What is an Operating System? Types, Functions, and Examples

What is an Operating System? Types, Functions, and Examples
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When you hear the term “operating system”, you may think of a computer as an entire system that runs on software. An operating system (OS) is one of the most important parts of any computer, smartphone, or tablet. The operating system is what makes it possible to use all the other applications on your device. It’s like the foundation of a house: without a strong foundation, nothing else about the house will work correctly or be safe for people to use.

What Is an Operating System?

An operating system (OS) is the software that runs on a computer and manages its hardware resources, such as the central processing unit (CPU), memory, disk storage, and other devices. The OS also provides common services for computer programs such as connecting input/output devices to the CPU and managing computer networks.

In simpler terms, an operating system allows you to use your laptop or desktop PC as you would a smartphone: by tapping icons on the screen with your fingers or typing commands into a virtual keyboard.

History of Operating Systems

The history of operating systems is long and storied. The first computer OS was developed by Grace Hopper in 1952, but it wasn’t until 1964 that the first commercial version of the OS was released by IBM.

In 1966, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs began working for Intel on a new personal computer (PC) with a graphical user interface (GUI). They created what we now know as Windows 1.0 in 1985 and released it as part of Microsoft’s MS-DOS program suite.

Apple released its own GUI system called Macintosh Operating System 1.0 in 1984, which later became MACOS X when Apple switched to Unix-based operating systems for their computers starting with 1994’s 10th anniversary Mac PowerBook G3 model line release date announcement press conference invitation letter from Steve Jobs posted online saying “It’s been three years since we introduced our first Intel-based personal computer,” “and now it’s time to update again.”

Few computer operating systems you should know:

  • Windows – Microsoft’s flagship operating system, which is used on most PCs and laptops
  • Apple macOS – The operating system for Mac computers. Also known as OS X, to avoid any confusion with the “X” in its name.
  • Linux – An open-source operating system that can be installed on many different types of hardware and software platforms. It’s often used for servers, but it can also be installed as a desktop environment too!
  • Android – The mobile operating system developed by Google that powers many smartphones and tablets around the world. You’ve probably heard of it before!
  • Chrome OS – Google’s lightweight browser-based OS is designed primarily for Chromebooks (laptops designed specifically to run Chrome OS).
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Windows Operating System

A computer’s operating system (OS) is the foundation on which all other programs run. It allocates memory, schedules tasks, and provides security services for other software running on the computer.

The word “operating” in this context has nothing to do with human interaction; it is simply a vestige of old terminology that stuck around because it was convenient to use.

The Windows family of operating systems is the most widely used OS in the world. In fact, you’re probably using one right now! Windows 10 is currently the most widely used version of Microsoft’s flagship product for home users.

Apple macOS

Apple macOS is a Unix-based operating system developed by Apple Inc. It is the operating system for all Macintosh computers. It contains features that are not present in other Unix systems but are not compatible with them (such as some Linux distributions).

It was introduced as Mac OS X on March 24, 2001, and has had numerous updates since then. Apple also develops its own software applications like iMovie, GarageBand, Pages and so on which run on top of MacOSX.


Linux is a free and open-source software OS. Linux is a Unix-like operating system, meaning it’s primarily compatible with the traditional Unix operating system and was developed from its source code. Linux is available for a wide variety of platforms including PCs, smartphones, servers, and the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Linux has more than 100 million users worldwide making it one of the most popular operating systems in the world! Linux has been used in many different industries including web hosting services like Apache HTTP Server (a popular web server software), database servers such as MySQL (an open-source relational database management system), computer clusters like Beowulf cluster computers that are used for high-performance computing tasks such as astrophysics simulations or weather modeling to name just a few examples!

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Android Operating System

Android (operating system) is a mobile operating system developed by Google.

Android is open-source, meaning that the code can be modified by anyone. This means that Android can be used on smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and other devices. The first version of Android was unveiled in 2007 and it has been developed by Google since then.

In addition to developing the software itself, Google also provides lots of apps for free through its Play Store as well as owning YouTube – one of the most popular video platforms online with more than 1 billion users globally watching over 1 billion hours every day!

Chrome OS

Chrome OS is a Linux-based OS created by Google as the platform for its Chrome web browser. It is designed to be used primarily with web applications, so it’s a lightweight operating system that requires little memory and disk space. Primarily intended to be used while connected to the Internet, Chrome OS is designed around cloud computing and the use of online applications like Gmail and Google Docs instead of local software installed on your computer.

This article explains the concept of operating systems and lists a few examples.

OS is software that controls the computer hardware and provides an interface to the user. It is also known as the OS for short. Operating systems are considered to be fundamental parts of computers because, without them, computers can’t run any programs. To put it differently, an operating system (OS) is a set of instructions that tells the computer how to perform certain tasks in order for it to function properly.

In Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this article. Don’t forget to leave us a comment if there’s something we missed or if you want to share your thoughts.

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