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In computing, Winsock is a specification for Microsoft Windows network software[?], describing how applications can access network services[?], especially TCP/IP.

Winsock is intended to provide a single API to which application developers should program and to which multiple network software vendors should conform. For any 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.

Winsock was conceived at Fall Interop '91 during a Birds of a Feather session.

Windows Sockets is supported by Microsoft Windows, Windows for Workgroups, Win32s, Windows 95 and Windows NT. It will support protocols other than TCP/IP. Under Windows NT, Microsoft will provide Windows Sockets support over TCP/IP and IPX/SPX. DEC will be implementing DECNet. Windows NT will include mechanisms for multiple protocol support in Windows Sockets, both 32-bit and 16 bit.

Mark Towfiq said, "The next rev. of Winsock will not be until towards the end of 1993. We need 1.1 of the API to become firmly settled and implemented first."

Windows Sockets API (ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/micro/pc-stuff/ms-windows/winsock) or (ftp://microdyne.com/pub/winsock) or send a message "help" to either <ftpmail@SunSite.UNC.Edu> or <ftpmail@DECWRL.DEC.Com>.

Windows Sockets specification (ftp://rhino.microsoft.com)

Currently NetManage (NEWT), Distinct, FTP and Frontier are shipping Winsock TCP/IP stacks, as is Microsoft (Windows NT and TCP/IP for WFW), Beame & Whiteside Software (v1.1 compliant), and Sun PC-NFS. Windows 95 has "dial-up networking" which supports Winsock and TCP/IP.

winsock.dll is available from some TCP/IP stack vendors. Novell has one in beta for their Lan Workplace for DOS.

Peter Tattam <peter@psychnet.psychol.utas.edu.au> is alpha-testing a shareware Windows Sockets compliant TCP/IP stack (ftp://ftp.utas.edu.au/pc/trumpet/winsock/winsock.zip) and (ftp://ftp.utas.edu.au/pc/trumpet/winsock/winpkt.com).

The Consummate Winsock App List (http://wwwvms.utexas.edu/~Neuroses/cwsapps).

[Adapted from: Aboba, Bernard D., comp.protocols.tcp-ip.ibmpc Frequently Asked Questions, 1993 Usenet: news:news.answers, (ftp://netcom1.netcom.com/pub/mailcom/IBMTCP/)].

Thanks to http://www.foldoc.org

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