What is Windows?
Windows is a family of operating systems from the Microsoft Corporation. An operating system is the main program that runs when a computer is turned on. It allows users to work with files, surf the Internet, and run other programs, games, movies, and music in additional windows.
The first version of Windows was released in 1985 and was an add-on for the MS-DOS operating system. It provided support for new processor modes and multitasking, as well as standardized hardware interfaces and uniformity for program user interfaces.
Each iteration of Windows - beginning with Windows 95 and up to the latest version of Windows 11 (Windows NT 10.0 2021) - constitutes a standalone operating system. The latest versions have assemblies that differ in functionality and price:
- Home Edition - An assembly intended for home use with a simple configuration.
- Professional - An assembly with additional functionality to the home edition.
- Enterprise - A corporate version for organizations.
The Windows system includes integrated software products: a browser, an email client, and players for music and video. The user can also install any other program designed for this operating system.
The Windows interface includes:
- The Desktop (which takes up the entire screen or most of it and which serves as a backdrop for other interface elements).
- The Taskbar (displays the icons of programs with which the user is currently working. Frequently used applications can also be pinned for quick access).
- Shortcuts (icons for games, programs, and folders, which open their respective elements when clicked).
- The START Button (clicking this opens a list of the programs installed in the operating system).
Advantages of Windows
- An Intuitive and Attractive User Interface. All programs are grouped into menus, the important icons are pinned to the taskbar, and the file system is convenient. Navigating the Windows system is easy - even for beginners. There are also plenty of themes for the desktop design, allowing users to customize their system by choosing a wallpaper, window color, browser style, and much more.
- A Large Number of Programs. There are numerous games and programs designed for work and entertainment on the Windows system, and that quantity increases each day. The system allows you to install applications from different sources. The latest versions have a built-in app store. Many software programs only work on Windows and are not available for other operating systems.
- Support for a Variety of Hardware. Additional equipment can easily be connected to a Windows computer: printers, scanners, AIOs, web cameras, etc. To do this, the device must be plugged in and the driver (the external device manager) loaded.
- Widespread Usage. The Windows operating system is installed on many computers and laptops of various brands (with the exception of Apple machines, which run on MacOS). Additionally, users can purchase a disk with the system and install it on the device on their own. Such prevalence means that answers to most questions regarding the system’s operation can be found on the Internet.
- Backup Copies. The operating system can be restored in case of a failure during operation. Windows also allows information to be recovered from deleted from a computer or external media.
Disadvantages of Windows
- Cost. This operating system is expensive, especially the commercial version. If a user buys equipment with a pre-installed system, then that cost is included in the price of the computer itself.
- Low Virus Protection. The built-in security system cannot guarantee total protection against viruses, hackers, and scripts. Users have to install anti-virus programs themselves, which (usually) come at an additional cost.
- A Complex Activation System. Windows must be activated with a product key or digital license for it to work correctly. Activation verifies that your copy of Windows is genuine and is not being used on more devices than is permitted by the terms of the license agreement. In Windows 11, users are required to link their licensed copy to a Microsoft account.
The hidden threat to Windows security is simple administration. The system’s entire setup process and operation employs a graphical interface, which is captivatingly simple. The system can be administered by a user who may lack in-depth knowledge of security issues.
Windows is a hybrid operating system, meaning that it has too many components integrated into its kernel. For example, if any system or subsystem in the Windows kernel crashes, the whole kernel crashes. Considering that each kernel subsystem has many dependencies that must be accounted for when making a modification, then avoiding errors becomes rather difficult.
Windows Security Measures:
- Windows Defender Firewall - Helps protect the device through rules that determine what internet traffic can enter the device and what traffic can be sent out to the internet. The firewall also supports IPsec protocol, which can request authentication from any device that attempts to communicate with the user’s computer.
- BitLocker Drive Encryption - A data protection feature that integrates with the operating system to prevent information theft or disclosure from lost, stolen, or improperly decommissioned computers. BitLocker provides maximum protection when used with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 1.2 or higher.
- Secure and Trusted Boot - Helps prevent malware and corrupted components from being downloaded to Windows devices.
- Microsoft Defender Antivirus - Included in all versions of Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, and later. It monitors malware, viruses, and security threats. Updates are downloaded automatically. Defender integrates with cloud protection, providing almost instantaneous threat detection and blocking.