What Does MinWin Mean?

MinWin is the layer of core components for the Windows operating system (OS). It runs the kernel, file systems, TCP/IP, hardware abstraction layer and other core services. MinWin has evolved from projects within Microsoft over the years to reduce interdependencies within Windows.


Techopedia Explains MinWin

Microsoft began using MinWin as the basis for OS builds in 2006-2007, when Microsoft replaced Windows XP with the Windows Vista. An implementation of MinWin was part of Windows 7, and it is used extensively in Windows 8. The basic objective behind MinWin is to minimize the number of running services to just those that enabled the operating system to be self-sustaining, and perform its role as an OS.

MinWin is all about reducing the core of Windows to a set of basic functionality. The basic MinWin in Windows 7 is comprised of about 161 files, whose total footprint on disk is about 28 MB. To accomplish its task, MinWin makes extensive use of virtualization within the OS. Application level calls are made to virtual DLLs that in turn are mapped to logical DLLs. This allows a separation and modularization of the core API sets of MinWin.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…