<architecture, library, microsoft> (WOSA) One of the mainstays of Microsoft Windows: the ethos of abstraction of core services.
For each extension, Windows Open Services Architecture defines an API and an SPI, as well as a universal interface (usually placed in a single DLL) that both comply to.
These then transparently let the operating system speak to device drivers, database managers, and other low level entities.
These extensions include, among others, ODBC (called the "crowning jewel of WOSA"), TAPI, WOSA/XFS, SAPI and MAPI, and their supporting services, as well as the abstraction of access to printers, modems, and networking services, which run identically over TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, and NetBEUI.
Try this search on Wikipedia, OneLook, Google
Nearby terms: Windows NT 4 « Windows NT 5 « Windows NT Network Model « Windows Open Service Architecture » Windows Registry » Windows sockets » Windows XP