WOW is an acronym for Windows-on-Windows.

Windows NT provides a combined Virtual DOS Machine and WOW environment. Because Win16 programs were made to interact with each other, each additional Win16 application is loaded into the same VDM and WOW that was established for the first Win16 application that was started. In Windows NT, applications can cause each other to fail, but only the VDM will fail, not the operating system.

  • WOW Input Queue
    Win3.1 and earlier had only one input queue for all user interface requests. Win16 recreates this environment, so each VDM and WOW pair has one input queue for all Win16 applications in that particular VDM/WOW pair. Running applications can interfere with each other.
  • Scheduling in WOW
    Win3.1 and earlier distributed execution time with cooperative multitasking. Win16 within a VDM/WOW multitasks cooperatively. In NT, the applications run cooperatively within the VDM/WOW pair but multitask preemptively between the VDM and the rest of the 32-bit applications.

Additionally, lj says: You might want to mention the 'run in a separate memory space' checkbox, which causes NTs to start a new wow for the process. It seems to have disappeared in XP, though.

Updated to add: WOW is also an acronym for the video game World of Warcraft.

Wow is also a term used in the field of audio equipment. Ever seen those old spaghetti westerns? They seem to be ok untill you hear the soundtrack, a terrible whining sound is heard instead of a nice violin orchestra, it sounds like and orchestra but somehow it's completely garbled and way out of tune. This is what is called wow in audio-lingo.

Wow is a slow fluctuation in pitch due to mechanical faults in analog recording or reproducing equipment. The rate of wow is usually in the range of 1-5 Hz. With sustained or slow moving sounds (like a violin orchestra), wow can be detected as a slow oscillation of pitch when the frequency variation is about 0.25%. Shorter sounds (like speech) can only be detected at much higher levels of frequency variation.

WOW is also a music compilation series put out by Word Entertainment. I believe it stands for "World of Worship". Basically, a new compilation comes out every year or so, and contains two CD's featuring some music exec's choices of the best songs from the past year. What this means, basically, is 20 "adult contemporary" songs, 5 soft pop teenybopper songs, a Veggietales song, and few nods to the rest of the industry.

Recently, though, Word has been slightly more considerate, and has arranged songs between the two CD's with respect to differing listener preferences. Each of the more recent compilations has a Silver Disc, containing what older listeners may prefer, and a Colored Disc, containing the rest of the songs.

Compilations include:

  1. An interjection expressing surprise, especially delighted susprise, indicating "I'm really impressed!" or "That's really something!"
  2. A (transitive) verb where the subject generates delighted surprise in the object, such that they might exclaim "wow!", as in
    "Max Biyalistok has wowed the critics with his latest play, Springtime for Hitler."

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