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Microsoft® Windows® Internals: Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000, 4th Edition by David A. Solomon, Mark E. Russinovich

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Architecture Overview

With this brief overview of the design goals and packaging of Windows, let's take a look at the key system components that make up its architecture. A simplified version of this architecture is shown in Figure 2-1. Keep in mind that this diagram is basic—it doesn't show everything. (For example, the networking components and the various types of device driver layering are not shown.)

Simplified Windows architecture

Figure 2-1. Simplified Windows architecture

In Figure 2-1, first notice the line dividing the user-mode and kernel-mode parts of the Windows operating system. The boxes above the line represent user-mode processes, and the components below the line ...

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