Different Operating Systems Listed Computer Science Essay

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During their visit Sams daughter recommends that he buys a Microsoft laptop with the latest Windows 7 operating system. Sams grandsons advice is to get an Apple. Sam has asked you to explain what this means.

In a report you need to outline the basic functions of operating systems in general, explaining how they are used to facilitate users.

Your report must include the following;

Explain the basic functions and purpose of all the different Operating Systems listed in LO1 (LINUX, Windows, DOS, MAC OS, Command line and GUI Operating Systems (P2) Deadline for Friday 14th September 2012

Compare the features and functions of the two operating systems, summarizing their respective strengths and weaknesses. (M1)

Recommend the one that you think would be best suit Sam. (P4)


Task A

Operating System

An operating system is the main program within the computer. It is designed to run other software programs. A computer's operating system is the most important program. Without the operating system the computer is just a tower of connected hardware components. The operating system is the backbone of a computer. It manages both software and hardware resources simultaneously. Operating systems are responsible for everything that is processed at the central processing (Input and output). They also manage files on computers such as hard drives, external mediums and control external appliances like printers and scanners.

Functions and Purposes of Different Operating Systems


Windows is a computer operating system with a graphical user interface. This operating system has a graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that lets you divide your display into several windows. Within each window, you can run a different program or display different data. This is the specialty of windows compared to the other operating systems. Windows has a very easy interface to follow and use for the required reasons.

Windows have a GUI that is very easy to comprehend with, for this reason windows is normally used for home computing. Due to the simplicity and user-friendliness of windows has become the most commonly used operating system.

Another good facility within windows OS is the help facility. This allows the user to type in and search any system related function. There after the windows OS will give as many answers as possible that are associated with the search made by the user. Within the answer it will explain the related function so the user will understand how to use it. For example if you type in internet explorer in help you will get many related topics. On of them will explain how to open the browser. This is a good facility because it will help people that have never used computers in their life. One of the reasons for why windows have become the most commonly used OS is because of this help and search feature.

Windows other function is that it is compatible with a large range of software and hardware. The hardware is used for updating the computer components and making the computer react faster. For example putting a newer CPU in your computer will boost the speed of your computer. The software is installed within the computer allowing the user to use the installed program. For example if you install a game then once the installation is complete you will be allowed to play the game. This gives the user a lot more flexibility within his OS.

Windows is very famous for its GUI but also has an alternative to the GUI, which is the command line operation. Windows has the Cmd (command prompt). This means that the user has to type the operation in. Therefore Windows functions with both types of interfaces.


DOS also known as Disk Operating System is the back bone for windows operating system. Before they made the graphical user interface is was the main operating system. DOS has a command line interface, which means that you have to type the function you want. It's not like the graphical user interface when you can work your way round the files. A function of the DOS operating system is that you are not allowed to multiple task, therefore decreases the chances of the computer crashing and maintains a high speed.

The command line interface in DOS only allows commands; Because of this it is easy to manage the malicious software on the PC. This makes MS-DOS reliable and a safe operating system.

Mac OS:

Mac OS is a computer operating system with a multiple graphical user interface created by apple. Mac OS operates multiple applications by using a taskbar. This enables the user to multi-task easier than other operating system. This is essential for web designer who have a lot of applications open at once and to keep switching programs in order to do their work. This causes to computer to crash a lot less compared to other operating systems. Therefore it is reliable and this also shows that the operating system is dependable.

Kernel ASLR is a part of mac OS and this helps keep your system to stay safe from malicious software. Kernel ASLR randomly arranges kernel components in memory at boot time to make it significantly more difficult for an attacker to use kernel functions. This shows a user that this product is safe.

MAC OS GUI is very simple to use. All the applications are on a taskbar at the bottom of the screen, which makes it easy to switch applications. The GUI allows users to easily function what they want to do because it has been designed in such a way that most of the programs are on the desktop or on the taskbar. This is how it is made easy to use.


Linux OS is an operating system that is mainly used in servers. Users operate a Linux-based system through a command line interface (CLI), a graphical user interface (GUI), or through controls attached to the associated hardware. Linux system is based on the Linux kernel - the very low-level software that manages your computer hardware, multi-tasks as many programs that are running at any given time, and other such essential things. These low-level functions are used by other programs. Without the kernel, your computer will become very expensive.

It has all of the features of modern operating systems: true multitasking, threads, virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, shared, copy-on-write executables, proper memory management, loadable device driver modules, video frame buffering, and TCP/IP networking.

Linux has placed the Linux kernel under the GNU General Public License, which basically means that you may freely copy, change, and distribute it, but you may not impose any restrictions on further distribution and you must make the source code available.

A minimal Linux installation requires a machine for which a port exists, at least 2Mb of RAM, and a single floppy drive, but to do anything even remotely useful, more RAM and disk space is needed.

If you are new to Linux, you should start by buying or downloading a general-purpose Linux distribution. A distribution is a complete operating system, including the Linux kernel and all the utilities and software you are likely to need, ready to install and use. Most distributions include thousands of software packages, including user-friendly desktops, office suites, and games.