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Windows 2.0, released in 1987, was a version of the Microsoft Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI) that was said to look similar to the Mac OS GUI, and more closely matched Microsoft's pre-release publicity for Windows 1.0, but was somewhat more primitive than Apple's interface. Version 2.0 allowed for windows to overlap each other, as contrasted with Windows 1.0, which could only display multiple windows on screen by tiling them (although technically, drop-down menus in Windows 1.0 were a form of window overlapping). The window-manipulation terminology of "Minimize" and "Maximize" was introduced with this version, as was a more sophisticated keyboard-shortcut mechanism in which shortcut keys were identified by underlining the character that, in conjunction with the "Alt" key, would cause them to be selected. File management tasks were still managed by use of the MS-DOS Executive program introduced in Windows 1.0, which was more list-driven than icon-oriented.

The first Windows versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel ran on Windows 2.0. Third-party developer support for Windows increased substantially with this version (some shipping the Windows Runtime software with their applications, for customers who had not purchased the full version of Windows), but most developers still maintained MS-DOS versions of their applications, as Windows users were still a distinct minority of their market.

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