WINS is the Microsoft implementation of NetBIOS name service. Samba on Linux can be used as a WINS server.
Computers configured to use WINS, when booted, contact the WINS name server and give the server their NetBIOS name and IP address. The WINS server adds the information to its database and it may send the information to other WINS servers on your network. When a computer that is configured to use WINS needs to get an address of another computer, it will contact the WINS server for the information. Without the use of a WINS server, NetBIOS will only be able to see computers on the unrouted sections of the local network. Does this mean a WINS server must exist in each routed section of the network? The answer is no. This is because WINS uses TCP/IP which is routable. Only one WINS server needs to exist on the network.