An operating system, commonly abbreviated OS, is software that runs on all types of computers and completes managing tasks of the hardware. It consists of information and programs and provides general services to ensure numerous software applications operate properly. The operating system also serves as a go-between for application programs and the hardware of the computer.
Operating systems are typically on nearly any type of computer device such as personal computers, supercomputers, cellular telephones, and video game consoles. Microsoft Windows, Unix, GNU/Linux, and Mac OS X are common operating systems.
- Microsoft Windows is a collection of privately owned operating systems that are generally used on personal computers. It is the most widely used collection of operating systems for personal computers.
- As of 2011, the most commonly used version is Windows XP. New versions developed are Windows 7 for personal computers and Windows Server 2008 R2 for servers.
- Unix is a large complex collection of inter-related operating systems. It is a diverse group that has many major sub-categories such as BSD, System V, and GNU/Linux.
- The Open Group has licensed Unix to be used with any operating system that will conform to the company’s definition.
- There are also Unix-like systems that resemble the original system. Unix-like systems operate on various machine architectures.
Linux and GNU
- Linux is the generic name for an Unix-like operating system that can be used on a wide variety of devices such as personal computers, supercomputers and even handheld devices.
- An open source license is used to release Linux kernel, so any individual can interpret and make changes to the code.
Mac OS X
- Mac OS X is a type of partially privately owned graphical operating systems that were designed, marketed and sold by Apple Incorporation. The latest software is pre-loaded on all Macintosh computers.
- Mac OS X is a Unix operating system that uses advanced technology.