Windows Server Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing Microsoft Windows Server and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting or using the search box below.

  • P

    peer-to-peer network (P2P network)

    A peer-to-peer (P2P) network is a network in which each computer functions as a client or server for other computers in the network.

  • Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA)

    The PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) is an industry group organized in 1989 to promote standards for a credit card-size memory or I/O device that would fit into a personal computer, usually a notebook or laptop computer.

  • ping storm

    A ping storm is a condition in which the Internet ping program is used to send a flood of packets to a server to test its ability to handle a high amount of traffic or, maliciously, to make the server inoperable.

  • Plug and Play (PnP)

    Plug and Play (PnP) is a capability developed by Microsoft for its Windows 95 and later operating systems that gives users the ability to plug a device into a computer and have the computer recognize that the device is there.

  • PowerShell

    PowerShell is an object-oriented automation engine and scripting language with an interactive command-line shell that Microsoft developed to help IT professionals configure systems and automate administrative tasks.

  • PowerShell provider (Windows PowerShell provider)

    A Windows PowerShell provider is a .NET program that allows the data in a specialized data store to be accessable in Windows PowerShell.

  • PowerShell v3

    PowerShell v3 is a task-automation framework found in client and server versions of Windows

  • problem management

    Problem management, in information technology, is a process aimed at resolving incidents and problems caused by end-user errors or IT infrastructure issues, and preventing recurrence of such incidents.

  • ProLiant

    ProLiant, an "industry standard" computer server from Compaq, typifies the popularly-priced server that is designed to satisfy general computing needs at various levels in an enterprise.

  • PXE (Preboot Execution Environment)

    Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) refers to various methods of getting an IBM-compatible computer, typically running Windows, to boot up without the need for a hard drive or boot diskette.

  • Q

    QDOS (86-DOS)

    QDOS was the forerunner of DOS (Disk Operating System), the first widely-used personal computer operating system.

  • Quick Fix Engineering (QFE)

    Quick Fix Engineering (QFE) is a Microsoft term for the delivery of individual service updates to its operating systems and application programs such as Word.

  • R

    Receive Segment Coalescing (RSC)

    Receive Segment Coalescing (RSC) is an offload technology in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 that can help reduce how much of the CPU is used in network processing.

  • red screen of death

    The red screen of death is a term coined by some early testers of Longhorn (the code name for Microsoft's latest Windows operating system) who, in May 2005, came across an error message appearing against an all-red display screen.

  • registry virtualization (Windows Vista)

    Registry virtualization (RV) is a compatibility application that supports write operations in a registry.