Just as the microprocessor has evolved over time, so have software and operating systems. As covered in the previous chapter, MS-DOS, as an operating system, and Microsoft Windows, as an operating environment, have become cornerstones of the computer market. Although MS-DOS was limited by restrictions affecting memory and ease of configuration, Windows—residing on top of MS-DOS—was able to overcome many problems. However, it still retained some restrictions.
To solve this problem, Microsoft developed Windows 95, creating a new operating system from the ground up. Then, to keep abreast of the ever-changing needs of technology and the phenomenal growth of the Internet, Microsoft responded with an upgrade: Windows 98. This chapter provides the basics of managing the Windows 95 environment. To gain the high level of proficiency required of today's computer professional, it is recommended that you go on to obtain advanced training and build a library of references after completing this chapter.
While this chapter focuses on the Windows 95 operating system, enhancements brought about by Windows 98 are also mentioned. Windows 98 shares many features with Windows 95; however, because Windows 98 is not a subject on the A+ Certification test, we do not examine it deeply. The same is true for Windows NT and 2000. Because they are not part of the current exam, we do not cover them in detail.
This chapter assumes you are familiar with the operation and configuration of MS-DOS and Windows 3.x. At the very least, you should read and master Chapter 15, "Software: MS-DOS and Windows 3.x."