An operating system, or OS, is a program which directly interacts with a computer's hardware in order to run other programs. Operating systems are required for most modern computers to run. The OS typically loads immediately after the boot loader. In some earlier computers, however, the boot loader was built into the operating system.

Types of operating systems[edit | edit source]

Microcomputer[edit | edit source]

Found on microcomputers.

Mini[edit | edit source]

Generally designed for mini computers and not common today. These are not Unix variants.

Desktop[edit | edit source]

Designed for personal (i.e., home or office) use. They typically interface with the user graphically, although Linux users commonly prefer the command-line. Desktop operating systems include Windows, Macintosh, and some Unix-like distributions.

Embedded[edit | edit source]

Included in permanently programmed devices such as microwave ovens, iPods, mobile phones, and thermostats.

Unix-Like[edit | edit source]

Main article: Unix-like

Derived from Unix or designed to be compatible with Unix. Common Unix-like operating systems include Linux, BSD, and AIX.

Types of user interfaces[edit | edit source]

Command-Line Driven[edit | edit source]

Command-line driven operating systems are most common on servers. Some of the older CLIs are directly based off programming languages (like KERNAL), while others had a command interpreter (like MS-DOS). Aside from some Unix variants, most command-line driven operating systems have left the commercial desktop market, because casual users are more familiar with GUIs and find them easier to use.

Graphical[edit | edit source]

Most modern operating systems use graphical user interfaces because this allows users to navigate computers more easily. The primary disadvantage of GUI-based operating systems is they take a great deal of memory as compared to command line systems. There are also GUIs that run on top of CLI's such as Windows 3.1 and X Window System.

History[edit | edit source]

In April 1972, Sord Computer Corporation (now Toshiba Personal Computer System Corporation) developed the SMP80/08,[1] the world's first microcomputer.[2] It used the Intel 8008 microprocessor, which it was developed in tandem with. Soon after the Intel 8080 was introduced in April 1974, Sord introduced the SMP80/x series, the first microcomputers to use the 8080,[1] in April 1974.[2] The SMP80/x series were the first microcomputers with an operating system,[3] and marked a major leap toward the popularization of microcomputers.[1]

Related Articles[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2
  2. 2.0 2.1 Michael Katz, Robert Levering, Milton Moskowitz (1985), Computer Entrepreneur, page 469, Penguin Group
  3. Michael Katz, Robert Levering, Milton Moskowitz (1985), Computer Entrepreneur, page 463, Penguin Group

External Links[edit | edit source]

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