An operating system (OS) is software, consisting of programs and data, that runs on computers, manages computer hardware resources, and provides common services for execution of various application software.
For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between application programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is usually executed directly by the hardware and will frequently call the OS or be interrupted by it. Operating systems are found on almost any device that contains a computer—from cellular phones and video game consoles to supercomputers and web servers.
Examples of popular modern operating systems for personal computers are: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and Unix.
Linux refers to the family of Unix-like computer operating systems using the Linux kernel. Linux can be installed on a wide variety of computer hardware, ranging from mobile phones, tablet computers and video game consoles, to mainframes and supercomputers. Linux is a leading server operating system, and runs the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world.
The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source softwarecollaboration; typically all the underlying source code can be used, freely modified, and redistributed, both commercially and non-commercially, by anyone under licenses such as the GNU General Public License. Typically Linux is packaged in a format known as a Linux distribution for desktop and server use. Some popular mainstream Linux distributions include Debian (and its derivatives such as Ubuntu),Fedora and openSUSE. Linux distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting utilities and librariesto fulfill the distribution's intended use.View items...
Microsoft Windows is a series of software operating systems and graphical user interfaces produced byMicrosoft. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).
Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced in 1984. As of October 2009, Windows had approximately 91% of the market share of the clientoperating systems for usage on the Internet. The most recent client version of Windows is Windows 7; the most recent server version is Windows Server 2008 R2; the most recent mobile OS version is Windows Phone 7.View items...