What is Operating Systems?

An operating system also known as OS is a program that is loaded firstly into the computer by a boot program and manages all the other programs in a computer. It manages programs like applications or application programs. The applications make use of the operating system by making requests for services through application program interface.



What Kinds Are There?

Real-time Operating System

This operating system are used to control machnery, scientific instruments and industrial systems. It has little user-interface capability and no end-user utilities.

Single-user Single Task

This operating system is designed to manage the computer so that only one user can effectively do one thing at a time. OS such as Palm OS for Palm handheld computers is a good example of single-user single taski operating system.

Single-user Multi-tasking

This operating system is the most commonly used on their desktop and laptop computers now days. Microsoft Windows and Apple's MacOS platforms are both an example of operating systems that lets a single user have several porgrams in operation at the same time. It makes users be able to be writing a note in a word processor while downloading a file from the Internet while printing the text of an e-mail message.


This operating system allows many different users to use the resources on the computer. The requirements of the operating system from every users are equally balanced. The programs used are sufficient and separate resources so that if a program with one user, it won't affect the other users. Unix, VMS and mainframe operating systems such as MVS are examples of multi-user operating systems.



It stands for Basic Input/Output System, it is used for starting up of a computer. When the computer is booting, the BIOS configures the screen, keyboard and serials and parallel ports to make sure they are working properly. It then sends start up instructions to the operating systems that is on the hard drive. It is stored in the ROM chip away from the Hard drive to prevent damage to it.



Comparison of Operating Systems

First Public Release
Target System Type
System V R3
Bundled with hardware
Server, Network Appliance, Workstation
GNU Project, Linus Torvalds
Unix, Minix
Generally Free
Desktop, Workstation, Server
Mac OS X
Apple Inc.
March 2001
Mac OS
Bundled with hardware
$129 (single user)
$199 (5 license)
Workstation, Home Desktop
Microsoft Windows
November 20, 1985
$199-$239 (Home)
$299 (Business)
$399 (Ultimate)
Workstation, Home Desktop, Media Center, Tablet PC, Embedded

Willy Lin