Operating system


Gennaro Cuofano
by Gennaro Cuofano
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An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs.

The operating system is a vital component of the system software in a computer system. Application programs usually require an operating system to function. Time-sharing operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may also include accounting for cost allocation of processor time, mass storage, printing, and other resources.

Early computers were built to perform a series of single tasks, like a calculator. Basic operating system features were developed in the 1950s, such as resident monitor functions that could automatically run different programs in succession to speed up processing.

Operating systems did not exist in their modern and more complex forms until the early 1960s.Hardware features were added, that enabled use of runtime libraries, interrupts, and parallel processing. When personal computers became popular in the 1980s, operating systems were made for them similar in concept to those used on larger computers.