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The general name applied to radar confusion refractors, which consists of thin, narrow, metallic strips of various lengths and frequency responses fired into or dropped through the atmosphere in order to deflect radar signals and so prevent detection by the enemy radar. These radar-reflective particulate matter or dipoles are sized to known or suspected enemy wavelengths. This is the earliest form of electronic warfare. Also known as windows.
WindowsThe most widely used operating system for desktop and laptop computers. Developed by Microsoft, Windows primarily runs on x86-based computers (the ubiquitous PC), although previous versions ran on Intel Itanium CPUs. Windows used to run on ARM CPUs (see Windows RT) and is making a comeback (see Windows 10 on ARM). According to Microsoft, as of 2020, there are 1.5 billion Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows Server machines in use worldwide. While Windows is the dominant desktop operating system, Linux is widely used on servers (see Linux).
Although the Mac popularized the graphical user interface (GUI) and desktop environment, Windows followed suit while making dramatic changes over the years (see GUI). Windows comes in both client and server versions, all of which support networking, the difference being that the server architecture is designed for dedicated servers and not desktop use. See Linux, operating system, smartphone operating system and embedded OS.
Thin Windows Clients
In many organizations, Windows runs in a thin client environment, whereby the user's PC functions like a terminal to a central server. For more details, see Remote Desktop Services.
Starting with Windows 1.0 in 1985, the OS evolved into numerous incarnations. It originally was a graphical extension to the DOS operating system but was integrated with DOS as of Windows 95. For version history, see Windows versions. See Microsoft Bob.
Windows How to's
All the Windows "how to's" in this encyclopedia have a "Win" prefix in front of their name in order to group them together; for example, Win Change Windows appearance and Win Desktop search. For fundamentals on how to work with Windows, see Win abc's and Win10 abc's.