Almost every operating system has a mechanism to start processes at system startup time that provide services not tied to an interactive user. In Windows, such processes are called services or Windows services, because they rely on the Windows API to interact with the system. Services are similar to UNIX daemon processes and often implement the server side of client/server applications. An example of a Windows service might be a web server, because it must be running regardless of whether anyone is logged on to the computer and it must start running when the system starts so that an administrator doesn’t have to remember, or even be present, to start it.

Windows services consist of three components: a service application, a service control ...

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