You might have heard the words ‘operating system’ in general conversation, but have no idea what it is. Or maybe you know that your computer uses an operating system, but you don’t actually know what it does. Today, we are going to clear this up for you.
What is an operating system?
Computers, cell phones, video game systems, eBook readers and other such devices all work with an operating system. The operating system or OS tells the computer what to do and how to do it. It controls and runs all the other parts of the computer like the processor, memory, etc. The OS is what makes it possible for us to work on it without having to know all the components and programming.
What does an OS do?
The OS is in charge of the computer’s resources. In other words, it makes sure that every application that is running, receives the necessary resources to work properly.
Processor management – The OS has to divide the processor’s time between the different applications and processes that run at the same time.
Memory storage and management – The OS has to make sure that every process has enough RAM to do its work. It has to manage the different types of memory and disk space.
Device management – The OS also manages other devices, like printers and scanners, that are connected to the computer. It monitors and manages the input and output processes.
User interface – This is the part of the OS that you can see as the user. It is the way that we as users interact with the applications on the computer.
Which operating systems are there?
Windows – This is the most widely known and used OS and was introduced by the Microsoft Corporation in 1985. The current versions in use include Vista, XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.
Mac OS – This operating system is specifically designed for Apple computers. It is still a bit behind the Windows OS but keeps improving.
Unix and Linux – This OS was designed mainly for programmers and many find it difficult to use. However, more and more people are choosing to use Linux as their OS.
Now you have the basics on operating systems. We hope that understanding your computer better helps you treat it better.