13 Dec 2012

An Overview of Operating Systems

An operating system, also known simply as OS, comprises of a set of software applications that facilitate computer hardware resources and offers general services for computing applications. An OS plays an important role within the system software in an entire computer setup. Applications mostly need a compatible OS to work properly. We use them all the time, sometimes without realizing it, so lets explore the different types of Operating Systems and some of the most popular ones on the market.

Types of Operating Systems

Real Time OS

Real time OS is a multitasking OS that attempts to execute real-time programs. This form of OS usually apply a unique scheduling formula that enables them to accomplish a deterministic technical behavior. The key goal of real-time OS is their agile and predictable reaction to events. They feature an event-oriented or time-sharing theme and often facets of both.

Multi-user OS

A multi-user OS, on the other hand, enables multiple users to enter a computer simultaneously. Time-sharing systems and online databases are the best examples of a multi-user OS, since they allow multiple user entry to a computer system via time sharing. A single user OS allows only one user but does warrant multiple applications to be operated simultaneously.

Multi-tasking OS

A multi-tasking OS is another type of operating system that enables more than a single program to be operating at a given time, from the standpoint of human time measurements. Its counterpart, single-tasking system, only allows one program at a time. Multi-tasking OS can further be subdivided into pre-emptive and co-operative. A good example of co-operative multi-tasking operating systems are the 16-bit models of MS Windows. Meanwhile, a pre-emptive multi-tasking OS include the 32-bit models of both Win9X and Windows NT.

Distributed Operating Systems

Distributed operating systems are a less popular form of OS, especially in the commercial market. A distributed OS facilitates a collection of standalone computers and turns them into a single computing system. The cultivation of networked computing systems that could be connected and interact with each other led to the creation of distributing computing systems. This form of computation is accomplished on more than a single computer.

Embedded Operating Systems

Last but definitely not the least are embedded operating systems, which are specifically developed to be applied in embedded computer networks. They are created to run on compact devices like PDAs with limited independence. These operating systems are capable of running with a restricted amount of resources. They are highly compact and immensely efficient in a design context. Minix 3 and Windows CE stand as some of the most popular examples of embedded OS.

Popular Operating Systems Today


The most prominent and widely accepted operating system by Linux is Ubuntu. This OS was designed by Canonical to reach the casual computer user audience. Ubuntu is comparable with the specifications to MS Windows OS. Surveys show that 30% of Linux users choose Ubuntu as their OS.


Debian is a more complex model of Linux's line of operating systems. It is what Ubuntu and Kubuntu are based from, yet it is not hardly as available for casual computer use. Debian has the capacity to run as a custom desktop computer OS as well as an operating OS used to operate computer databases.


This particular OS is neither Windows nor Linux. ITRON is a Japanese-based real-time bit for limited scaled embedded networks. ITRON is used for mobile devices, digital cameras, CD and DVD players, and nearly all other electronic gadgets on the market today.

Mac OS X Server

Apple's OS is a Unix-kind of OS that is designed for the facilitation of Mac-based and combined systems. Mac production computers are typically used in 3-dimensional outlooks and motion graphics production in which allocating intensive work throughout a full system is crucial.

Windows XP

Perhaps one of the most popular OS in the world is Windows XP. It succeeds a long line of Microsoft Windows operating systems including Windows 3.1, Windows 2000, and Windows ME.

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This article was contributed by Data Recovery Group, providers of data recovery services.


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