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The console image for Windows.
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Windows is the collective name for Microsoft's immensely popular line of operating systems. As well as being widely used by businesses, Windows is the primary operating system PC games are developed for. It is the successor to MS-DOS, which previously held a similar market share in both the home and business markets.

New versions of Windows generally maintain a high degree of compatibility with software developed for past versions of Windows (and limited compatibility with MS-DOS), and new software releases will often work on older versions of Windows. This changed with Windows Vista; some releases (such as Halo 2) are specifically designed to only work with Windows Vista, and so cannot be used on previous versions of Windows.

Consumer product line
  • Windows 1.01 (1985)
  • Windows 2.0 (1987)
  • Windows 2.1x (1988)
  • Windows 3.0 (1990)
  • Windows 3.1x (1992)
  • Windows 95 (1995)
  • Windows 98 (1998) and Windows 98 Second Edition (1999)
  • Windows Millenium Edition (2000)
NT product line
  • Windows NT 3.1 (1993)
  • Windows NT 3.5 (1994)
  • Windows NT 3.51 (1995)
  • Windows NT 4.0 (1996)
  • Windows 2000 (2000)
  • Windows XP (2001)
  • Windows XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003 (2003)
  • Windows Server 2003 (2003)
  • Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (2006)
  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (2005)
  • Windows Vista (business versions; 2006)
  • Windows Home Server (2007)
  • Windows Vista (home versions; 2007)
  • Windows Server 2008 (2008)
  • Windows 7 (2009)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (2009)
  • Windows 8 (2012)
  • Windows 8.1 (2013)
  • Windows 10 (2015)
  • Windows 11 (2021)

Games for Windows[edit | edit source]

Games for Windows logo

Games for Windows is a brand owned by Microsoft and introduced in 2006 to coincide with the release of Windows Vista. The brand represents a standardized technical certification program and online service for Windows games, bringing a measure of regulation to the PC game market in much the same way that console manufacturers regulate their platforms. The branding program is open to both first-party and third-party publishers.

This was later expanded to include Games for Windows – Live, the online gaming service for Games for Windows-branded PC titles. Not all Games for Windows will have "live" content, but those that do will have access to Microsoft's Live network for online play and other features, including voice chat, messaging and friends lists, accessed from an in-game menu called the "Guide". Users can log in with their Xbox 360 gamer-tags to gain Games for Windows achievements and play games and chat across platforms (not every game supports cross-platform play.) Some features, including cross-platform multi-player and multi-player achievements, initially required a subscription to Live Gold.

However, on July 22, 2008, Microsoft announced at Gamefest 2008 that Games for Windows Live is now free of charge. This means that all users are able to access features that would normally be available to only Gold members, such as the features listed above. In addition, Microsoft also announced that a Games for Windows Live Marketplace will launch this fall. Like its console counterpart, Xbox Live Marketplace, users will be able to download content such as game demos, add-ons, and gamer pics. Some items will be free, while others will need to be paid for using Microsoft Points, as determined by the publisher of said items. Microsoft also plans to make the Games for Windows Live interface more PC friendly, and reduce the technical requirements for developers. This is in direct competition with the leading digital distributor on computers, Steam.

Pages in category "Windows"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 3,002 total.

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