What Is Windows
Windows is a graphical user interface (GOOEY or G.U.I) based operating system that gives an end user the ability to manage and control a variety of computer functions. The list of of computer functions is summarized in the list below.
The operating system facilitates how devices such as mice, keyboards, and printers function.
One of the main duties of the operating system is to direct how device drivers should be installed or uninstalled when hardware is added to or removed from a system.
It is also responsible for controlling how the hardware functions.
In case problems arise a good rule of thumb is to isolate the problem through the Windows Device Manager. Problematic devices are usually emphasized as not working by an exclamation point or red X symbol.
You can uninstall a device driver, by right clicking on the appropriate hardware component, and from the drop down menu selecting Uninstall. This will cause Windows to either rollback to a previous device driver version.
The operating system facilitates the processes of installing and uninstalling software.
Windows has an Add or Remove Programs feature which permits for the easy addition and removal of software applications.
To free up disk space you can uninstall unused applications and Windows components.
The Windows Add or Remove Programs option in Windows XP is now known as Program and Features in Windows 7.
In addition to removing and adding new software to the Windows computer, you can also install or remove security updates and patches downloaded from Windows Updates within this utility.
The operating system facilitates the processes of connecting to the Internet and sharing resources across local area networks. The Network Setup Wizard provides an easy method for setting up multiple PC’s through one Internet connection. It also prepares a network for file and printer sharing automatically installing the neccessary protocols and software so that all computers on the network can share files, folders, and printers.
In Windows XP the Network Setup Wizard (now known as the Network Sharing Center in future versions of Windows), provides a means for setting up and connecting to local area networks, sharing resources, and printing to remote printers.
In subsequent releases of Windows, the Network Setup Wizard had been replaced by the Network And Sharing Center, as illustrated below:
Windows provides a very easy method to manage files and folders on local and network hard drives. The main file management software included with Windows XP is called Windows Explorer as shown in the illustration below:
Windows Explorer is also used as the program My Computer. You can also use My Computer to organize files, create new directories, and delete folders. It is basically the same thing as Windows Explorer.
In Windows 7 and 8 the Windows Explorer interface has been completely redesigned for easier and quicker access to common file and folders.
New to these versions are Libraries which are groups of files organized based on the content of each file.
You can have one library for music, one library for pictures, one for videos, and so on until desired organizational level is reached.
If you prefer using the “old-school” method to work with files and folders simply click on the Computer link to the left and then select the appropriate drive and folder to work with.
Windows provides an ability to manage all your media files, DVDs, and organize them based on specific criteria. Furthermore, Windows supports the latest games available for downloading from the Games for Windows Live marketplace. And through Microsoft DirectX, high quality multimedia programming can be configured through a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms.
Windows also provides a way to playback DVD media and other multimedia content. You can stream music through Windows Media Player, and use different software to playback other multimedia content.
Congratulations! You now know what functions the Windows operating system controls. As you should have learned Windows controls numerous functions, and is necessary as your first point of entry for completing tasks.