An operating system provides the connection between a computer's fundamental hardware, peripheral devices and users. It also creates a consistent development platform for programmers. Computers of all sizes, from cell phones to supercomputers, need operating systems to function.Know More
Most computers have a processor, which performs calculations and processes information, memory, which holds program information, and a disk drive for storing programs and data. These devices need an operating system to work together. Computer RAM, for example, relies on the operating system to determine where information is held.
Operating systems also manage external devices. Operating systems typically come with drivers for graphics and sound chips and cards, and they typically support keyboards, mice and other input devices. Other devices, such as printers and scanners, often need third-party drivers to function. Most operating systems provide a driver interface to ease the process of developing hardware drivers.
Programmers rely on the abstraction provided by operating systems to make development simpler. Instead of having to work directly with a keyboard or mouse, programmers use signals provided by the operating system. Instead of having to create a graphical windowing system to display information, programmers can send relatively simple commands to the operating system, which handles much of the work. This abstraction often allows developers to target multiple operating systems with a single code base while making only small system-specific tweaks.Learn more in Software
Multitasking operating systems delegate different computing processes and tasks access to the central processing unit in an efficient manner. This allows multiple jobs to be performed in conjunction with one another, with minimal impact on overall performance.Full Answer >
A single-user multitasking operating system is an operating system that allows a single user to simultaneously run multiple applications on a computer. This type of operating system is found in personal desktop and laptop computers. The most popular single-user multitasking operating systems include Microsoft Windows and Macintosh.Full Answer >
Examples of stand-alone operating systems include Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS and Android. Stand-alone operating systems are complete operating systems that run on personal computers and on mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones.Full Answer >
A computer operating system manages the software and hardware resources on a computer device. It also allows for a consistent and stable way for applications to deal with hardware without knowing every detail of the hardware.Full Answer >