What is Windows Sockets?

What is Windows Sockets?
Answer: The Windows Sockets specification defines a network programming
interface for Microsoft Windows which is based on the "socket" paradigm
popularized in the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) from the University
of California at Berkeley. It encompasses both familiar Berkeley socket
style routines and a set of Windows-specific extensions designed to allow
the programmer to take advantage of the message-driven nature of Windows.

The Windows Sockets Specification is intended to provide a single API to
which application developers can program and multiple network software
vendors can conform. Furthermore, in the context of a particular version
of Microsoft Windows, it defines a binary interface (ABI) such that an
application written to the Windows Sockets API can work with a conformant
protocol implementation from any network software vendor. This
specification thus defines the library calls and associated semantics to
which an application developer can program and which a network software
vendor can implement.

Network software which conforms to this Windows Sockets specification will
be considered "Windows Sockets Compliant". Suppliers of interfaces which
are "Windows Sockets Compliant" shall be referred to as "Windows Sockets
Suppliers". To be Windows Sockets Compliant, a vendor must implement 100%
of this Windows Sockets specification.

Applications which are capable of operating with any "Windows Sockets
Compliant" protocol implementation will be considered as having a "Windows
Sockets Interface" and will be referred to as "Windows Sockets
Applications".

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