Operating System Software
An operating system is a type of software that is installed on a computer to act as the “brain” that causes all the hardware to work together. It is the software component of a computer that is responsible for the management and coordination of activities as well as the sharing of the resources on the computer.
The operating system (OS) acts as a host for application programs that are run on the machine. As a host, one of the purposes of operating system software is to handle the details of the operation of the hardware. This relieves application programs from having to manage these details. Almost all computers, including hand-held computers, desktop computers, and even modern video game consoles, use an operating system of some type.
Modern operating system software provides the capability of running multiple application programs simultaneously, which is referred to as multiprogramming. Each program running is represented by a process in the operating system. The operating system provides an execution environment for each process by sharing the hardware resources so that each application does not need to be aware of the execution of other processes.
The central processing unit (CPU) of the computer can be used by only one program at a time. The operating system software allows the CPU to be shared among the processes by using a technique known as time slicing. In this manner, the processes take turns using the CPU.
Single-user desktop personal computers (PCs) may simplify this further by granting the CPU to whichever application the user has currently selected and allowing the user to switch between applications at will.
Operating system software also provides security to a computer by preventing unauthorized access to the computer's resources. Many operating systems also prevent users of a computer from accidentally or intentionally interfering with each other. The security policies that an operating system enforces range from none in the case of a video game console, to simple password protection for hand-held and desktop computers, to very elaborate schemes for use in high-security environments.
With operating system software, you are able to manage various devices such as a mouse or a printer without even really knowing you are doing so. Without this program, you would have much difficulty programming a computer to recognize these devices and use them properly.
Without operating system software, the operating of a computer would be much more difficult. The development of these software programs makes it possible for everyday people to be able to use a computer for all sorts of tasks. Operating system software is a necessity in the computer age – especially when we depend on them for so much.
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