There are several operating systems and system graphic libraries, such as Windows, Windows DirectX, OpenGL, and Linux.
Windows NT is a Microsoft Windows personal computer operating system designed for users and businesses needing advanced capability. NT’s technology is the base for the Microsoft successor operating system, Windows 2000. Windows NT (which unofficially may have originally stood for “New Technology”) is actually Microsoft NT Workstation and Microsoft NT Server combined. The Workstation is designed for business users who need a more reliable and faster performance system than Windows 95 and Windows 98.
Windows CE (which unofficially may have originally stood for “Consumer Electronics”) is based on the Microsoft Windows operating system but is designed for including or embedding in hand-held computers and as part of cable TV set-top boxes.
Windows 2000 (W2K) is a version of Microsoft’s evolving Windows operating system that was called Windows NT 5.0. Microsoft emphasizes that Windows 2000 is evolutionary and “built on NT technology.”
Windows XP is the latest version of the Windows desktop operating system for the PC. Windows XP is touted as the most important version of Windows since Windows 95. Windows XP is built on the Windows 2000 kernel and comes in a Professional version and a Home Edition version.
DirectX is an application program interface (API) for creating and managing graphic images and multimedia effects under Microsoft’s Windows. DirectX includes DirectDraw (an interface for two-dimensional images), Direct3D (an interface for creating three-dimensional images), DirectSound (an interface for sound), DirectPlay (a plug-in for Internet and multiplayer applications), and DirectInput (an interface for input from I/O devices).
OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is the computer industry’s standard application program interface (API) for defining 2D and 3D graphic images across numerous platforms and operating systems. OpenGL is similar to DirectX’s DirectDraw and Direct3D.
Linux is a Unix-like operating system including a graphical user interface, an X Window system, TCP/IP (file transfer, electronic mail, remote logon), and the Emacs (customizable open source text editor and application development system) with a reputation as a very efficient and fast-performing system. Unlike Windows, Linux is publicly open, and because it conforms to the Portable Operating System Interface standard user and programming interfaces, developers can write programs that can be ported to other operating systems. There are approximately 18 million Linux users worldwide.