An Operating System (OS) is a software capable to manage computer hardware and software resources and give services for computer programs.
After being loaded onto a computer, an OS is able to manage all the programs (known as application programs)which are installed on that machine. Application programmes use the OS to create requests for services through a defined application program interface (API). Furthermore, computer users directly interact with the OS, by using a user interface (UI), which includes command lines or graphical user interfaces (GUIs).
There are different services which the OS performs for application programs such as decide how and for how long to run programs; manage the computer internal memory shared by different applications; handle input and output from attached hardware devices; send messages to various applications and interactive users about any error or status of operations; and manage the methodology used to drive programs.
Every hardware and software needs an OS to work; therefore, operating systems are developed with different features to meet the needs of these computer platforms.
The most common operating systems are Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Windows OS has always been dominant in the market, reaching 85% of the market share in August 2016.
Furthermore, operating systems have also been developed for mobile devices, allowing smartphones and tablet to run application and programs. The most common mobile operating systems include Apple iOS, BlackBerry OS, Windows 10 Mobile and Google Android.
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