What Is an Operating System (OS)?
An operating system (OS) is a software program that enables the computer hardware to communicate and operate with the computer software. It acts as an intermediary between the user, applications, and the computer hardware. The OS performs basic tasks such as controlling and allocating memory, prioritizing system requests, controlling input/output devices such as printers or disk drives, managing files and directories on storage media like hard disks or flash drives, and providing a platform for running application programs.
The most popular operating systems are Microsoft Windows 10, Apple macOS X El Capitan, Linux Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Long Term Support), Google Chrome OS for Chromebooks; these are used in desktop computers while mobile phones use Android by Google or iOS by Apple Inc., depending on their brand of phone. Operating systems provide users with an interface to interact with their device’s hardware components through graphical user interfaces (GUI). They also allow users to install additional applications from app stores which can be used to customize their experience further according to their needs.
Functions of Operating System
An operating system (OS) is a set of programs that manage the hardware and software resources of a computer. It provides an interface between the user, applications, and the underlying hardware components. Operating systems are responsible for managing memory, processes, input/output operations, file systems, networking connections and other essential tasks required to keep computers running smoothly.
The primary functions of an operating system include resource management such as allocating memory space for different programs; process management which involves creating and terminating processes; device management which includes controlling peripheral devices like printers or scanners; security by providing authentication mechanisms to protect data from unauthorized access; error handling in order to detect errors in program execution; scheduling jobs so that they can be executed at specific times or intervals; communication with external networks through network protocols like TCP/IP etc.; virtualization support allowing multiple OSs to run on one machine simultaneously. Additionally, modern operating systems also provide graphical user interfaces (GUIs), multimedia capabilities such as audio playback and video streaming services along with many other features.
What Are the Most Popular Operating Systems?
The most popular operating systems are those that have been around for a long time and have become the standard in their respective markets. The two main contenders in this category are Microsoft Windows and Apple’s macOS. Both of these operating systems offer users an intuitive user interface, reliable performance, and access to a wide range of applications.
Windows is by far the most widely used OS on desktop computers, with over 90% market share worldwide. It has been around since 1985 and continues to be updated regularly with new features such as Cortana voice assistant integration, improved security measures, and support for virtual reality headsets. macOS is also very popular among Mac users due to its stability and ease-of-use; it was first released in 2001 but has seen several major updates since then including Siri integration, iCloud storage options, Touch ID authentication system, etc.