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How Many Types of Operating Systems

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There are various types of operating systems, whose classification depends both on the type of device on which the OS is installed, and on the internal features and characteristics.

However, the functions and tasks will always be similar and aimed at facilitating the management and interaction with the device.

For the end-user, it is important to what extent this or that operating system suits his tasks.

In our article, we will tell you why OS is needed, on what principles they are divided, and we will talk about how to choose the one that is right for you.

The concept of the operating system

The operating system (abbr. OS) is a set of interrelated programs designed to manage the resources of a computer, laptop, or smartphone. Thus, the main task of the OS is to manage all the elements of the device. With it, a person can interact with his equipment. In addition, the operating system allows you to properly distribute computing resources between processes.

Thanks to the operating system, software developers can use a user-friendly interface and use it to create various programs. It should be understood that programs are developed strictly for a specific OS.

In most devices, the OS acts as the most important piece of software. Moreover, operating systems have a different sets of functions and limitations. But some types of OS make it possible to increase the functionality of your device at will by installing all kinds of programs.

The most important element of an OS is the kernel. It controls the correct execution of processes and regulates the resources available to the device. For example, when a user interacts with a computer, processes are launched in it, which, of course, require certain resources, and access to them is impossible without the debugged operation of the OS.

Tasks and functions of the operating system

The OS performs two main tasks, which determine its purpose:

  • Manages all system resources. The operating system ensures the functioning and proper coordination of device processes;
  • Makes it easier for the user to operate the device.

The OS allows you to effectively interact with all sorts of devices and use various applications.

The functions of operating systems are determined by the developers and depend on the components of the device themselves, but there are a number of properties that are inherent in all operating systems:

  • fulfilling software requests;
  • work with programs and loading them into RAM;
  • ensuring multitasking and reliability of computing processes;
  • standardized access to input-output devices;
  • control over the processor, video adapter, RAM and other elements of the device;
  • debugging and error logging;
  • providing a user-friendly interface;
  • proper coordination of device resources and their distribution between running processes.

Some OS types have other features as well.

Classification of operating systems

There are several classifications of OS.

Depending on the method of organizing calculations:

  • Batch processing systems – the main task is to organize the largest number of computing processes per unit of time. Certain processes are bundled into a package, which is then processed by the OS.
  • Time sharing systems – creating the possibility of simultaneous interaction with the device by several people at once. In turn order, each user receives a certain amount of CPU time.
  • Real-time systems – the organization of the work of each task for a certain period of time inherent in each specific task.

Depending on the type of kernel:

  • OS with a monolithic kernel;
  • OS with microkernel;
  • OS with a hybrid kernel.

Depending on the number of simultaneously solved tasks:

  • single-tasking;
  • multitasking;

Depending on the number of users:

  • single user;
  • multiplayer.

Depending on the number of supported processors:

  • uniprocessor
  • multiprocessor

Depending on the possibility of working in a computer network:

  • local – stand-alone operating systems that do not allow you to work with computer networks;
  • network – OS with support for computer networks.

Depending on the role in network interaction:

  • server – operating systems that provide access to network resources and manage the network infrastructure;
  • client – operating systems that have the ability to access network resources.

Depending on the type of license:

  • open – open source OS that can be studied and edited;
  • proprietary – operating systems associated with a specific copyright holder and, as a rule, having a closed source code.

Depending on the area of ​​use:

  • Mainframe OS – large computers;
  • server OS;
  • OS of personal computers;
  • OC mobile devices;
  • built-in OC;
  • OC routers.

Most popular operating systems

Consider the main types and examples of operating systems that are most relevant at the moment.

Windows

It is the leader among operating systems for computers, laptops, and tablets. Among all users, 90% use Windows. The release date of the first version of the OS falls on 1985.

To date, the latest numbered version – Windows 11 is final. And any changes regarding the OS by the developers are aimed only at the functionality and appearance of the released version.

Distinctive characteristics:

  • Paid and closed OS.
  • Ability to install a large number of hardware.
  • High quality interface.
  • Ease of Management.
  • Manage various input devices.
  • High speed.
  • Convenient software installation.
  • Excellent level of security (but not in older versions).
  • Variety of programs and games.

macOS

This operating system is built into Apple computers and laptops. By type of license, it is a closed operating system, which is installed only on branded devices.

Due to its convenience and aesthetics, this OS has won 10% of users of home personal computers and laptops.

According to many people, the functionality of this system is quite specific and is revealed in design or architecture. However, this is not a completely true statement, because Mac OS is very simple and feature-rich. Its unpopularity is due to the lack of the possibility of using it on devices of other brands.

Distinctive characteristics:

  • Paid and closed OS.
  • Not intended for gaming.
  • Installed only on Apple PCs and laptops.
  • High speed.
  • Ease of use.
  • High level of security.
  • Reliability.
  • Well-established coordination of computer resources.

Linux

Free and open OS designed for computers and laptops. This operating system is popular among a small number of users. Difficult to set up, not suitable for games option. In addition, games in principle are rarely developed for this system.

There are many distributions of Linux, which are often very different from each other. However, most often users make a choice towards Ubuntu. It’s all about high speed, nice interface and ease of use.

Distinctive characteristics:

  • Open and free OC.
  • Free software.
  • It is possible to run programs from Windows using an emulator.
  • Good level of security.
  • Excellent device resource allocation.
  • Not suitable for games.
  • Lack of variety in software.
  • Difficulties in setting up and using.
  • It is difficult to find information about solving problems with the system.
  • Limited hardware support

iOS

iOS designed for Apple mobile devices. Built into all smartphones of this company. Differs inconvenience of management, smoothness of functioning, and esthetics. Acts as the leading operating system for smartphones.

When choosing a new mobile device, many people focus specifically on IOS. The quality of the software and the abundance of features speak for themselves, so this operating system fully justifies its popularity.

Distinctive characteristics:

  • closed OS.
  • Frequently updated.
  • Only available on Apple devices.
  • High speed of operation.
  • The ability to control gestures.
  • Good level of security.
  • A huge number of applications.
  • There are no other stores besides the App Store

Android

OS from Google, designed for mobile devices. Built into most current smartphones and is the most popular system. This open OS is easy to use and is famous for its versatility.

Distinctive characteristics:

  • Open and free OS.
  • It is possible to install applications from alternative sources.
  • The convenience of use.
  • A huge number of applications.
  • Installed in devices from a variety of companies.
  • Android updates are quite frequent.
  • Ability to control gestures.
  • High speed.
  • A variety of shells/launchers to manage.

Choosing the right operating system for your computer

To decide on a specific OS, you need to know the tasks that it will have to perform. In this sense, there are several goals of interaction with a PC:

  • Games

If you are going to use your device for gaming, then Windows is the best choice. This OS can run most modern games and applications. A great option for spending time in shooters, strategies, quests, etc. In this operating system, the most relevant game stores will be: Steam, Origin, Battle. Net. Also, if desired, you can connect a game console to your computer.

  • Programming

In this area, Linux will be the best solution for you. In this OS, it is very convenient to work with the Internet, design, and utilities that help to carry out high-quality programming. Linux has a huge number of configurations that allow you to customize the OS to your needs. In addition, you can install an interface that will be similar in appearance to Mac, Windows, etc. Another huge plus of this operating system is that almost all applications on it are absolutely free.

  • Working with media content

macOS is best for working with video/audio editors. This system will be able to provide high-quality audio processing, excellent video rendering speed, and smooth task performance. This is especially true for iMAC or MacPro. In addition, this OS is released with already installed programs for working with media content.

Now you have a basic knowledge of the types of operating systems. Every year, technological progress goes further and further, which means that the OS will also keep up with the times.

Priyanka Sharma
Myself Priyanka, I Love Writing, SEO, and Graphic Design. I'm regularly contributing my knowledge/news on the leading websites.

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