What is an Operating System ?

An operating system, abbreviated OS, is a product, software type,  that is part of a system, equipment or computerized equipment, which deals with management and coordination of its activities. The computerized system may be a computer, a workstation, a server, a PC, a notebook, a smartphone, a road navigation device or another system with "intelligence" of its own. The operating system plays the role of host for all applications running on the equipment (hardware).

OS Layer Image


Hardware:  where the people in your company's software section will tell you the problem is.  Software:  where the people in your company's hardware section will tell you the problem is.–Dave Barry, Claw Your Way to the Top

Operating system functions

To act as interface between hardware and users, an operating system must be able perform the following functions:

1. Enabling startup application programs. Thus, the operating system must have:
- A text editor
- A translator
- An editor of links
2. The allocation of resources needed to execute programs is done by identifying: the programs that are running, the need for memory, peripheral devices and data protection requirements.
3. Facilities for data compression, sorting, mixing, cataloging and maintenance of libraries, through utility programs available.
4. Plan implementation works according to certain criteria, for efficient use of central processing unit.
5. Assisting implementation of programs through computer-user communication system, at both hardware and software level

Examples of popular modern operating systems include Android, BSD, iOS, Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone