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.
|Initial release||November 20, 1985|
|Latest release||21H2 (10.0.22000.778) (June 23, 2022)|
|Marketing target||Personal computing|
|Available in||110 languages|
|Package manager||Windows Installer (.msi, .msix, .msp), Microsoft Store (.appx, .appxbundle), Windows Package Manager|
|Platforms||IA-32, x86-64, ARM, ARM64 |
Previously: 16-bit x86, DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC, Itanium
|License||Proprietary 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).
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. However, in 2014, Microsoft admitted losing the majority of the overall operating system market to Android, 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.
As of October 2021[update], 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. The most recent version for server computers is Windows Server 2022, version 21H2. A specialized version of Windows also runs on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S video game consoles.