IT IS RELATIVELY EASY FOR COMPUTERS TO SPEAK

What is an operating system?

An operating system is the most important software that runs on a computer. It manages the computer's memory & processes, as well as all of its software and hardware. It also allows you to lớn communicate with the computer without knowing how lớn speak the computer's language. Without an operating system, a computer is useless.

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The operating system's job

Your computer's operating system (OS) manages all of the software and hardware on the computer. Most of the time, there are several different computer programs running at the same time, and they all need to lớn access your computer's central processing unit (CPU), memory, and storage. The operating system coordinates all of this to make sure each program gets what it needs.

Types of operating systems

Operating systems usually come pre-loaded on any computer you buy. Most people use the operating system that comes with their computer, but it's possible to lớn tăng cấp or even change operating systems. The three most common operating systems for personal computers are Microsoft Windows, macOS, & Linux.

Modern operating systems use a graphical user interface, or GUI (pronounced gooey). A GUI lets you use your mouse lớn cliông xã icons, buttons, & menus, and everything is clearly displayed on the screen using a combination of graphicstext.


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Each operating system's GUI has a different look và feel, so if you switch lớn a different operating system it may seem unfamiliar at first. However, modern operating systems are designed khổng lồ be easy to lớn use, and most of the basic principles are the same.

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft created the Windows operating system in the mid-1980s. There have been many different versions of Windows, but the most recent ones are Windows 10 (released in 2015), Windows 8 (2012), Windows 7 (2009), & Windows Vista (2007). Windows comes pre-loaded on most new PCs, which helps to make it the most popular operating system in the world.


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Cheông chồng out our tutorials on Windows Basics and specific Windows versions for more information.

macOS

macOS (previously called OS X) is a line of operating systems created by Apple. It comes preloaded on all Macintosh computers, or Macs. Some of the specific versions include Mojave (released in 2018), High Sierra (2017), and Sierra (2016).

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According khổng lồ StatCounter Global Stats, macOS users trương mục for less than 10% of global operating systems—much lower than the percentage of Windows users (more than 80%). One reason for this is that Apple computers tkết thúc lớn be more expensive. However, many people vì prefer the look và feel of macOS over Windows.


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Chechồng out our macOS Basics tutorial for more information.

Linux

Linux (pronounced LINN-ux) is a family of open-source operating systems, which means they can be modified & distributed by anyone around the world. This is different from proprietary software lượt thích Windows, which can only be modified by the company that owns it. The advantages of Linux are that it is free, và there are many different distributions—or versions—you can choose from.

According to lớn StatCounter Global Stats, Linux users trương mục for less than 2% of global operating systems. However, most servers run Linux because it's relatively easy to lớn customize.

To learn more about different distributions of Linux, visit the Ubuntu, Linux Mint, và Fedora websites, or refer to lớn our Linux Resources. For a more comprehensive sầu danh mục, you can visit MakeUseOf's list of The Best Linux Distributions.

Operating systems for Mobile devices

The operating systems we've sầu been talking about so far were designed khổng lồ run on desktoplaptop computers. sản phẩm điện thoại devices such as phones, tablet computers, & MP3 players are different from desktop và máy tính computers, so they run operating systems that are designed specifically for sản phẩm điện thoại devices. Examples of mobile operating systems include Apple iOSGoogle Android. In the screenshot below, you can see iOS running on an ipad.


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Operating systems for thiết bị di động devices generally aren't as fully featured as those made for desktop and máy tính xách tay computers, & they aren't able to lớn run all of the same software. However, you can still vì a lot of things with them, lượt thích watch movies, browse the Web, manage your calendar, và play games.

To learn more about điện thoại operating systems, check out our Mobile Devices tutorials.