The Purpose and Function of an Operating System

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The Purpose and Functions of an Operating System What is an operating system? Why does my computer need one? Well, in one quick statement, the operating system allows you to give commands to your computer’s hardware; but it is a lot more complicated than that. The OS acts as a translator, translating commands you make, as well as, commands of applications that you use into numbers that the computer can understand. Without the OS your computer is virtually useless.
Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, “What is the difference?” you may be asking. Well there are several differences. I guess the best way to show you the differences would be to start with windows (since it is the most well-known). Windows is the most popular operating system on the planet. Computer Science and Logic, First Edition says, “It is estimated that up to 90% of client computers use one of the various Windows versions.” That is a huge percentage of the market, which is why there are so many third party applications for Windows. Windows uses several end-user applications; for instance Internet Explorer is used to surf the web. Windows also uses command prompt for command-line interface, and it uses WordPad for a word processor. Windows is a little expensive if you buy just the software; however, it comes included on most lap tops and PCs. Now moving on to Mac OS, where windows controls an estimated 90% of the market, it is estimated that no more than 10% of the US population use Mac OS. Also, Applications made for ‘Windows will not work with Mac OS; but, some applications are ported for the Mac OS. For instance, Microsoft Office for Mac has been ported. Mac OS uses control panels, like Windows, but it has different functions with varying names and locations. Mac does not use Internet Explorer, it has its own web browser named Safari. Where Windows is popular with coders and the…...

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