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Operating system (OS) of a computer is a collection of software programs that enable the computer hardware to to operate efficiently and to interface with other software used in the computer. The Operating System makes the task of operating the computer very easy for the user by incorporating software that makes it possible to perform many repetitive tasks of computer without having to make provisions for these in the application software, or feeding detailed step by step command to computer every time a a simple operation like opening, copying, printing or reorganising file is required. Without the help of modern operating system, it will not be possible to operate computers without fairly complicated training in computer software and operations.
Classification of Computer operating system can be done based on comparison of their features it terms of different dimensions.The operating system in a computer performs functions such as process management, main memory management, file management, input and output system management, secondary storage management, networking, protection, and command interpretation,
Some of these dimension of operating system classification are described below.
Use of Graphic User Interface (GUI): Traditionally Operating systems required the computer user to feed instruction to the computer using the key board. However now it is common to have OS that have devices to feed instruction to computer by pointing to or selecting different information or icons displayed on computer monitor or screen.
Number of users who can use the computer system simultaneously.
Number of processors and other devices that can be controlled by the OS.
Number of tasks that the OS can perform in parallel.
Multi-threading: This refers to the ability of operating system to allow a computer to run different part of a program simultaneously.
Many computer operating systems will fall into more than one of the below categories.
The operating system is the set of interfaces and controls through which the user interacts with the computer. Since we generally don't operate on a binary level, we need something that we can look at that makes sense to us so that we can actually use the computer. Operating systems were created to make this easier.
The most common operating system in the world is Windows. It has all kinds of versions. In some ways its advantage is in its ubiquity. If you are familiar with it, you can use the computers in almost any office in the world. It is also considered more user-modifiable than the second system, Apple.
Though it used to be known as Macintosh, and now has names of animals like Leopard, calling it Apple will communicate what you are trying to say most of the time. Some people consider it the most user friendly and the system that works the best "out of the box," though the user experience is more tightly controlled than in Windows.
A third and very interesting system is any open source operating system like Ubuntu. These are infinitely user-modifiable and generally are grouped under the name "Linux." These are entirely available to the public and are built on the premise that corporate entities controlling how people use their computers is inefficient and a bad idea so all the source code and applications are free and available to the public.
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