In strict literary terms, An Operating System refers to “the low-level software that supports a computer’s basic functions, such as scheduling tasks and controlling peripherals.” In simple words, an operating system is a system of commands which controls the operations of the CPU and devices attached to it. It is the first and the most important program that runs on a computer. The computer gets started only when the operating system starts. Other programs and applications run only when an operating system runs successfully. Right from the input from keyboard to the output on monitor or printer, all are under the control of an operating system.
There are many types of operating systems depending upon users and tasks. They may be:
- Real Time OS: These Operating Systems responds to the input very quickly. They are generally visually oriented. For example Microsoft Windows. DOS and UNIX are not the real time operating systems as they are very slow to respond.
- Multi-user OS: These types of operating systems allow many users to work simultaneously on the same platform. The users may be in thousands depending upon the strength of the operating system server. The users can have an interactive session with the running of the program at the same time.
- Multi-threading OS: These allow different parts of a program to run simultaneously. This allows quick execution of the program and brings outputs faster. Many lengthy programs having several levels of output need multi-threading OS for their running.
- Multi-processing OS: These are special operating systems which allow a single program to run on several CPUs at the same time. This allows networking of several computer systems for smooth working at the same time.
- Multi-tasking OS: These operating systems allow running of more than one program at the same time. These run several applications at the same time as required by the user.
All the above mentioned operating systems may work in coordination to have better and quick execution of programs and give desired results.
Most Popular Operating Systems:
There are several operating systems in the market which are preferred by customers all over the world. They are popular according to their features such user-friendliness, visually interesting, simplicity in execution etc. The most popular operating systems are as follows:
- Microsoft Windows: This is the most popular operating system in the world. May it be personal user or a business technocrat, all depends on windows. There are many versions of Windows operating system available in the market. Windows 7 is the most popular followed by Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows XP and so on.
- Mac OS: It refers to the official name of the Apple Macintosh OS. It is similar to the Windows as it also uses GUI or Graphical User Interface. It uses similar icons and applications but runs only on a Macintosh Computer.
- LINUX: It is an open source operating system based on UNIX platform. It was developed by Linus Torvalds.
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