HomeHome : Help Center : Question

What does the term COM mean?

Answer: In the computer world, "COM" has several different meanings, which are described below:

  1. A Domain Suffix
    The most common place you'll see "com" these days is at the end of a domain name. The .com (dot com) domain suffix is the most common suffix. Even though ".com" is short for commercial, many personal, educational, and non-profit websites have a .com domain name since it is the most recognizable. Other popular suffixes include .net, .org, .gov, and .edu. For a complete list domain suffixes, including country-specific ones, view the Sharpened.net list of domain suffixes.
  2. A DOS Command File
    Another place "com" may appear on your computer is at the end of a filename, as a file extension. A file that ends in ".com" contains a list of instructions that can be executed within DOS or by the Windows operating system. The most recognizable COM file, "COMMAND.COM," includes instructions that are referenced during the computer's boot process and also serves as command shell. Since COM files contain executable commands, you should not open any unknown files ending in .com, as they may contain viruses or other malicious instructions.
  3. The Component Object Model
    COM is also an abbreviation for "Component Object Model," a software interface standard developed by Microsoft. It provides a standard way for programmers to create and share objects, which are used in Object-Oriented Programming. The Component Object Model includes both OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) and ActiveX technologies. A newer version of COM, called COM+, was released with Windows 2000 and includes support for Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) and .NET applications.

Published: January 22, 2009 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center