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Windows provides a straightforward mechanism for managing processes and synchronizing their execution. Examples have shown how to manage the parallel execution of multiple processes and how to obtain information about execution times. Windows does not maintain a parent-child relationship among processes, so the programmer must manage this information if it is required.

Looking Ahead

Threads, which are independent units of execution within a process, are described in the next chapter. Thread management is similar in some ways to process management, and there are exit codes, termination, and waiting on thread handles. To illustrate this similarity, grepMP (Program 6-1) will be reimplemented with threads in the first example program of Chapter 7.

Chapter 8 will then introduce synchronization, which can be used to coordinate operation between threads in the same or different processes.

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