An operating system, or OS, is a common computer piece in the world today. An OS is an intricate set of software programs that helps organize information within a computer’s hardware. It can store information and retrieve it from memory systems or the hard drive. It can also direct applications and programs within the computer or from portable sources. In essence, an operating system communicates between the hardware and the programs as an organizational tool. For example, when you click on a program file to retrieve stored information, it is the operating system that communicates the command to the hardware, which pulls up the desired information. This means the only way that programs and hardware can interact is through the operating system, which determines the set of procedures and regulations they must follow to maintain order in the computer system.
There are many common operating systems used in the world today. They are used in many electronic devices, including computers, phones, videogames, tablets, portable music devices and websites. The Macintosh company is currently known for producing several operating systems, including Mac OS and Mac OS X (there are several versions of the Mac OS X, including the Lion and the Snow Leopard). The search engine Google recently developed the Google Chrome operating system, thought it was created from the foundations of an older system know as Linux kernel, one of the first that applied to many different devices. Linux, in turn, was derived from UNIX, the original (and largest) group of operating systems, which included a successful subgroup known as BSD. Microsoft Windows is another popular operating system with many versions (Windows 95, Windows 7, etc.).
There are also many different types of operating systems. Some are more commonly used than others, but all have benefits. Some, base their functions on timelines and real-time events. These programs are found in scheduled updates, reservation programs and other time-related tasks; they are known as real-time operating systems. A distributed operating system, on the other hand, links many computers together to create a cohesive network of information and rules; power and electricity-governing computers are a typical example.
Multi-user and single-user operating systems either allow multiple access to computer information (multi) or only allow the access of one persona at a time (single). Home computers typically allow only one user access at a time to the system on that computer. An embedded operating system are typically found on devices other than computers – usually phones and other small devices – and have much more strict, regulated, efficient operating styles than others. Without the invention of the operating system, computers would not have nearly the amount of power, diversity and applicability they do today.