Differences Between Operation System And Application Software Computer Science Essay

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Windows is just another piece of software, like the many others lining the store shelves. But it's not a program in the normal sense. Rather, Windows controls the way you work with your computer. For years, computers have clung to a "typewriter" style of work. Just as on a typewriter, people type letters and numbers onto the screen. This time-tested system works well. But it takes a long time to learn, and it's as boring as reading the ingredients on a jar of reduced-fat mayonnaise. Windows software dumps the typewriter analogy and updates the look of computers. Windows replaces the words and numbers with pictures and fun buttons. It's smoothand shiny, like an expensive, new coffeemaker.

Define Question 1

Microsoft Windows is the operating system on your computer - the program that helps the programs you use to write and send e-mail, look at photos, create spreadsheets, and more...to do what they need to do. The operating system works on a number of levels, both running the processes of the hardware and controlling the operations of the application programs. In addition to working with your hardware and software, the operating system works with you to help you accomplish the following tasks in your application programs:

Run your programs

Add new hardware and software

Print documents

Send e-mail and faxes Save, rename, delete, and organize files

Check for viruses

Listen to music online

Answer for Question 1

Operating System


Windows 98 is the powerful version of Windows software - software that's been updated many times since starting to breathe in January 1985. With Windows 98, your desktop doesn't have to look like a typewritten page or a desktop. Now, it can look like an Internet Web page. In fact, the chameleon-like Windows 98 can run like a Web page, use the "Classic Windows 95" settings, or let you customize it with any combination. That introduces many more ways for things to go wrong.

Windows 98 can still run most of your older Windows programs too, thanks goodness. So after upgrading to Windows 98, you won't have to immediately buy expensive new software. It runs almost all Windows 95 programs and many Windows 3.1 programs. When people say Windows 98 is backward compatible, this just means it can run software that was written for older versions of Windows. You can still run most Windows 95 and Windows 3.1 software on Windows 98, for example, as well as most DOS software. Windows 98 allows longer filenames, just like Windows 95. After 15 years of frustration, PC users can call their files something more descriptive than PRT45.TXT. In fact, Windows offers you 255 characters to describe your creations.


WINDOWS XP, released by the Microsoft Corporation in 2001, combines Microsoft's corporate and consumer operating system lines. By early 2003, over one-third of all Internet users ran Windows XP, making it the most widely used operating system.

Windows XP ships in five editions. Windows XP Home Edition is the desktop edition, and other editions provide additional features. Windows XP Professional includes extra security and privacy features, more data recovery support and broader networking capabilities. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is built for notebooks and laptops that need enhanced support for wireless networking and digital pens. Windows XP Media Center Edition provides enhanced multimedia support. Windows XP 64-bit Edition is designed for applications that manipulate large amounts of data, such as programs that perform scientific computing or render 3D graphics. At the time of this writing, Microsoft plans to release a sixth edition, Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems, which is designed specifically to support AMD Opteron and Athlon 64 processors. Windows XP 64-Bit Edition currently executes on Intel Itanium II processors.

Despite their differences, all Windows XP editions are built on the same core architecture, and the following case study applies to all editions (except when we explicitly differentiate between editions). This case study investigates how a popular operating system implements the components and strategies we have discussed throughout the book.

Application Software

ITunes is the popular media player software from Apple for the Mac and Windows. Designed to transfer files to the iPod and iPhone as well as offer the copy protection on purchased titles, iTunes is widely used by millions of people who play their music collections only on their computers and not a portable device. Introduced in 2001 for the Mac, a Windows version was added in 2003. Due to Windows' dominance and iTunes' ease of use, far more people use iTunes on Windows than they do on Apple's own Mac computers. ITunes also integrates Apple's online store for purchasing songs, videos and iPhone applications.

(The iTunes Interface)


An operating system is the type of computer system you have such as Window XP or Window 95, 98, Macintoch, etc. Application software is the software that you install onto your operating system. These softwares can be obtained via a purchased CD from a software company or downloaded from a software companies web site. From the previous definition, we can know that how they (Windows 98, iTunes) are different from one another. Windows 98 is used for controls the way you work with your computer; iTunes designed to transfer files to the iPod and iPhone as well as offer the copy protection on purchased titles.

Other than that, there are still many operating systems besides Windows 98, such as Windows XP, Macintosh, and Linux. The examples for application software are Windows Live, Microsoft Office, and Mozilla Firefox.

Define Question 2

Categories of Computers

Computers can be organized in three general categories; personal computers; mobile computers and mobile devices; and servers, supercomputers, and embedded computers.

Personal Computer

A personal computer, or PC, is a computer that performs all of its input, processing, output, and storage activities by itself. A personal computer contains a processor, memory, and one or more input, output, and storage devices.

Many people associate the term personal computer, or PC, with computers that use Microsoft Windows, which is a popular operating system used on many of today's computers. All personal computers, however, do not use Windows. For example, Apple computers use a different operating system, Mac OS, but still are a type of personal computer.

Personal computer shown in Figure 1 also is called desktop computer because it is designed so the system unit, input devices, and any other devices fir entirely on a desk.

(Figure 1) http://jhapui.wordpress.com/

Mobile Computer & Mobile Devices

A mobile computer is a personal computer that you can carry from place to place. The most popular type of mobile computer is the notebook computer. A mobile device is a computing device small enough to hold in your hand and usually does not have disk drives. Popular mobile devices include handheld computers, PDAs, and smart phones.

Mobile Computers

(a) (b)

(Figure 2 Mobile Computers)


A notebook computer (as shown in figure 2-a), also called a laptop computer, is a portable, personal computer small enough to fit on your lap. Today's notebook computers are thin and lightweight, yet they can be as powerful as the average desktop computer. Notebook computers normally are more expensive than desktop computers with equal capabilities.

Tablet PC

Resembling a letter-sized slate, the Table PC is a special type of notebook computer that allows you to write on the screen using a digital pen. Users also can use an attached keyboard. For example, a Tablet PC is shown in Figure 2-b.

Mobile Devices


(Figure 3-Personal Digital Assistant)

Many mobile devices are Internet-enabled, meaning they can connect to the Internet wirelessly. Mobile devices usually do not have disk drives. Instead, these devices store programs and data permanently in memory chips inside the system unit or in small storage media such as memory cards. Popular mobile devices are handheld computers, PDAs, and smart phones, some combination mobile devices also are available, for example, a PDA/smart phone.

Servers, Mainframe, Supercomputers, and Embedded Computers


A server manages the resources on a network and provides a centralized storage area for software programs and data. The term server has several meaning. It can refer to computer hardware, to a specific type of software, or to a combination of hardware and software. In any case, the purpose of a server is to serve computers on a network (such as the Internet or a home network) by supplying them with data.

Any software or digital device, such as a computer, that requests data from a server is referred to as a client. For example, on a network, a server might respond to a client's request for a Web page. Another server might handle the steady stream of e-mail that travels among clients from all over the Internet. a server might also allow clients within a network to share files or access a centralized printer.


A mainframe computer (or simply a mainframe) is a large and expensive computer capale of simultaneously processing data for hundreds or thousands of users. Mainframes are generally used by businesses or governments to provide centralized storage, processing, and management for large amounts of data. Mainframes remain the computer of choice in situations where reliability, data security, and centralized control are necessary. The price of a mainframe computer typically starts at $100,00 and can easily exceed $1 million. Its main processing circuitry is housed in a closet sized cabinet; but after large components are added for storage and output, a mainframe computer system can fill a good-sized room.


A supercomputer is the fastest, most powerful - and the most expensive. The fastest supercomputers are capable of processing more than 135 trillion instructions in a single second. Supercomputers are used for tasks such as analyzing weather patterns, tracking hurricanes, and identifying safety issues regarding that space shuttle. Although schools do not have supercomputers, teachers do use the output from supercomputers in their lessons.

(Figure 4 - Supercomputer)


Embedded Computer

An embedded computer is a special purpose computer that functions as one component in a larger product. Embedded computers are everywhere - at home, in your car, at work, and at school. These computers perform various functions, depending on the requirements of the product in which they reside.


Information technology provides companies with the ability to process large amounts of information and do so in a way which presents the information in a clear and concise manner to employees. Anticipated benefits of implementing an information technology system include improvements in productivity, better profit performance, and a higher degree of accuracy among information within the firm. The ability to share information among employees is also enhanced.

Most information systems have at their heart a database management system which may take one of several forms. Ideally, the database management system allows multiple users to access information at the same time, and is flexible enough and easy enough to use so that employees can write reports and make modifications to their portions of the system quickly and easily. When this is the case, the benefit to organizations can include higher morale as well as higher productivity. However, it is also possible for companies to come to rely entirely on information technology in their daily activities. This can pose problems in the event that the computer becomes unavailable (perhaps because of a natural disaster). In addition, financial institutions are attractive to computer hackers who may try to thwart security precautions for their personal gain. Prevention programs must be implemented in order to overcome these threats.