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What is the Operating System? – Definition, Types, Classification and More

by The Digital Trendz
operating system


The term operating system comes from the English operating system, and in Spanish, it sometimes indicated with the acronym ‘OS’.

After that, An operating system is software responsible for managing and coordinating the essential operation of various applications, hardware and other resources used by the user on a computer, hence its importance.

In general, these systems offer the user a representation or graphical interface of the processes they carry out, a command line or instructions, window managers, among others, which are practical to use.

Also read: What is Nanometer?

What are the Types of Operating Systems?

The operating systems have been creating so that the user can make easy and correct use of the various programs and hardware used in the computer.

Below are different types of operating systems most used.

Graphical environment operating system

A graphical environment is an operating system based on images and icons.

It is characterizing by having a more intuitive character for the user through the use of written language and images.

It allows us to carry out tasks such as opening files or simply accessing applications without the need to write commands.

An example is the Windows XP operating system.

Android operating system

Android is a type of Linux-based open-source operating system owned by Google Inc., which is initially developing for mobile devices.

Moreover, It uses a variant of Java and provides a series of interfaces to develop application programs and access to the different functions of the mobile device.

Windows operating system

Microsoft Windows operating systems make up a family of operating systems that are developed by Microsoft Corporation based on the use of icons called ‘windows’.

But, It is one of the most used and popular operating systems worldwide.

It has different versions (such as Windows 95 and Windows Vista) and comes with a set of applications.

What are the Classifications of the Operating Systems?

Operating systems are classified as follows:


You can only run one task or program at a time. These are the oldest operating systems.

Single user

It is that can only respond to one user at a time.


they are those that allow several programs to run at the same time on one or more computers.


makes it possible for the same program to being used on more than one computer.


allows more than two users to access the services and processing of an operating system at the same time.


are the operating systems that work in real-time to the users.

What are the Features of Operating system?

The main functions of the operating system intended to manage the various resources that the computer has, among which are:

  • Coordinate the operation of the hardware.
  • Manage the main memory of the computer.
  • Manage information storage processes.
  • Organize and manage files and documents.
  • Manage the computer’s programming algorithm.
  • Run various applications.
  • Through the drivers, it manages the input and output of peripheral devices.
  • Coordinate routines for device control.
  • Report on the state in which the computer system is, that is, on how tasks executed.
  • Maintain the security and integrity of the system and computer.
  • Manage the profiles of the users on the computer.
  • Its primary function is to plan the tasks that are executed by the computer system.
  • Allows you to run new functions on your computer.
  • You can fulfil multiple tasks.
  • It allows efficient use of devices and other computer resources.
  • Through the algorithms it uses, it makes it possible for the use and operation of the computer or device to be efficient.
  • It provides the connection between software, hardware and the user interface.

What are the Examples of an Operating System?

There are different examples of systems that have other versions that have different characteristics and functions:

Microsoft Windows

It is one of the best known for graphical interface and software tools.

GNU / Linux

It is one of the unique operating systems for developing free software.

Mac OS X

It is the Macintosh operating system, based on Unix and that is installing on Apple computers.


It works on mobile devices with touch screens and based on Linux.

MS-DOS ( Microsoft Disk Operating System ):

In Spanish, Microsoft’s Disk was one of the most prominent operating systems in the 1980s characterized by displaying its commands on a dark background screen.

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