What is Operating System (OS)?
Without an operating system, computers and mobile devices would be incapable of running programs like browsers, Microsoft Office applications and notepad games. This software oversees all other functions including managing applications and functions while providing an interactive user interface.
System drivers provide access to system hardware via standardized APIs and allocate resources and manage memory so multiple tasks can run concurrently.
Operating system history
Operating systems (OSs) are software packages designed to oversee and support all programs and applications used on a computer or mobile device, acting as the interface between users and applications and managing physical components such as hard drives.
Operating systems provide users with either a command-line interface (CLI) or GUI; launch and manage application execution; identify system hardware through standard APIs to applications running on it; as well as track device drivers that exist for each logical or physical object in its repository.
GMOS introduced the world to computing when they created an operating system for IBM System/38 computer in early 1950s, using transistors instead of vacuum tubes as hardware components. Based on single-stream batch processing with jobs being collected into batches and read out and executed in order, multiprogramming became possible at this point. Other important features include file management, job accounting and security as well as providing dumps, traces, error messages or any other type of debugging aids for testing purposes.
Understanding operating systems is critical for IT professionals. All computers and smartphones feature software known as an OS (or “operating system”) which serves as their engine to keep running.
Modern operating systems manage computer hardware, provide common services for application programs and provide user interfaces. Furthermore, they manage memory used by programs as well as communicate with input/output devices such as printers/scanners.
Electronic file systems help reduce access times for application programs by organizing data into orderly folders and files. System administrators perform tasks such as identifying and configuring physical and logical devices for service, recording device drivers in a standard format, handling interrupts from applications that require immediate attention and managing memory allocation to application processes.
Microsoft Windows is a family of graphical operating systems developed by Microsoft that includes versions for consumer, business and enterprise use. The name “Windows” refers to its graphical window interface that enables computer users to visually navigate a virtual desktop with pictures or icons rather than typing commands at a text prompt.
Microsoft Windows OS (Graphical Operating System) allows computer users to visualize what programs are running on their machine and interact with them using mouse clicks. It is designed for both home and professional use and used in many different capacities; its popularity makes it the world’s most widely installed OS, preloaded onto most new personal computers (PCs) worldwide. In addition to running applications, Windows provides access to the internet, photo editing programs, video game support and much more!
Windows was first released for public consumption in 1985. Based on licensed concepts from Apple’s Macintosh system software, its original implementation allowed users to navigate a virtual desktop and open “windows” with electronic folders and files instead of typing commands or directory paths at a text prompt. Furthermore, cooperative multitasking allowed multiple graphical applications to run simultaneously on one machine.
Microsoft revamped the user interface and added features in Windows 2.0, featuring overlapping windows that led Apple Computer to file suit alleging copyright infringement, but which the U.S. Justice Department ultimately dismissed. Windows 2.0 also marked the first time it included a control panel and could backup and restore system settings; expanded memory was supported along with compatibility for many older MS-DOS programs.
Microsoft released their PC operating system, Windows XP, in 2001, optimized to run on Intel hardware. Designed specifically to be more practical than its predecessor Windows ME and optimized to boot faster and manage memory better, XP supported more graphics allowing users to view documents, presentations and other types of files at higher resolutions and with an attractive user interface. Unfortunately, this was eventually replaced in 2006 by Vista which featured radical redesign of visual capabilities as well as increased resource useage.
Operating systems are software designed to manage various processes and features on computer hardware. All computer devices – be they desktops or mobile phones – rely on operating systems in order to function, such as running browsers and MS Office apps.
An operating system serves three key roles in computer operation. It manages hardware components like CPU and memory; creates an environment for application programs to operate within; and facilitates input/output operations. Although its functions often remain hidden from users, operating systems remain essential parts of any successful computer operation.
First and foremost, an operating system’s role is to manage hardware components like CPUs, memory chips and input/output devices like keyboards and monitors. Direct accessing these elements requires knowledge of a language only experts comprehend; hence it acts as an intermediary, translating between commands for hardware commands and user friendly graphical user interfaces such as point-and-click functionality that maps to them.
As you use your mouse, you may feel in control, but behind the scenes are other people handling all the many tasks necessary to keep a computer running smoothly – the operating systems and applications which provide flexibility while remaining predictable are there for this purpose.
Operating systems (OSs) manage input and output from computer devices like printers, disk drives and dial-up ports as well as manage CPU usage, computer memory resources and provide common services for other programs running on that same system.
Linux also manages a graphical user interface (GUI) for users to interact with it, including windows and menus. Furthermore, security features help protect data against cyberattacks as well as ensure no programs run without authorization.
Linus Torvalds owns the copyright to Linux, yet anyone can create their own distribution using open source components. This makes Linux ideal for use in software development, robotics and educational research activities.
Unix was invented in the 1960s by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie at AT&T laboratories as an operating system to manage complex hardware and networks. As an influential multitasking, multiuser computer operating system it helped lead to the rise of the Internet as well as shifting computing away from an isolated paradigm to network computing paradigm. Today it can be found running servers, workstations, supercomputers worldwide.
Unix operating systems rely on their kernel, which enables applications to communicate with system hardware. Additionally, the kernel allows for various application behaviors like timesharing multiple processes or threads so that they may share processor attention; responding quickly when interruptions from other processes arise; and performing memory management.
An OS also offers users and administrators access to its user interface (UI), via either CLI or GUI, for managing, configuring and troubleshooting the operating system itself as well as its underlying hardware resources. In turn, applications access them using an appropriate application program interface (API).
FreeBSD is a general-purpose operating system designed to support an array of applications and hardware devices. Its architecture allows the system to run multiple programs at the same time without slowing down or stopping; furthermore, FreeBSD’s security prevents malicious software from accessing data stored on it.
FreeBSD serves many functions, from managing central processors and other computer resources, creating an user interface, and providing services for application programs to execute and provide services for application programs. It has routines to read/write files onto disk or display images on screen while managing device input/output such as printers/scanners.
An OS is also responsible for identifying and providing access to system hardware through an API, while simultaneously managing multitasking environments by allocating processor time accordingly and handling error messages that arise from their usage.
Based on Linux and using Google’s Chrome web browser as its user interface, Chrome OS is an open source lightweight operating system designed for netbooks, laptops, tablets and other devices that access cloud applications and data. Running on far less powerful hardware than traditional PCs with boot up times of seconds; Chrome OS offers schools and businesses an economical yet reliable option that keeps devices updated while keeping costs under control.
Chrome OS stands out from other operating systems with its universal syncing features. Once signed in, your device becomes your personal computer – instantly and continuously syncronizing apps, files, extensions and settings between devices – making switching between Chromebooks or purchasing an additional device easy.
However, Chrome OS devices aren’t always suitable for everyone; in particular it may not be ideal for gamers since most games are only available through Google Play and cannot be played offline. Also not suitable is anyone requiring full desktop experience or software such as Photoshop that only runs on Windows, and even for people looking for offline work capabilities on their laptop as many Chrome OS devices can only operate properly when online.
Android is a mobile operating system developed and distributed by Google that runs on touch-screen devices like smartphones and tablets. Based on Linux, this open-source platform enables anyone to make use of its code; updates by Google regularly add features and optimize performance.
It features a touchscreen interface and supports various input methods, including tapping, swiping and pinching to navigate its user interface. Furthermore, haptic feedback – in which vibrations occur when pressing buttons – makes navigation simpler than ever.
Android was designed to run apps from Google Play store, but can also support third-party applications. Android provides features to help conserve battery power such as suspending inactive applications or closing processes stored in memory; also included is a status bar which displays information regarding connection strength and battery status. Samsung, Motorola and OnePlus are among some of the leading smartphone manufacturers who utilize Android OS; you can compare deals for these phones on Uswitch.