MinGW is a programming tool that intends to help developers create applications for Windows. Its name is an acronym for "minimalist GNU for Windows" and provides a general idea about its mission.
This development environment includes the basic tools required to create native Windows applications. As a minimalist tool set, it provides access only to the functionality runtime components provided by MIcrosoft and not other runtime environments such as POSIX.
You can use MinGW to create applications that run on Windows and do not depend on other runtime components from third parties. The included tools only depend on components that are a part of the Windows operating system such as the C runtime library.
One of the important tools is a ported version of the GNU Compiler Collection that can help you transform the source code of your application. The collection includes support for compiling C, C++, ADA and Fortran code.
In order to create an application you can use other tools from the package such as an assembler or an archive manager that are included in the environment. Other tools that can help you deploy the application include a command line installer and a GUI wrapper.
MinGW is a development tool that can be used by software creators on multiple platforms such as Windows, GNU or Linux. They can choose to work with it under other operating systems to create applications for deployment on Windows systems.