What is an Operating System?

What is an Operating System?

An operating system is a collection of software designed to manage, control, and simplify the operation of computers and related hardware. It involves the management of hardware components through software. While initially developed for use on computers, operating systems have become an essential component in various devices such as phones, tablets, and many others with advancements in technology.

Examples of operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android. However, Microsoft Windows, being a frontrunner, is the most widely used operating system globally. Following closely is Apple’s Mac OS, which powers their popular technological products in recent years.

In the 1940s, electronic products did not have the concept of an operating system. The electronic devices of that time operated solely based on sequential mechanical switch principles. However, with the invention of programmable computers in the subsequent period, the use of operating systems began. IBM took the first significant step towards a real operating system between 1965 and 1980 by assembling circuit elements in a systematic manner.

Although the workings of operating systems may appear complex from the outside, they fundamentally operate on a simple mechanism. During the hardware startup, the operating system loads itself into memory and starts functioning. These systems become ready for use when the hardware is fully initialized and the screen displays become active.

Presently, operating systems can be classified into two main categories. The first and most commonly used category is closed-source operating systems. Examples of such operating systems include Windows, Mac OS, and Chrome OS. The second category is open-source operating systems, which include Ubuntu, CentOS, and FreeDOS32. For more detailed information on this topic, you can refer to our article titled “What is an Open Source Operating System?“.

With the advancement of technology and increasing user demands, numerous different operating systems have been introduced to the market. Each operating system has its own structure and functioning characteristics. The most widely used operating systems worldwide are:

  • Microsoft Windows Operating System
  • Mac OS Operating System
  • Unix Operating System
  • Linux Operating System
  • Pardus Operating System
  • Android Operating System
  • iOS Operating System
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