An operating system or OS is a software program that enables the computer hardware to communicate and operate with the computer software. Without a computer operating system, a computer and software programs would be useless. In the picture to the right, is an example of Microsoft Windows XP, a popular operating system and what the box may look like if you were to visit a local retail store to purchase it.
When computers were first introduced the user interacted with them using a command line interface, which required the user to perform a series of commands in order to interact with the computer and its hardware and software. Today, almost every computer is using a Graphical User Interface (GUI) operating system that is much easier to use and operate.
Examples of computer operating systems
Microsoft Windows 7 - PC and IBM compatible operating system. Microsoft Windows is the most commonly found and used operating system.
Apple MacOS - Apple computer operating system. The only Apple computer operating system.
Ubuntu Linux - A popular variant of Linux used with PC and IBM compatible computers.
Google Android - operating system used with Android compatible phones.
iOS - Operating system used with the Apple iPhone.
- Online system information tool to display your operating system information
- Computer operating system information.
- How do I determine what operating system I'm using?