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A Brief Explanation Of Operation System Computer Science Essay

Knowing about OS or operating system leads any computer user to clearly know how his computer runs. A good definition of operating system is: an operating system is a set of software and data, which operate and run on a computer, in order to manage and control computer hardware, it also provides an efficient interface for various application software.

Therefore the operating system does an essential and very important role in the functioning of the whole computer system; it’s supposedly the core of the computer system. After turning on any computer part of the OS transferred from the disk to perform different functions such as:

Performs computer hardware functions

Provides a user interface

Provides a degree of hardware independence

Manages memory

Provides networking capability

Controls the access to system

Files management

Maybe the most important functions from the previous list is performing computer hardware functions, and providing a user interface. Tasks done in the computer are distributed on all the application programs in the computer (getting input, storing data, displaying information…) the role f OS here is an intermediary between these application programs and the hardware in the computer, the OS takes the instructions from these input devices and converts it into useful instructions for the hardware (monitor, printers …). Also the OS provides certain notifications if any error occurs during the process.

The role of user interface of operating system is also important as performing computer hardware functions, by providing user interface; the OS provides an access for the users to the computer system, to command this system. This function is divided into two main types:

Command-based user interface: that needs commands, text commands, to be given to the computer to do certain tasks. An example of this is renaming or deleting a file or a folder.

Graphical user interface (GUI): this one use the icons located on the screen to send orders and commands to the system to do tasks. The most common GUI is Windows, established by Microsoft.

Also the other functions of operating system are important, like hardware independence, memory management which helps users to allocate the physical location of data on their machines, processing tasks, and so on.

Types of operating system:

Operating systems can be categorized in three main categories:

Workgroup operating systems

Enterprise operating systems

Operating system for small computers and special-purpose devices

Workgroup OS: these days are characterized by high technology, so obviously any business or organization, should update its processes to meet this increasing in technology speed, so they need high quality and powerful OS. Most of the businesses these days use a workgroup OS to perform their business tasks. This category of operating system includes many severs: windows, UNIX, NetWare…

Enterprise OS: as its name shows this operating system is made to control the whole system in an enterprise, it allows computers a high performance and big ability to compute and store huge amount of data, to meet the requirements of all users in the enterprise.

OS for small computers and special-purpose devices: the new technologies, and digital assistant, such as PDA, cell phones, digital camera, and so on, also need an OS to do tasks. But the OS of these devices is called special purpose operating systems, or embedded operating system. These special OS allow the device to synchronize with the computer operating system using cable, wireless connection, etc …

Some of the most famous operating systems are: palm OS, windows mobile, windows embedded, etc …

List of the most popular OS:

These days OS are very distinguished from the old days OS, they are more advanced, and they contain many new features, whereas the old one were very basic, and perform only the essential tasks.

The following table shows a comparison between some operating processes:

Platform Comparison Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

System

Connectivity

Stability

Scalability

Multi-user

Multi-platform

POSIX

Non-proprietary

Legacy System

Poor

Good

Medium-Huge

Yes

No

No

No

MS-DOS

None

Poor

Small

No

No

No

No

Windows 3.x

Poor

Poor

Small

No

No

No

No

Windows95

SMB Only

Fair

Small

Insecure

No

No

No

WindowsNT

SMB+

Fair

Small-Medium

Yes

Yes, 2

Some

No

UNIX

Excellent

Excellent

Small-Huge

Yes

Yes, Many

Yes

No

*BSD

Good

Excellent

Small-Large

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Linux

Excellent

Excellent

Small-Huge

Yes

Yes, Many

Yes

Yes

Over years, many operating systems have invaded the market, so obviously the statistic of usage, and popularity of these OS change across the time. For example if we take the time range between 2003 and 2010, and according to the statistic done by W3Schools' log-files, in the first 6 years of this range ( from 2003 to 2009) the windows XP was the most used operating system between a range of different operating systems such as Linux, Mac, Win2000, Win2003, Vista, and Win7. Although at the end of 2009 many amendments was made to improve the performance of Win7, so at the beginning of 2010 this operating system, started beating the windows XP, and statistic shows that the number of windows XP users starts to decrease while those of Win7 start to decrease.

Future of operating system:

Since the establishment of the first operating system, and the researcher try to make more improvements and developments to make the OS more advanced and to make the users more comfortable and satisfied when using it, listing of these changes, the huge transfer from command-line interface, to graphical user interface, which has made many tasks very easier for the user.

Many examples exist on this; one of them is the file transfer between platforms. Many users who don’t care of the technical concerns face a problem when transferring files from one platform to another, well this won’t be a problem in the next few years, because of operating system that can differentiate between one file type and another and make an automatically translation from one type to another, which is compatible with the receiver platform.

As it was mentioned the operating systems has developed in the past years, in a rapid manner, which is make the process of forecasting the future of operating system difficult for us. But in general we can say that the future in this field will be bright because of the research and developments.

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