(Component Object Model) A component software architecture from Microsoft, which defines a structure for building program routines (objects) that can be called up and executed in a Windows environment. This capability was built into Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0. Parts of Windows itself and Microsoft’s own applications are also built as COM objects. COM provides the interfaces between objects, and Distributed COM (DCOM) allows them to run remotely. COM is used in the following ways.