Windows OS, computer operating system (OS) developed by Microsoft Corporation to run personal computers (PCs). Featuring the first graphical user interface (GUI) for IBM-compatible PCs, the Windows OS soon dominated the PC market. Approximately 90 percent of PCs run some version of Windows. The first version of Windows, released in 1985, was simply a GUI offered as an extension of Microsoft's existing disk operating system, or MS-DOS. Based in part on licensed concepts that Apple Inc. had used for its Macintosh System Software, Windows for the first time allowed DOS users to visually navigate a virtual desktop, opening graphical "windows" displaying the contents of electronic folders and files with the click of a mouse button, rather than typing commands and directory paths at a text prompt.