Why Does Your Computer Need an Operating System? - Inside the OS
The Operating system is the most important software anyone will have in a computer. The OS you use, whether it is Windows, macOS, or Linux, is what makes the computer using viable. Operating Systems are also used for some mobile devices.
The main functions of the most common operating systems are to manage the computer’s memory and processes, as well as all of its software and hardware operations. It allows us to use multiple programs and do all kinds of things.
In other words, your operating system coordinates and makes it possible for us to communicate with our computer without speaking the computer language. As mentioned, it is the most important software because, without it, using PCs would be impossible.
This simple answer already gives you an idea of the importance of an operating system but, to ensure full comprehension of the operating system’s job, we will need to take a closer look at OS functions.
Most Common Operating Systems
Everybody knows Microsoft Windows operating system, with Windows 11 as the latest version. But besides Windows operating systems, there are other OS worth a look at. Some of them are mac OS for macintosh computers and Linux.
However, Microsoft Windows is, by far, the most famous in the world. According to Microsoft, the number of Windows users is around 1.4 billion. On the other hand, Mac OS, previously known as OS X, has around 100 million active users. This corresponds to 10% of global operating systems and is far behind Windows. To complete, Linux, an open-source operating system, has around 33 million users, constituting 2.8% of the world’s users.
Different Types of Operating Systems
As you start searching a little, you will see that there is more than one type of operating system, and these aren’t operating systems and operating systems for computers and laptops. We’re talking more about closed-source and open-source operating systems.
Closed-Source are the operating systems you must pay for, and their structure is not available for the user to study or change. The open-source operating system is free and available for you to download anytime and has practically the same resources as the closed one. But it also allows you to change its structure if you know enough about programming.
Microsoft Windows Operating System
This is a closed-source operating system created and released by Microsoft more than 35 years ago, back in 1985. It is by far the most used operating system in the market and performs really well in several different daily tasks, being perfect for personal and professional use. This OS saw its most glorious days with Windows XP and Windows 7 and had its worst moment with Windows Vista.
Mac Operating System
The biggest Microsoft competitor nowadays is the operating system released by Apple for its Macintosh devices. Created back in 2001, this Apple operating system is praised by most users for its user interface and for being more beautiful than MS Windows. Mac computers carrying this OS are generally the best for video editing and other creative-related jobs, but that doesn’t mean it is the only task it can do.
Linux Operating Systems
This is the third biggest operating system available on the market. Different from its bigger competitors, Linux is an open-source operating system. That means anyone can go there and have the complete program, with all its network interfaces, CPU processing, and other features. This OS is extremely good for programming languages and, for some users, will be far harder to completely understand.
Mobile Operating Systems
There is not only one OS available for mobile devices. Some of the most famous are Android, and Apple IOS, but you can find others such as Linux and Windows mobile.
They are small-sized versions of operating systems focused on mobile devices, which don’t have the same disk storage computers have, so they don’t offer what a normal operating system provides, and various processes can’t be done with it.
Anyway, you can still access web browsers, watch videos, listen to music, and many other things.
Some Functions of Operating Systems
Besides what was already mentioned, any operating system has several functions related to device management. Without an operating system, using computers would be impossible.
One of the most important functions of operating system software is managing several different computer programs simultaneously. All the programs will need access to your computer’s central processing unit (CPU), memory, and storage.
That way, your operating system will allocate memory and central processing unit (CPU) power for all the computer programs running at the time. This CPU and memory management is called scheduling, and there are some different scheduling techniques the operating system (OS) can apply to a computer. They are
- Shortest Job First (SJF): The process demanding the shortest CPU time is scheduled first.
- Round Robin Scheduling: Each process receives a fixed CPU execution time cyclically.
- Priority-Based Scheduling: As the name suggests, the scheduling is done based on the priority of the program or process. The highest priority comes first and if many programs match in priority, it is done based on arrival time.
Managing Input-Output Units
Besides the CPU, an operating system manages your input and output units. It gives computers what they need to do the proper management of their resources, such as memory, monitor, printers, keyboard, etc. This means your operating system registers the demands users and programs do for these input and output resources and allocates these necessary resources to perform the task.
Easy Presentation with Graphical User Interface
No matter whether we discuss a company or personal computers, or different types of operating systems, the graphical user interface allows us to take the best from PCs.
This operating system user interface shows us how to communicate and execute different tasks, letting us move the mouse and click on particular programs. That way, users don’t need to learn about UI components, can take the best from application programs, and be productive in whatever they need to do.
Besides all that, different OS distinguishes for presenting multitasking features. A multitasking operating system allows the computer to run multiple processes at the same time. That way, application programs can run and even communicate with other programs while both take a part of your memory and CPU power. Imagine having to do only one thing at a time.
This technique consists of input and output data temporarily stored in the input buffer and the output buffer. This process happens entirely in the computer hardware systems. Once the call for an input or output device is sent to or from the CPU, the device controller from your operating system moves the input data to the input buffer and from the output to the output buffer. This mechanism improves the performance of the peripherals and any application software that demands it.
The spool is another technique related to multitasking and improving performance with various applications running on the same I/O device. It happens when your operating system holds the specific data necessary to perform a designated task, so it can properly be done. It is helpful when more than one user is using the same network, and the system has multiple demands at the same time. It happens because, sometimes, many users can congest an operating system.
That’s another performance-related feature that the operating system provides. It consists of coordination between hard disk space and RAM, so computers can load programs that generally they couldn’t due to lack of memory space. Your operating system identifies when your main memory won’t be enough and start taking your HD or SSD to use as support. This may become a problem for those with low memory space but helps a lot in performance.
Your operating system is a big file manager. Files, folders, and directory systems on your computer are managed by the operating system (OS). Everything stored on your computer is located in the format of files. The operating systems keep the information about those files using the file allocation table (FAT). It's through these files that your computer knows how to open what you’re asking and knows other important things, such as the software interface or data structure.
Where Can I Buy Windows Keys for My Computer?
Some well-known places where people can get Windows Operating System are Microsoft Store and some famous retail stores, like Amazon. But besides these stores, you have another far better and cheaper option: RoyalCDKeys.
We offer safe and perfect working keys for Windows 10 and Windows 11, so you can start using the most famous operating system on the market and take advantage of all of its features. Besides that, we also offer keys for other important software, such as the MS Office suite and some of the best antivirus software. All of that with the best prices in the market. You just need to create an account and start making some great deals with us!
Now, you already know how important an operating system is for properly operating any device. They manage our files, programs, software, hardware components, device drivers, any output or input device, network communication, and various tasks. Nothing we know about computers would be possible without the operating systems doing their job.