What is an Operating System? Types of OS, Features, and Examples

Posted on April 1st, 2021

Operating System - Types of OS, Features, and Examples

What is an Operating System? Types of OS, Features, and Examples

Here discussed on OS, and types of OS

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What is an Operating System?

An operating system, or “OS,” is software that communicates with the hardware and allows other programs to run. It is comprised of the system software, or the fundamental files your computer needs to boot up and function. Every desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone includes an operating system that provides basic functionality for the device.

Windows, OS X, and Linux are the common desktop operating systems. While each OS is different, most provide a graphical user interface, or GUI, that includes a desktop and the ability to manage files and folders. They also allow you to install and run programs written for the operating system. Windows and Linux can be installed on standard PC hardware, while OS X is designed to run on Apple systems. Therefore, the hardware you choose affects what operating system(s) you can run.

Mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones also include operating systems that provide a GUI and can run applications. Common mobile OSes include Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. These OSes are developed specifically for portable devices and therefore are designed around touchscreen input. While early mobile operating systems lacked many features found in desktop OSes, they now include advanced capabilities, such as the ability to run third-party apps and run multiple apps at once.

Since the operating system serves as a computer’s fundamental user interface, it significantly affects how you interact with the device. Therefore, many users prefer to use a specific operating system. For example, one user may prefer to use a computer with OS X instead of a Windows-based PC. Another user may prefer an Android-based smartphone instead of an iPhone, which runs the iOS.

When software developers create applications, they need to write and compile them for a specific operating system. This is because each OS communicates with the hardware differently and has a specific application program interface, or API, that the programmer must use. While many popular programs are cross-platform, meaning they have been developed for multiple OSes, some are only available for a single operating system. Thus, when choosing a computer, make sure the operating system supports the programs you want to run.

History of OS

i. Operating systems were first developed in the late 1950s to manage tape storage.

ii. The General Motors Research Lab implemented the first OS in the early 1950s for their IBM 701.

iii. In the mid-1960s, operating systems started to use disks.

iv. In the late 1960s, the 1st version of the Unix OS was developed.

v. The first OS built by Microsoft was DOS. It was built in 1981 by purchasing the 86-DOS software from a Seattle company.

vi. The present-day popular OS Windows first came to existence in 1985 when a GUI was created and paired with MS-DOS.


What are the types of Operating systems (OS)?

Batch Operating System: Some computer processes are very lengthy and time-consuming. To speed the same process, a job with a similar type of needs is batched together and run as a group. The user of a batch operating system never directly interacts with the computer. In this type of OS, every user prepares his or her job on an offline device like a punch card and submit it to the computer operator.

Multi-Tasking/Time-sharing Operating systems: Time-sharing operating system enables people located at a different terminal (shell) to use a single computer system at the same time. The processor time (CPU) which is shared among multiple users is termed as time sharing.

Real time OS: A real-time operating system time interval to process and respond to inputs is very small. Examples: Military Software Systems, Space Software Systems are the Real-time OS example.

Distributed Operating System: Distributed systems use many processors located in different machines to provide very fast computation to its users.

Network Operating System: Network Operating System runs on a server. It provides the capability to serve to manage data, user, groups, security, application, and other networking functions.

Mobile OS: Mobile operating systems are those OS which is especially that are designed to power smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices. Some most famous mobile operating systems are Android and iOS, but others include BlackBerry, Web, and watchOS.


What are the functions of the Operating System (OS)?

In an operating system, the software performs each of the function:

1. Process management: – Process management helps OS to create and delete processes. It also provides mechanisms for synchronization and communication among processes.

2. Memory management: – Memory management module performs the task of allocation and de-allocation of memory space to programs in need of these resources.

3. File management: – It manages all the file-related activities such as organization storage, retrieval, naming, sharing, and protection of files.

4. Device Management: – Device management keeps track of all devices. This module also responsible for this task is known as the I/O controller. It also performs the task of allocation and de-allocation of the devices.

5. I/O System Management: – One of the main objects of any OS is to hide the peculiarities of that hardware device from the user.

6. Secondary-Storage Management: – Systems have several levels of storage which include primary storage, secondary storage, and cache storage. Instructions and data must be stored in primary storage or cache so that a running program can reference it.

7. Security: – Security module protects the data and information of a computer system against malware threats and authorized access.

8. Command interpretation: – This module is interpreting commands given by the and acting system resources to process that commands.

9. Networking: – A distributed system is a group of processors which do not share a memory, hardware devices, or a clock. The processors communicate with one another through the network.

10. Job accounting: – Keeping track of time & resources used by various jobs and users.

11. Communication management: – Coordination and assignment of compilers, interpreters, and other software resource of the various users of the computer systems.


Examples of Operating System with Market Share

i. Windows

ii. Android

iii. iOS

iv. MacOS

Examples of Operating System with Market Share


What are the features of the Operating System (OS)?

Some important features of OS are:

i. Protected and supervisor mode

ii. Allows disk access and file systems Device drivers Networking Security

iii. Program Execution

iv. Memory management Virtual Memory Multitasking

v. Handling I/O operations

vi. Manipulation of the file system

vii. Error Detection and handling

viii. Resource allocation

ix. Information and Resource Protection

features of the Operating System

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the Operating System?

Advantages of using the OS

i. Allows you to hide details of hardware by creating an abstraction

ii. Easy to use with a GUI

iii. Offers an environment in which a user may execute programs/applications

iv. The operating system must make sure that the computer system convenient to use

v. Operating System acts as an intermediary among applications and the hardware components

vi. It provides the computer system resources with easy use the format

vii. Acts as an intermediate between all hardware’s and software’s of the system


Disadvantages of using the OS

i. If any issue occurs in OS, you may lose all the contents which have been stored in your system

ii. Operating system software is quite expensive for small size organizations which adds a burden on them. Example Windows

iii. It is never entirely secure as a threat can occur at any time


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Takshila learning helps you rule the concept of the Operating System through its teaching mechanisms


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