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Windows Operating System

  • Microsoft windows is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) based operating system
  • It performs multiple applications at the same time
  • The windows operating system uses both mouse and keyboard as input devices
Let us learn them in detail in this chapter

Interaction with Mouse

  • The mouse is an input device that the user moves on a flat surface.

  • When the user moves the mouse, a pointer moves on the screen.
  • This pointer, called the mouse pointer, is used to point to things on the screen.
  • The mouse has either two or three buttons on the top.
  • The left button is most often used.
  • Four mouse actions using its left button that are needed to know to use the operating system effectively are described below:
    • Move: Moving the mouse is simply dragging the mouse on the mouse pad so that the mouse pointer moves in the desired direction, without touching the buttons. This action allows the user to point to things on the screen.
    • Click: It is used to select objects used on the window screen. To click the user must ensure that the mouse is pointing to what he wants and press the left button of the mouse once and release the button immediately.
  • Double click: It is most often used to start applications. To double click the user should point to what he / she desires and presses the left button of the mouse twice in quick succession.
  • Click and drag: This mouse action is used to move an object from one place to another. When the user clicks and drags an object, the object moves along with the mouse pointer. To click and drag, the left button of the mouse is held down and the mouse is moved to the desired location.

  • Right click: Right mouse button gains a lot of significance nowadays. If the user right clicks on an item, he/she will be provided with a context-sensitive menu. This is also called short cut menu. The context-sensitive menu provides almost all facilities offered by menu as well as toolbars.

Note: The mouse or mice was invented by Douglas Englebart in 1963,

Interaction with the Keyboard

  • A keyboard is an input device, similar to the typewriter, which uses an arrangement of keys or buttons.
  • It has 104 keys.
  • There are four types of keyboards. They are
    • Standard keyboards
    • Gaming and multimedia
    • Thumb sized
    • Numeric

  • The above figure shows a typical keyboard and its parts are numbered as A, B and so on.
  • Let us describe the parts in detail
    • A- Function keys - Performs some action in the computer
    • B- Fn key -Press Fn key in combination with some keys to perform some action
    • C - Windows key - Used to open windows start menu
    • D - Numeric key pad - Used to give numeric data
    • E - Application key - Used for quick access to shortcut menus and help assistants in windows.
    • F - Arrow keys - Used to move the cursor up, right, down or left
    • G - Navigation keys - Used to move the cursor to the beginning of a line, end of the line, page up, page down, deleting a character and insertion of a value.
Note: QWERTY Keyboard developed by Sholes in 1868, was designed for two finger typing and was designed to prevent stuck of keys


  • The word desktop has been derived from real-life desktop where a manager puts all the things required by him/her.

  • The windows desktop contains the screen with icons, windows etc. are displayed is known as desktop.


Display of windows desktop             Display of files in the desktop

  • Each icon has a label specifying the name of the application it represents.
  • For example, My computer, my Documents, Network Places are some standard icons that the user can see on the windows desktop.
  • The desktop also has task bar.
  • The task bar is usually a narrow strip present at the bottom of the screen.
  • All windows and icons are superimposed on the background, whatever it may be.
Note: Keyboard shortcut for task bar is shift + F10 key, displays the task bar items

The Application Window

  • The application window contains an open application.
  • For example a running application such as Excel, Word, Paint, Access etc.
  • The application window has many elements like title bar, menu bar, workspace, scroll bar, corners and borders.
  • They are listed below:
    • Menu bar
    • Formatting toolbar
    • Standard toolbar
    • Ruler
    • Maximize Button
    • Restore button
    • Minimize button
    • Close button
    • Status bar
    • Drawing tool bar
    • Workspace


MS Word Application Window

The Icons

  • Computer icons are small pictures or pictograms.
  • These icons are used as a supplement to normal alphanumeric values of a computer.
  • Nowadays bitmaps are used as icons.
  • Icons play a vital role in graphical user interface.
  • Commonly used icons are
    • Application icons: These are graphical package logo.

  • Shortcut icons: These are little graphics(?) pointing to a particular application. It is a special type of file to point out another device. By double clicking on the icon the application becomes active.

  • Document icons: These icons represent a document file.

  • Disk drive icons: These disk drive icons represent the disk and drive available in the operating system. They represent five drive icons namely
    • Floppy disk
    • Hard disk
    • RAM (Random Access Memory)
    • CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read Only Memory)
    • Network

Note: Other types of icons available are avatars, emoticons, messenger icons, misfits and website icons.

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