It is the first software which will automatically be loaded into the computer memory when it boots up. It is the core of the computer’s operation.
During the boot process of the computer, if everything goes well, the system should end up displaying the operating system's opening screen on the monitor.
Computer operating systems allow the computer hardware to communicate and operate with the computer software and peripherals.
A computer would be useless without an operating system. The opeRating system (OS) enables the computer to perform tasks such as:
Permitting applications such as web browsers, word processors and e-mail clients to perform tasks and be able to use other system resources.
Continuously organize applications, which are running on the computer.
Ensuring that hardware such as keyboards, disk drives, etc. communicate correctly.
Advising of error messages.
Validating the types of software that you will be able to install.
Performing security updates.
Install and uninstall computer software.
Computers are usually sold with an operating system pre-loaded; the most popular of which is the Microsoft Windows family.
Computer Operating Systems - Which one should you choose?
There are various operating systems available but, today, the major operating systems that are being widely used on general-purpose computers (which include personal computers) are the Microsoft Windows family and the Unix-like family.
The Microsoft Windows Family is an extremely popular desktop operating system. The various versions of this OS include WIndows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Microsoft has now introduced a new operating system called Windows 7. Windows 7, unlike Vista which introduced a number of new features, was developed to be a more focused, incremental upgrade with the aim of being more compatible with hardware and applications than Vista was.
This new version 'sports' a Windows shell with a new taskbar called 'The Superbar' and a home networking system called 'HomeGroup' and major performance improvements.
The Unix-like family is a group of operating systems, which are more often used as server systems for businesses and also as workstations in the academic and engineering types of fields.
The Linux (a Unix variant), is a free operating system which is gaining some amount of popularity in the desktop market.
The Apple Mac OS X, which is used with Macintosh computers, has its own devoted market and is also now becoming quite a popular Unix system. An Apple computer is only compatible with the Macintosh operating system.
Computer operating systems are now found in many of the devices that we use from day-to-day. These include mobile phones, tablet PCs, PDAs, etc.
The Operating System (OS) that you choose will definitely impact on your computing experience.
Although the most popular operating system today is the Windows family, no particular OS will satisfy every computer users' desires.
Every user will have to find the operating system that’s right for them. Just remember... an operating system has to be designed to work with a certain set of hardware; therefore, you will not be able to load a MAC OS on a PC.
My recommendation would be the Windows 7 operating system.
There are six flavors; namely - Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate. All available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
With such a wide choice, it could be confusing to choose the proper version; therefore, it would be prudent to do a detailed study before making your final choice. Home Premium is the popular choice but..... again...... it's up to you.
My personal choice is Windows 7 Ultimate.
Final Thoughts .......
Regardless of the computer operating system that you choose, it is extremely important that regular updates be performed to protect your computer from security risks, which are so prevalent on the Internet today.
I would suggest that you use the vendor’s auto-update service which would be an easier and much more efficient method to use rather than doing the update manually.
Caution: You should avoid using 'pirated' operating systems which (besides being illegal) will be unable to update because of the possibility of encountering authentication and verification problems.