What Is An Operating System? The Most Important Software!

Ever wonder why there are many operating systems that exist today? Do you know how every person is different from one another? Well, operating systems are kind of like that. People are differentiated between culture, ethnicity, country, etc., while operating systems are differentiated by use, purpose, and benefits.

what is an operating system
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Operating systems mostly focus on something, and let me just give you the easiest one — Windows is one of the most popular operating systems for computer games. And there are various reasons why Windows are the game’s number one choice, including that most video game developers also make games specifically for Windows.

You also must consider that Windows is the biggest computer operating system today. I am a Windows user too and have ever been since I was a kid. But let’s talk about Windows on another day. Let’s focus on the operating systems themselves and how it functions.

What Is An Operating System?

In much more basic words, the computer hardware (motherboard, CPU, RAM, etc.) will work the way it needs to be with the help of an operating system. If you, as a user, want your hardware to work properly, the operating system will give you an interface to work with it. And that allows you to work or use programs, surf the internet, and basically, use a computer. Without an operating system, you just wasted your money buying the hardware.

An operating system is a software that gives you a GUI or graphical user interface to use your device the way we use it today. We perform our tasks with the use of the operating system installed. In some cases, operating systems are not yet installed in the hardware, but most laptops that are sold today have a built-in operating system already installed.

How Do Operating Systems Work?

The operating system is a critical component of your computer. It handles all of your computer’s hardware as well as any attached peripherals. It also handles software interactions between programs and data created by the developer. An operating system’s primary functions include process management, process synchronization and communication, memory management, file management, device management, and security. Another key feature of an operating system is security, which protects data from virus threats and unauthorized access. Command interpretation, networking, task accounting, and communication management are all part of the operating system. A distributed system is a collection of processors that do not share memory or hardware.

When you press the power button on your computer, a sequence of actions occurs that results in the Windows desktop being shown (or whatever your OS is). Your computer’s operating system is responsible for this operation, and it’s a sophisticated and crucial piece of software. Again, an operating system is a software platform that handles your computer’s hardware and lets you execute programs on it.

Your computer wouldn’t do anything if it didn’t have an operating system. In truth, Microsoft Windows is pre-installed as the main operating system on the vast majority of new computers when they leave the manufacturer. The macOS is also pre-installed in Apple devices as it is the only operating system within their devices.

The operating system manages input and output devices like keyboards and mice, printers, and displays and keeps networks connected. It also arranges tasks for execution on a processor and allocates storage space for programs and data to be used by those programs and system files.

What Are The Advantages Of An Operating System?

There are several benefits to utilizing an operating system. The most significant advantage is that it offers a reliable environment for software development. Furthermore, operating systems manage processes and resources for the user, making it simpler for them to execute computer activities. They also serve as a security barrier between the user and their data, aiding in preventing illegal access or theft.

Also, operating systems may improve productivity and security for small firms that may not have the means to acquire and maintain such solutions. However, no operating system is ever totally safe, and frequent upgrades are required to keep up with the newest threats. Additionally, if you are unfamiliar with an operating system’s interface or tool set, it may be difficult to operate it.

But still, operating systems are the backbone of your computer usage. It will never be possible for an average human like me to be able to use a computer without it.

Types Of Operating Systems

Operating Systems are made for specific devices. Like Windows and macOS are both for computers or laptops. While iOS and Android OS are both for smartphones.

Batch Operating System

The batch operating system does not directly interact with the device. There is an operator that groups comparable tasks with the exact requirements into batches. It is the operator’s obligation to sort tasks with matching requirements.

Multitasking/Time Sharing OS

A time-sharing operating system allows users at various terminals (shells) to simultaneously utilize the same computer system. Time-sharing refers to the sharing of processor time across several users.

Multiprocessing OS

The term “multiprocessor system” refers to the fact that many processors work together to accomplish the same task. This type of operating system allows the use of numerous processors, which are linked to physical memory and computer busses, as well as clocks, and auxiliary devices, hence the word “multiprocess.” 

Real-Time OS

This operating system is designed to meet the needs of real-time applications, which process data as it is received, for the most part, without any buffer delays and serves the user in real-time.

Distributed OS

A distributed operating system runs on a group of independent software nodes that are networked, interacting, and physically distinct. They handle tasks that need many CPUs to complete. It is able to serve in real-time using various central processors.

Network OS

A server is responsible for running the network operating system. It gives users the ability to manage data, users, groups, security, applications, and other networking operations by serving in that capacity.

Mobile OS

A mobile operating system is software that is installed on mobile devices, including smartphones, tablet PCs, and other electronic gadgets. Some of the most famous mobile operating systems are Android, iOS, and Windows phone OS.

Popular Operating Systems

Understanding how a program or application works, any operating system may help you manage security and user access to carry out daily activities and much more. Whether you’re a casual computer and phone user or wish to pursue a career in IT, I know you have heard about some of these operating systems.

Windows OSThe most popular operating system today
macOSAnother popular OS and is known as one of the most secured OS today
Linux OSAlso a popular OS since it is easy to use and navigate, and is also free

How Much Does An Operating System Cost?

Technically, operating systems are free. It’s mostly pre-installed in some computers or laptops already once you have bought it. If you are downloading an operating system from official websites, it is still free. But, the licensing is what will cost you. Although there are things that you can do in a free operating system, there are also some things you cannot do.

For example, on a Windows OS, you are free to download any version of their operating system on their website for free. And once you install it, you’re good to go, but you cannot change the background image of your desktop, you cannot activate some programs, etc.

It mostly ranges from $15 to $60 or more for you to have a licensed operating system. If you do not need to change the desktop background or activate some programs, then you can still use it for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

To conclude this post, I would like to tell you that operating systems are not as complicated as you think. Especially if you are a beginner. Don’t worry about exploring and looking for what suits you best. There are tons of operating systems out there that aren’t even mentioned in this guide. You can even search for the operating system’s official websites regarding facts about its operating systems. I am also doing some operating system posts in the future so, watch out for that! Just click my name below to see if it is up! 

I hope this helped you understand the basics of an operating system. See you on my next posts.

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Anna Bonilla
Anna Bonilla

Anna isn't just any ordinary Computer Hardware Expert, she's highly skilled and multi-talented. She's a graphic designer, a writer, and a social media expert. At ErrorBook, she helps her readers in understanding the purpose of different hardware components and also helps pick the best PC Parts for their money. She also loves babysitting her nephews, baking, and crafting coffee.

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