Definition of Desktop in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Desktop (in computer science)?

Desktop is the ever-present background of the graphical user interface (GUI) for Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10, and Windows Server systems. The desktop is the user’s on-screen work area; its various icons and menus are arranged as if on top of a physical desk.

Users can place items on the desktop, drag them around, move them into folders, and start and stop tasks using simple mouse actions such as clicking, double-clicking, dragging, and right-clicking.

Desktop - Windows 10
Desktop – Windows 10

With the Active Desktop of Windows 98 (or on Windows 95 or Windows NT 4 with Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4 installed and the Desktop Update feature selected), Web browser functions also appear on the desktop.

Users can browse local and network file system objects along with content on the Internet using a familiar Web browser paradigm. Active Web content can be placed directly on the desktop and updated automatically.


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