Windows Sockets is an protocol-independent interface. It takes advantage of the communication capabilities of the underlying protocols. In Windows Sockets 2, a socket handle can optionally be used as a file handle with the standard file I/O functions.
Windows Sockets are based on the sockets first popularized by Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). An application that uses Windows Sockets can communicate with other socket implementation on other types of systems. However, not all transport service providers support all available options.
Windows Sockets is a protocol-independent interface capable of supporting current and emerging networking capabilities.