What is an Operating System?

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operating-systemWhat Is It?

A software program that helps other software programs that are installed on your computer, communicate with various devices inside or attached to your computer.

In addition, it creates a user interface on the computer screen that allows users to see, access and use those software programs to create, add and delete information.

What Does It Do?

The operating system or OS as it is commonly called, manages four key aspects of a computers operations:

  • Process Management
  • Memory Allocation
  • File Input/Output
  • Device Input/Output

It acts on the one hand as a traffic cop, controlling the flow of data around your computer, starting and stopping processes.

Provides a means through which your applications (Word, Excel, etc.) can access the hardware and system software on your computer as well as provides user interface.


  • DOS
  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • Linux
  • OS/2

Learn more about operating systems…



Image Credit: World Plop