Is Windows an App or OS?: The Debate Unveiled

Microsoft Windows is an operating system, not an application. Windows is a widely used graphical operating system developed by Microsoft Corporation, featuring a modern user interface and equipped with various productivity tools.

It is the most used operating system in the world across various devices, such as personal computers, laptops, and smartphones. With its popularity, the use of Windows has become a necessity in today’s digital era. Although it is not the only operating system option available, its user-friendliness and widespread compatibility has made it a top choice for users.

Understanding the basics of Microsoft Windows is essential for anyone who uses a computer, as it provides an efficient platform for personal and professional tasks. We will discuss the features, benefits, and versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Is Windows an App or OS?: The Debate Unveiled


The Concept Of App

Microsoft Windows is an operating system and not an application. To get a clear understanding of these two terms, we should first define what an app is. In short, an app is a software program designed to perform specific functions or tasks, such as browsing the internet, image editing, playing games, and more. The concept of apps traces back to the early days of computer programming, where developers created robust apps for the earliest operating systems like UNIX and DOS.

Today, Applications or Apps are an essential part of modern operating systems, including Windows. The advent of smartphones, tablets, and wearables further cemented the popularity of apps in our daily lives. Microsoft Windows is a complete operating system bundle that includes its native apps and supports third-party apps for its users.

Is Windows an App or OS?: The Debate Unveiled


The Concept Of Operating System

The Definition of OS: The Operating System (OS) is a software that manages all computer hardware and software resources, providing common services for computer programs. It acts as an interface between the computer’s hardware and the application software. The two main types of OS are desktop OS (like Windows, MacOS, Linux) and mobile OS (like Android, iOS).
History of OS: The first OS, GM-NAA I/O, was developed in the late 1950s. IBM’s OS/360 followed in 1964, which introduced the concept of a compatible operating system. Unix was developed in 1969 at Bell Labs, and its open-source variants have since become dominant in servers and other large-scale systems, including supercomputers. In 1985, Microsoft released its first OS, Windows 1.0 and has since evolved through multiple versions to Windows 10.
Is Microsoft Windows an Application Or an Operating System: Microsoft Windows is an operating system as it enables communication between the computer hardware and software programs. While there are certain apps like Microsoft Office Suite that runs on Windows, Windows itself is not an application.

Windows As An App

Microsoft Windows is an operating system that has many inbuilt apps, including the Microsoft store app. However, the app itself is not an operating system, and it is not designed to replace the operating system. There are several factors that make Windows an app. One is that it can be downloaded and installed like any other app. Another factor is that it can be uninstalled from your computer if you don’t need it anymore.

One of the benefits of Windows as an app is that it is easier to manage and update. Instead of waiting for a new version of the operating system, you can simply update the app to get new features and bug fixes. Additionally, having Windows as an app makes it easier to run it on different platforms like tablets, laptops, and mobile devices. Lastly, since it is a standalone app, you can run it alongside other apps without affecting the performance of your computer.

Windows As An Os

Microsoft Windows is an operating system (OS) because it provides a platform for computer hardware to run software applications. Windows acts as an intermediary between the hardware and software, allowing them to communicate with each other.

Several factors make Windows an OS:

  • It provides drivers for hardware components such as printers, scanners, and keyboards.
  • It enables users to manage files and folders, and perform basic tasks like copying, pasting, and deleting.
  • It offers user interface tools like task manager, registry editor, and control panel.

Windows provides numerous benefits as an operating system:

  • It supports a vast range of software applications from productivity software to games.
  • It has a user-friendly interface that is easy to use for people with varying levels of computer literacy.
  • It provides regular updates and security patches to ensure the system’s stability and security.

The Debate Over Windows

Some argue that Microsoft Windows is solely an application as it performs a specific function for users, such as word processing or gaming. While applications often run on an operating system, they can stand alone and function without an OS. On the other hand, Windows can also be categorized as an operating system as it provides the necessary infrastructure for other software to run and interact with hardware. Therefore, it is possible to view Windows as both an application and an operating system, as it occupies a unique space between these two types of software. Ultimately, the classification of Windows depends on the specific context in which it is being discussed and the task for which it is being used.

Arguments for Windows as an App Arguments for Windows as an OS
-Windows can function independently without an OS
-It serves a specific purpose for users
-It is often used for gaming and word processing
-Windows provides the necessary infrastructure for software to interact with hardware
-It allows users to interact with the computer system
-It manages resources and allocates memory to applications
Is Windows an App or OS?: The Debate Unveiled


The Future Of Windows

Microsoft Windows has come a long way since its inception. Windows has been in the market for many years and has undergone numerous updates and versions. Currently, Windows 10 is the latest version of the operating system. The way Windows works has changed drastically over the years. Windows is no longer just an operating system for PCs, but a platform that offers a wide range of features and functionalities.

Windows can now be considered as an app since Microsoft offers a downloadable version of Windows, called Windows 365, that runs on the cloud. It behaves like a traditional operating system, but it’s accessible through a web browser and doesn’t require installation on a local machine. This feature allows users to streamline their network and remove hardware and maintenance costs, making it an attractive solution for enterprises.

Windows continues to evolve as an operating system. It allows users to do more than just run applications, as it has built-in security, productivity, and collaboration tools. Windows 10 has a streamlined user interface, allowing users to navigate through the system with ease. Operating systems are essential to computers, and Windows’ evolution as an OS shows its continued relevance in the market.

Windows as an App Windows as an OS
Accessibility Accessible via a web browser and cloud-based Installed on a local machine
Functionality Behaves like a traditional operating system, but offers a wide range of features and functionalities Built-in security, productivity, and collaboration tools
Target market Attractive solution for enterprise due to cost-saving General users and organisations

Frequently Asked Questions On Is Microsoft Windows An Application Or An Operating System

Is Windows An Operating System Or An Application?

Windows is an operating system developed by Microsoft. It manages computer hardware and software resources while providing common services for computer programs. It is not an application.

Is Microsoft An Application Software Or Operating System?

Microsoft is both an application software and an operating system. It offers different software and operating systems such as MS Office Suite, Windows OS, and Microsoft Teams.

Is A Microsoft Windows Operating System?

Yes, Microsoft Windows is an operating system.

Is Microsoft Windows Not An Application Software?

No, Microsoft Windows is not an application software. It is an operating system that manages hardware and software resources on a computer.


Microsoft Windows is an operating system designed for personal computers with a graphical user interface (GUI). It provides a platform for running applications and manages computer hardware resources. While it may come bundled with built-in apps, such as Paint or Calculator, Windows itself is not an application.

Understanding this distinction can help computer users troubleshoot issues and optimize their computing experience. It is important to keep up-to-date with the latest operating system releases to stay up-to-date with security patches, bug fixes, and new features.

About Mohammad Ibrahim

Editor - An aspiring Web Entrepreneur and avid Tech Geek. He loves to cover topics related to iOS, Tech News, and the latest tricks and tips floating over the Internet.