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Read about Windows operating system. Many longtime PC users trace the Microsoft Windows operating system to the 1990 release of Windows 3.0 the first widely popular version of Windows and the first version of Windows many PC users ever tried. However Microsoft initially announced the Windows product seven years earlier and released...



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                                        Information provided by programs and data is

known as  software. Programs are sets of instructions that make the computer execute operations and tasks. There are two types of software:

  •  The system software refers to all the programs which control the basic functions of a computer. They include operating systems, system utilities (e.g. an anti-virus program, a back-up utility)  and language translators (e.g. a compiler- the software that translates instructions into machine code).
  •  The applications software refers to all those applications – such as word processors and spreadsheets – which are used for specific purposes. Applications are usually stored on disks and loaded into the RAM memory when activated by the user.

The operating system is the most important type of system software. It is usually supplied by the manufacturers and comprises a set of programs and files that control the hardware and software resources of a computer system. It controls all the elements that the user sees, and it communicates directly with the computer. In most configurations, the OS is automatically loaded into the RAM section when the computer is started up.

System utilities are small programs which improve a system's performance and help users take advantage of the computer's capabilities. They are often desk accessories that can be called up while you're working in another application. They can also be INITs — i.e. system extensions which are activated when you turn on the computer; control devices which you adjust in the control panel, or even stand-alone programs that run when you need them. Utilities are available for back-up, file search, virus protection, disaster recovery, and so on.

Spreadsheets are application programs for financial planning which allow the user to analyse information presented in tabular form, by manipulating rows and columns.

Word processor is an application that manipulates text and produces documents suitable for printing. Three major features that word processors offer are spell checkers, online thesauruses and grammar checkers. Two more important features are automatic hyphenation and mail merging.


  1.   software                                   программное обеспечение
  2.   operating system                     операционная система
  3.   back-up utility                         резервная утилита,



  1.   compiler                                   компилятор, транслятор
  2.   application                               приложение, прикладная


  1.   word processor                        текстовый процессор
  2.   spreadsheet                               электронная таблица
  3.   comprise                                  содержать, охватывать,


  1.   desk accessory                         экранная принадлежность
  2.  system extension                       расширение системы
  3.  adjust                                         регулировать, устанавливать
  4.  row                                            ряд
  5.  spell checker                             программа проверки


  1.  online thesaurus                        сетевой словарь, справочник
  2.  grammar checker                       программа грамматического


  1.  hyphenation                               разбивка текста по слогам,

                                                                   расстановка переносов

  1.  mail merging                             формирование стандартных

                                                                   писем слиянием, слияние


  1.  release                                       выпускать
  2.  database management system  система управления базой  



  1.  Read the description of word processor features and name these features

  •  Splitting of a word between two lines so that the text will fit better on the page.
  •  It is responsible for the explosion of ‘personalized’ mail. By designating what information goes into which blank space, a computer can process a huge amount of correspondence substituting the ‘personal’ information into a form letter.
  •  This feature helps the user look up different words for using them in similar instances. It contains definitions and suggestions of words with similar and opposite meanings.
  •  It can be used to compare words in the program’s dictionary to those used in the user’s document.
  •  It counts words in sentences to flag possible run-on sentences, looks for words that show possible conflicts between verbs and subjects and offers advice about corrections.

  1.  Find to the terms in Column A the proper explanation  from Column  B.  For help use the glossary.

                 A                                                                      B

  •  Database                                       - a set of systems programs which  

                                                          allow the data  from a database to  

                                                          be used by a number of different

                                                          application programs;

  •  Database program                        - a file of structured data;

  •  Database management system     - an application program used to

                                                              store, organize and retrieve a large

                                                              collection of data.

  •  What else do you know about databases and their basic features? Which tasks can be performed by using a database? Make a list of possible applications.

  1.  Read about Windows operating system.

Many longtime PC users trace the Microsoft Windows® operating system to the 1990 release of Windows 3.0, the first widely popular version of Windows and the first version of Windows many PC users ever tried. However, Microsoft initially announced the Windows product seven years earlier and released the first version in 1985.

The Windows 1.0 product box featured the operating system's new, tiled windows and graphical user interface (GUI). 

1985: Windows 1.0

The first version of Windows provided a new software environment for developing and running applications that use bitmap displays and mouse pointing devices. Before Windows, PC users relied on the MS-DOS® method of typing commands at the C prompt (C:\). With Windows, users moved a mouse to point and click their way through tasks, such as starting applications.

In addition, Windows users could switch among several concurrently running applications. The product included a set of desktop applications, including the MS-DOS file management program, a calendar, card file, notepad, calculator, clock, and telecommunications programs, which helped users manage day-to-day activities.

This early Interface Manager product preceded the Windows 1.0 GUI.

1987: Windows 2.0

Windows 2.0 took advantage of the improved processing speed of the Intel 286 processor, expanded memory, and inter-application communication capabilities made possible through Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE). With improved graphics support, users could now overlap windows, control screen layout, and use keyboard combinations to move rapidly through Windows operations. Many developers wrote their first Windows–based applications for this release.

1990: Windows 3.0

The third major release of the Windows platform from Microsoft offered improved performance, advanced graphics with 16 colors, and full support of the more powerful Intel 386 processor. A new wave of 386 PCs helped drive the popularity of Windows 3.0, which offered a wide range of useful features and capabilities, including:

Program Manager, File Manager, and Print Manager.

A completely rewritten application development environment.

An improved set of Windows icons.

The popularity of Windows 3.0 grew with the release of a new Windows software development kit (SDK), which helped software developers focus more on writing applications and less on writing device drivers.

1995: Windows 95

Windows 95 was the successor to the three existing general-purpose desktop operating systems from Microsoft—Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups, and MS-DOS. Windows 95 integrated a 32-bit TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) stack for built-in Internet support, dial-up networking, and new Plug and Play capabilities that made it easy for users to install hardware and software.

The 32-bit operating system also offered enhanced multimedia capabilities, more powerful features for mobile computing, and integrated networking.

1998: Windows 98

Windows 98 was the upgrade from Windows 95. Described as an operating system that "Works Better, Plays Better," Windows 98 was the first version of Windows designed specifically for consumers.

With Windows 98, users could find information more easily on their PCs as well as the Internet. Other ease-of-use improvements included the ability to open and close applications more quickly, support for reading DVD discs, and support for universal serial bus (USB) devices.

1999: Windows 98 Second Edition

Windows 98 SE, as it was often abbreviated, was an incremental update to Windows 98. It offered consumers a variety of new and enhanced hardware compatibility and Internet-related features.

Windows 98 SE helped improve users' online experience with the Internet Explorer 5.0 browser technology and Microsoft Windows NetMeeting® 3.0 conferencing software. It also included Microsoft DirectX® API 6.1, which provided improve support for Windows multimedia, and offered home networking capabilities through Internet connection sharing (ICS). Windows 98 SE was also the first consumer operating system from Microsoft capable of using device drivers that also worked with the Windows NT business operating system.

2000: Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me)

Designed for home computer users, Windows Me offered consumers numerous music, video, and home networking enhancements and reliability improvements.

For example, to help consumers troubleshoot their systems, the System Restore feature let users roll back their PC software configuration to a date or time before a problem occurred. Windows Movie Maker provided users with the tools to digitally edit, save, and share home videos. And with Microsoft Windows Media® Player 7 technologies, users could find, organize, and play digital media easily.

Windows Me was the last Microsoft operating system to be based on the Windows 95 code base. Microsoft announced that all future operating system products would be based on the Windows NT and Windows 2000 kernel.


2000: Windows 2000 Professional

Windows 2000 Professional was  designed to replace Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 on all business desktops and laptops.  Windows 2000 added major improvements in reliability, ease of use, Internet compatibility, and support for mobile computing.

Among other improvements, Windows 2000 Professional simplified hardware installation by adding support for a wide variety of new Plug and Play hardware, including advanced networking and wireless products, USB devices, IEEE 1394 devices, and infrared devices.

2001: Windows XP

With the release of Windows XP in October 2001, Microsoft merged its two Windows operating system lines for consumers and businesses, uniting them around the Windows 2000 code base.

           The "XP" in Windows XP stands for "experience," symbolizing the innovative experiences that Windows can offer to personal computer users. With Windows XP, home users can work with and enjoy music, movies, messaging, and photos with their computer, while business users can work smarter and faster, thanks to new technical-support technology, a fresh user interface, and many other improvements that make it easier to use for a wide range of tasks.

2001: Windows XP Professional

        Windows XP Professional brings the solid foundation of Windows 2000 to the PC desktop, enhancing reliability, security, and performance. With a fresh visual design, Windows XP Professional includes features for business and advanced home computing, including remote desktop support, an encrypting file system, and system restore and advanced networking features. Key enhancements for mobile users include wireless 802.1x networking support, Windows Messenger, and Remote Assistance.

Windows XP Home Edition offers a clean, simplified visual design that makes frequently used features more accessible. Designed for home users, the product offers such enhancements as the Network Setup Wizard, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker, and enhanced digital photo capabilities.

2002: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

   The long-held industry vision of mainstream pen-based computing became a reality when Microsoft unveiled the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition in November, 2002. The logical evolution of notebook computers, Tablet PCs include a digital pen for handwriting recognition capabilities, yet can be used with a keyboard or mouse, too. In addition, users can run their existing Windows XP applications. The result is a computer that is more versatile and mobile than traditional notebook PCs.


  •  Listen to four advertisements from a radio programme about computers.  Number the system utilities below in the order in which you hear them.
  •  screen saver
  •  virus detector
  •  crashed disk rescuer and data recovery
  •  printing aid

  •  Which utility would you use for each of these requirements?

1 To work on one document while another is printing.

2 То diagnose and repair damaged disks.

3 То automatically blank out the screen after a specific interval of inactive time (so that the image does not burn into the screen).

4 То protect your system against computer viruses.

  •  Listen to Lucy Boyd, a software developer, talking about spreadsheet programs and say whether the statements right or wrong.

1. A spreadsheet program displays information in the form of a table, with a lot of columns and rows.

2. In a spreadsheet you can only enter numbers and formulas.

3. In a spreadsheet you cannot change the width of the columns.

4. Spreadsheet programs can produce visual representations in the form of pie charts.

5. Spreadsheets cannot be used as databases.


                                           Working in pairs make up dialogues discussing the

                                following problems.

  1.  Your friend has bought a computer and it is necessary to install basic software. Recommend him some system and applications software describing its features.

  1.  Your friend is going to type his course paper. Advise him to use word processor and explain its superiority to traditional typewriter.

  1.  Discuss operating system on your computer with your partner make notes of its advantages. Ask your partner about his operating system.




                                   The term user interface refers to the standard

procedures the user follows to interact with a particular computer. A few years ago, the way in which users had access to a computer system was quite complex. They had to memorize and type a lot of commands just to see the content of a disk, to сору files or to respond to a single prompt. In fact, only experts used computers, so there was no need for a user-friendly interface. Now, however, computers are used by all kinds of people and as a result there is a growing emphasis on the user interface.

A good user interface is important because when you buy a program you want to use it easily. Moreover, a graphical user interface saves a lot of time: you don't need to memorize commands in order to execute an application; you only have to point and click so that its content appears on the screen.

Macintosh computers - with a user interface based on graphics and intuitive tools - were designed with a single clear aim: to facilitate inter-action with the computer. Their interface is called WIMP: Window, Icon, Mouse and Pointer and software products for the Macintosh have been designed to take full advantage of its features using this interface. In addition, the ROM chips of a Macintosh contain libraries that provide program developers with routines for generating Windows, dialog boxes, icons and pop-up menus. This ensures the creation of applications with a high level of consistency.

Today the most innovative GUIs are the Macintosh, Microsoft Windows and OS/2's graphical Presentation Manager. These three platforms include similar features: a desktop with icons, Windows and folders, a printer selector, a file finder, a control panel and various desk accessories. Double-clicking a folder opens a window which contains programs, documents or further nested folders. At any time within a folder, you can launch the desired program or document by double-clicking the icon, or you can drag it to another location.

The three platforms differ in other areas such as device installation, network connectivity or compatibility with application programs.

These interfaces have been so successful because they are extremely easy to use. It is well known that computers running under an attractive interface stimulate users to be more creative and produce high quality results, which has a major impact on the general public.




  •  Put the following Microsoft Windows® operating system in the  same  sequence as they appeared. (Расположите следующие операционные системы  в той же последовательности как они появлялись)

  1.   A. Windows 2000 Professional.

              B. Windows 98

              C. Windows 3.0

              D. Windows XP

              E. Windows Millennium Edition

              F. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

  •  Among the software in the right column find those that can be referred to those in the left: (Среди  названий программного обеспечения в правой колонке найдите те , которые можно соотнести к названиям левой:)

  1.  system utilities                  A. desk accessory
  2.  applications software        B. payroll program

                                               C. spreadsheet

                                               D. anti-virus program   

                                               E. word processors

                                               F. editor

                                               G. database program

  •  Give the right English equivalent to the following Russian sentence (Дайте верный английский эквивалент русскому предложению)

Хорошо известно, что компьютеры, работающие с привлекательным интерфейсом, побуждают пользователей к более творческому сотрудничеству и приводят к более высоким результатам.

4.  A. It is well known that computers have attractive interface and users are more creative and the results are better.

      B. It is well known that computers running under an attractive interface stimulate users to be more creative and produce high quality results.

     C. Computers are well-known to run attractive interface that make users to be more creative and have better results.

  •  Give the right Russian equivalent to the following English sentence (Дайте верный русский эквивалент английскому предложению)

Spell checker can be used to compare words in the program’s dictionary to those used in the user’s document.

5. A. Программа проверки орфографии может быть использована для сравнения написания слов в документе пользователя со словами программного словаря. Вероятно, что лазерные принтеры составят конкуренцию струйным.

  1.  Программа проверки орфографии может быть применена

для сравнения слов программного словаря с теми, которые использует

в своем документе пользователь.  

     С. Программа проверки орфографии используется для сочета-

ния слов документа пользователя со словами программного словаря.

  •  Find the equivalents in two languages (Найдите эквивален-

ты в двух языках)

6. spreadsheet                  А.  прикладная программа

7. desk accessory             В.  слияние писем  

8. application                   С. расстановка переносов    

9. compiler                       D. экранная принадлежность    

10. utility                         E.  текстовый процессор                            

11.  hyphenation              F. электронная таблица

        12. mail merging             G. сервисная программа

                                                 H. транслятор  

  •  Complete the sentences with the proper word (Закончите 

предложения подходящим по смыслу словом)

13. An anti-virus program refers to small programs improving a

system's performance which are called …….

14. Word processors and spreadsheets  are the most common ………….

15. Windows are considered to be the most widely spread  ………

16. A set of systems programs for using data by a number of different application programs is known as …….

17. Language translator for interpreting instructions into machine code

is called ……...

18. The first version of Windows operating system was released in  ……….

19. The "XP" in Windows XP stands for …….

20. Spell checkers, online thesauruses and grammar checkers are three major features of ………….

  •  Choose the right variant (Выберете правильный вариант)

21. System utilities …. small programs which help users take advantage of the computer's capabilities.

  1.  Release                                   B. Comprise

C. Adjust                                     D. Display

22. Windows operating system which includes a digital pen for

handwriting recognition capabilities  is called …..                                   

    A. Windows 2000 Professional          B. Windows XP

    C. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition    D. Windows Millennium Edition

23. The standard  procedures of interacting the user  with a particular computer are referred to…….

    A. Spreadsheet                            B. Interface

    C. Compiler                                 D. Desk accessory

24. ….was the derivative from Windows 95.

  A. Windows 98                        B. Windows 3.0

      C. Windows 2.0                        D. Windows Me

25. ……is responsible for  text fitting  on the page.

A. Hyphenation                      B. Mail merging        

        C. Spell checker                      D. Grammar checker


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