multiprocessing, multi-user operating system. "NT" was expanded to "New Technology" for marketing purposes but no longer carries any specific meaning. It was intended to complement consumer versions of Windows that were based on MS-DOS. NT was the first fully 32-bit version of Windows, whereas its consumer-oriented counterparts, Windows 3.1x and Windows 9x, were 16-bit/32-bit hybrids. Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Home Server, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows RT and Windows Server 2012 are members of the Windows NT family, although they are not branded using the name "Windows NT".
Safe mode is a diagnostic mode of a computer operating system (OS). It can also refer to a mode of operation by application software. Safe mode is intended to fix most, if not all problems within an operating system. It is also widely used for removing rogue security software.
Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint are examples of contemporary operating systems that implement a safe mode (called "Safe Boot" in Mac OS X); as well as other complex electronic devices.
Multi-booting is the act of installing multiple operating systems on a computer, and being able to choose which one to boot when starting the computer. The term dual-booting refers to the common configuration of specifically two operating systems. Multi-booting may require a custom boot loader.
Multi-booting allows more than one operating system to reside on one computer, for example if you have a primary operating system and an alternate system that you use less frequently. Another reason for multi-booting can be to investigate or test a new operating system without switching completely. Multi-booting allowed a new operating system to configure all applications needed, and migrate data before removing the old operating system, if desired. A possible alternative to multi-booting is virtualization, where a hypervisor is used to host one or more virtual machines running guest operating systems. Multi-booting is also useful in situations where different software applications require different operating systems. A multi-boot configuration allows a user to use all of this software on one computer. This is often accomplished by using a boot loader such as NTLDR, LILO, or GRUB which can boot more than one operating system. Multi-booting was also used by software developers where multiple operating systems were required for development or testing purposes. Having these systems on one machine was a way to reduce hardware costs.
The Windows NT startup process is the process by which Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems initialize. In Windows Vista and later, this process has changed slightly; see Windows Vista startup process for information about what has changed.
Windows NT startup process starts when the computer finds a Windows boot loader, a portion of Windows operating system responsible for finding Microsoft Windows and starting it up. On IA-32 or x64 systems, the boot loader is called Windows Boot Manager (BOOTMGR). Prior to Windows Vista however, the boot loader was NTLDR. Microsoft has also released operating systems for Intel Itanium processors which use IA-64 architecture. The boot loader of these editions of Windows is IA64ldr.efi (later referred as simply IA64ldr). It is an Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) program.
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve several billion users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW), the infrastructure to support email, and peer-to-peer networks.
Most traditional communications media including telephone, music, film, and television are being reshaped or redefined by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Internet Protocol television (IPTV). Newspaper, book and other print publishing are adapting to website technology, or are reshaped into blogging and web feeds. The Internet has enabled and accelerated new forms of human interactions through instant messaging, Internet forums, and social networking. Online shopping has boomed both for major retail outlets and small artisans and traders. Business-to-business and financial services on the Internet affect supply chains across entire industries.