What is Operating System and Its Different Types?

What is operating system and its types?

An operating system is commonly abbreviated as OS.

The operating system is also called a system software or system program which directly interacts with computer hardware devices along with computer programs.

The operating system is an important and integral part of a computer system and if not found the computer system becomes useless.

Almost all modern-day OS is possessed with GUI interface [Graphical user interface] before some years users used a computer with non-GUI based operating system such as MS-DOS.

What is operating system and its types?
What is Operating System and Its Different Types

In Dos, users need to type certain dos commands to derive the required result.

To use this type of operating system or system software or system program users need to be aware of some basic dos commands which made them harder to learn and execute.

There are 2 types of dos commands
  • Internal Dos Commands
  • External Dos Commands

There is a long list of dos commands which has to be memorized before starting to use the MS-DOS operating system.

Operating systems are developed by software companies like Microsoft, Apple, and so on.

They are designed and developed in such a way that they control all the hardware components of the computer system.

Computer Application software executes with the help of OS.

They also monitor and co-ordinates with the CPU, primary and secondary storage devices of the computer, and also communicate with other computer peripherals devices such as printers, scanners, etc

They also interact with device drives so that you can hear sound and view images and pictures in high definition.

They are primarily responsible for transferring the data to computer storage devices.

The operating system also acts as an interface between users and computers they have a language processor.

Which is responsible for converting assembly language or high-level languages to machine language with the help of compilers and interpreters which are examples of language processors.

  • Machine language is a language that is easily understood by computers.
  • Famous Operating System:: Microsoft:: Windows XP – Windows 7- Windows 8 –Windows 10 & 10.1
  • Apple:: MacOS
  • Google:: Android and Chromium
  • The IOS operating system is commonly used with apple iPhones and ipads.
  • Famous open-source operating systems are Linux and Ubuntu is its variant.

What is Application Software?

Now as we have discussed what is the operating system we must be aware or familiar with application software.

Application software’s nothing but a set of a program that is designed, developed, and compiled for users to use the program for special and specific operations.

Let me explain to you in detail when you go to a computer hardware shop and buy a new computer the first thing the computer technician do is install an operating system on your brand-new computer as it is explained above that OS is the primary and the most important software your computer must have to run.

And later application software is installed such as ms-office, tally, vlc player, Photoshop, and so on.

These are the software that helps you to interact with the computer and obtain desired results.

Application software is installed at the specific request of the computer owner.

Some of the application programs are inbuilt into an operating system such as paint, WordPad, Windows media player, and Notepad.

User Written Software or Customized Software

This software is designed and coded when a user requests or demands it.

Let us have a clearer picture of what I am saying.

Application software is developed in a development environment and with the use of high-level programming languages such as visual basic and database language like SQL server.

A software developer or software engineers develop certain software using a high-level language.

Which is easily updated and can be changed whenever a user requests.

The software which is developed can be changed, removed, or updated whenever found necessary.

Imagine you are running a company with hundreds of employees working for you and you want to maintain and save a complete record of them starting from the joining date to their salary.

In the scenario, if you perform this task manually it will be tedious and time-consuming.

In this scenario, you will be prompted to develop customized software that can handle this sort of operation within a fraction of the time.

Even this software can calculate the salaries of employees with deductions keeping in mind government taxes.

This type of customized software eventually leads to time and money-saving.

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Different Types of Operating Systems?

  • Simple Batch System
  • Multiprocessor System
  • Multiprogramming Batch System
  • Distributed Operating System
  • Real-Time Operating System
Different Types of Operating Systems
Different Types of Operating Systems

1. Simple Batch System

This is the oldest system in the history of the operating system.

Where there was no direct interaction between the user and the computer system.

In this system user’s task, job or operation has to be processed with the help of any storage medium and must be submitted to the computer operator for further processing.

In this system, many jobs or tasks were submitted in a form of a batch or in a line to the computer system.

This was a tedious and time-consuming process where each task could take days or even months for processing and later this obtained output would be stored in output devices.

This was a first come first serve process the job which is submitted first would be processed first and hence the user has to wait for an entire process to complete which was very time-consuming and frustrating.

Therefore this system was called a batch-mode operating system.

2. Multiprocessor System

A microprocessor system uses many processors in a single time with a common physical memory.

The computing power of this system was very fast compared to the simple batch system.

Each and every processor inside this system used a single operating system and works inside the operating system.

This system was enormously fast the reason behind that was they used multiprocessors for their operations.

In this system tasks or jobs were divided into sub-task or sub-jobs where each task or job was handled by a separate and individual processor.

which made the task complete faster and more accurately.

3. Multi-Programming Batch System

In this operating system, the processor is never idle the main reason behind this is when a job or task is presented to the computer system it is picked up from its memory and the OS executes this task.

When the OS has multiple jobs presented to them if the first process is the first job which is presented to them and if it requires input or output to them and the second job is presented to the CPU for further processing.

Therefore, the CPU is always busy in performing some or other task given to them.

Therefore the size of the job is always less in memory as compared to jobs that are on the disk.

The Operating system decides and controls over which task to be performed first and sequentially operations are performed.

A time-sharing system is also a part of multi Programming where response time is much faster as compared to other systems and the usage of CPU is more.

4. Distributed Operating System

With the huge development and the advancement in computer technology distributed operating system is developed which are quite cheaper and use more advanced and powerful CPUs.

With the help of distributed OS, we can easily connect computer which is far away and was not easily connected to each other.

As the loading of such operating systems is distributed their processing is faster and the resources are easily accessible for use.

This distributed operating system can handle multiple operations and multiple users at a single time as their resources are distributed and divided.

The Distributed Operating system is used in hosting websites where processors are responsible for speed and better functionality.

5. Real-Time Operating System

A real-time operating system is the fastest and more advanced OS where real-time processing of data and information is performed.

In this system when input is presented to OS the time required to process the input and present the output to the user is called response time.

In this type of system, the response time is very, and hence the output obtained by using this system is fast as compared to another system.

Real-Time Operating System

Real-Time Operating System is used in space research, space engineering, missile launch, railway ticket booking, etc where even a fraction of a second matter.

  1. Hard Real-Time Operating System
  2. Soft Real-Time Operating System
Real-Time Operating System
Real-Time Operating System

Hard Real-Time Operating System

In this system, the work or job presented to them is almost done with perfection and in record time.

These systems don’t have external storage devices and hence they usually access data using ROM [Read Only Memory].

Soft Real-Time Operating System

In simple words, this system doesn’t work at a particular time and doesn’t complete a given task or operation at a given time.

This system never works on a first come first serve basis if a task is been processed in the system and suddenly a new task appears it gives priority to a new task or job.

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Complete List of Famous Operating Systems of All Time

Below I have mentioned some of the famous desktop OS have a look.
  • Microsoft Disk Operating System [MS-DOS]
  • Windows CE
  • Windows 95
  • Windows 98
  • Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Windows ME
  • Windows NT
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP
  • Windows XP SP2
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10.1
  • Linux
  • Unix
  • Mac OS
  • IBM OS 2

As there are OS for desktop and laptop computers there are operating systems for all mobile devices below I have mentioned a few of them have a look.

Operating System for Mobile Devices

  • Android OS
  • Blackberry
  • IOS
  • Meego OS
  • Palm OS
  • Symbian OS
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Functions of the Operating System

Due to the vast development of new and upgraded operating systems [OS], their functions and working style have been changed and updated considerably.

But here in this section, we will take a look at the basic and main functions of an operating system.

There are various functions the operating system performs like when a computer is booted normally it loads itself into the main memory which is commonly called RAM [Random Access Memory].

later it decides which hardware is necessary for handling and processing certain user software which later is loaded into the system sequentially.

The Operating system provides an interface or an environment between a user and a computer.

In other words, it provides a platform where the user can easily use a computer and derived or obtained the required result.

  • Memory Management
  • Processor Management
  • Device Management
  • File Management
  • Security
  • Detect Error [Both Hardware and Software]
  • Heart of Computer

Memory Management

To handle or manage primary and secondary memory is called or commonly known as memory management.

RAM [Random Access Memory] is called main memory and computer hard disk drives and USB pen drives are examples of secondary memory.

The system’s main memory [RAM] is the fastest memory as compared to secondary memory where main memory is volatile in nature and secondary memory is non-volatile.

In main memory data or information sent to them are stored or arranged in the form of arrays where data is formed and arranged in bytes.

All the information and data stored in the main memory have a particular address assigned to them.

The computer processor or CPU directly interacts and coordinates with the main memory as all the important programs and applications are stored in the main memory.

Memory management of the operating system decides which part of the main memory should be used and accessed whereas which part of the main memory should not be used and accessed and in what proportion.

When a task, job, or operation is given to the computer system it requires memory which is arranged by OS and later when the task or process is finished the OS takes back its memory.

Process Management (Processor Scheduling)

In the multiprogramming environment, the operating system decides controls and takes action over the process and which process requires the processor to complete the action or task in a given time.

The operating system control and coordinate with the processor and also look for the process of task completion given to it.

Device Management

If you are familiar with the computer you may have heard a term called “DRIVERS”.

Drivers are nothing but system software that enables the computer hardware to run and function properly.

Imagine you have installed a sound card or graphics card on your computer to hear the sound or view images and pictures in high resolution you will be prompted to install drivers for that piece of hardware.

Need not worry every hardware device comes with an installation disc which is driver software.

If you have accidentally misplaced or damaged your installation disc you can download software from the manufacturer’s website.

The Operating system [OS] is primarily responsible for running and executing these drivers.

The OS has multiple tasks to do in a given single time like it would play music in one tab and run excel sheets or another tab and while performing these operations it does the printing of some documents.

Therefore the OS is multitasking to handle different input and output operations at a single time.

File Management

For easy navigation and access the files are organized inside a directory.

A directory may contain files as well as a directory for better functionality and better usability.

An Operating system keeps all the records such as location and uses this feature commonly known as the file system.


Modern-day operating system has the features to enable or disable password protection which enhances the use of computer system and provide the system with unauthorized use and access.

These features help in secure our useful and highly sensitive records such as credit card information and all personal information from hackers and crackers.

There are numerous programs and software which can be used and accessed with the help of the correct password and hence system determine the authentication of the user.

Detect Error [Both Hardware and Software]

The operating system can diagnose both hardware and software malfunction and present users with a correct issue that arises while loading certain programs and applications not only do they determine a problem they also deliver some solution to help you rectify the problem.

In this case, people with good computer skills can trace the problem and find a perfect and appropriate solution to resolve the issue.

In some cases, OS can recover the problem on its own.

According to me, this is one of the most important features of operating system which has been developed recently.

Heart of Computer

As we have discussed before an operating system acts like an environment where the user and computer interact with each other now if any system where OS is found missing it refuses to load with all its functions.

And as we all know that all the application software can be run or executed with the help of system software that is our own operating system the computer system becomes useless.

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I have also written and compiled some articles on computers and telecommunications, and please go through them.

I hope you will like reading it.

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If you have any questions about Different Types of Operating System.

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