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The term "operating system"

  Is there an agreed-upon definition of "operating system"?
  My overriding concern, as a consumer, is keystrokes. My understanding
  is that Windows handles certain keystrokes in a manner that application
  programs cannot "see," and that it provides apps with no way to handle
  those keystrokes themselves. Can our tech types confirm or refute this?
  Such behavior, in my carefully considered opinion, far oversteps the
  bounds of what an operating system should do.
  (Let us not hear about how great Windows key bindings are or how we
  need a consistent keyboard interface for everyone from six-year-olds to
  100-wpm touch typists. I've been grinding this ax for a LONG time, and
  it's VERY sharp.)
  Dan Strychalski