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Definition

window

A window is a separate viewing area on a computer display screen in a system that allows multiple viewing areas as part of a graphical user interface ( GUI ). Windows are managed by a windows manager as part of a windowing system .

A window can usually be resized by the user. For example, it can be stretched on any side, minimized, maximized, and closed. On today's multitasking operating systems, you can have a number of windows on your screen at the same time, interacting with each whenever you choose.

The window first came into general use as part of the Apple Macintosh. Later, Microsoft made the idea the foundation of its Windows operating system (which was actually a graphical user interface for the Disk Operating System ( DOS ) operating system on IBM-compatible PCs). The X Window System was developed as an open cross-platform windowing system for use in networks. It allows a client application in one computer to request windowing services at a user's workstation computer.

This was last updated in December 2005

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