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An operating system (OS) is
system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems (OS) like macOS, Linux, Android (operating system), Android and Microsoft Windows, computational science software, ...
that manages
computer hardware Computer hardware includes the physical parts of a computer, such as the computer case, case, central processing unit (CPU), Computer monitor, monitor, Computer mouse, mouse, Computer keyboard, keyboard, computer data storage, graphics card, so ...

computer hardware
,
software Software is a collection of instructions that tell a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operatio ...

software
resources, and provides common
services Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Administrative service, a required part of the workload of Faculty (academic staff), university faculty * Civil service, the body of employees of a governm ...
for
computer program In imperative programming In computer science, imperative programming is a programming paradigm that uses Statement (computer science), statements that change a program's state (computer science), state. In much the same way that the imperative mo ...
s.
Time-sharing In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and softw ...
operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may also include accounting software for cost allocation of processor time,
mass storage In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and softwa ...
, printing, and other resources. For hardware functions such as
input and output In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and soft ...

input and output
and
memory allocation Memory management is a form of resource management applied to computer memory In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of a ...
, the operating system acts as an intermediary between programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is usually executed directly by the hardware and frequently makes
system call In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and soft ...
s to an OS function or is
interrupt In s, an interrupt is a response by the to an event that needs attention from the software. An interrupt condition alerts the processor and serves as a request for the processor to interrupt the currently executing code when permitted, so that ...

interrupt
ed by it. Operating systems are found on many devices that contain a computer from cellular phones and video game consoles to
web server A web server is computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, pr ...
s and
supercomputer File:Supercomputer-power-flops.svg, upright=1.5, Computing power of the top 1 supercomputer each year, measured in FLOPS A supercomputer is a computer with a high level of performance as compared to a general-purpose computer. The performance ...

supercomputer
s. The dominant general-purpose
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
operating system is
Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor Unix was the first operating system not written in assembly language, making it very software portability, portable to systems different from its native PDP-11. This cost in supporting operating systems diversity can be avoided by instead writing applications against software platforms such as Java (software platform), Java or Qt (software), Qt. These abstractions have already borne the cost of adaptation to specific operating systems and their system library, system libraries. Another approach is for operating system vendors to adopt standards. For example, POSIX and operating system abstraction layer, OS abstraction layers provide commonalities that reduce porting costs.


Market share


See also

* Comparison of operating systems * Crash (computing) * Hypervisor * Interruptible operating system * List of important publications in computer science#Operating systems, List of important publications in operating systems * List of operating systems * List of pioneers in computer science * Live CD * Glossary of operating systems terms * Microcontroller * Mobile device * Mobile operating system * Network operating system * Object-oriented operating system * Operating System Projects * System Commander * System image * Timeline of operating systems


Notes


References


Further reading

* * * * * O'Brien, J. A., & Marakas, G. M.(2011). ''Management Information Systems''. 10e. McGraw-Hill Irwin. * *


External links

*
Multics History
and the history of operating systems {{Authority control Operating systems, Computer science