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The kernel is the core of the operating system: it is a software layer that provides secure and controlled access to the machine's hardware (by creating a hardware abstraction layer that provides a uniform interface to the underlying hardware so to simplify developers' job in writing applications) to all the running processes as well as scheduling processes and executing them in a multitasking environment.


Thanks to Luigi Bruno for originally authoring this content.

Community Resources



Windows Internals, Fourth Edition (Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003)

Windows Internals, Fifth Edition (Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008)

Technical articles

Windows XP: Kernel Improvements Create a More Robust, Powerful, and Scalable OS (MSDN Magazine, December 2001)

Inside the Windows Vista Kernel: Part 1

Inside the Windows Vista Kernel: Part 2

Inside the Windows Vista Kernel: Part 3

Inside Windows Server 2008 Kernel Changes

An Introduction to Kernel Patch Protection


Mark Russinovich: On Working at Microsoft, Windows Server 2008 Kernel, MinWin vs ServerCore, HyperV

Windows, Part I - Dave Probert

Windows, Part II - Dave Probert

Windows, Part III - Dave Probert

Windows, Part IV - Dave Probert

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