Operating Systems

The Different Operating Systems Available Today

An operating system is the most important software that runs on any type of computer, from desktop computers, and tablets, to cellular phones and video game consoles. An operating system is a collection of software that manages the computer's memory, hardware, and all of its software and processes. It is the most essential component of a computer; without one, application programs could not function. In addition to running applications, an operating system acts as an intermediary between the software and the hardware. It manages instructions to be sent back and forth between the software and hardware of a computer. The most popular operating systems today are Android, Chrome OS, Apple iOS, Linux, OS X, and Microsoft Windows.


Android, the world's most widely-used operating systems today, is an extremely powerful Linux-based operating system, including middleware and key applications, engineered by Google and designed primarily for Android devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and tablet computers. It is an open source operating system, meaning, the original source code for the software is made freely available and can be redistributed and modified. This allows the Android operating system to be modified in order to become more compatible with a multitude of devices, while also encouraging innovation along the way.

Operating Systems

Chrome OS

Chrome OS is also a Linux-based operating system designed by Google but it is designed to work primarily with web applications. The operating system is minimalistic, and consists mainly of the Google Chrome web browser. The other native applications aside from the browser are the media player and the file manager. Chrome OS is described as an operating system in which applications and user data reside in the cloud service (data is stored on servers rather than on users' computers).

Apple iOS

Apple's iOS is a mobile operating system, which was originally unveiled in 2007 for the iPhone. The operating system is based on a direct manipulation concept. Through the use of multi-touch gestures, interaction with the operating system occurs with swiping, tapping, pinching, and reverse pinching. iOS is derived from OS X.


Linux is an operating system that is free and open source for both development and distribution. It was originally designed to be a free alternative to Windows for PC computers, but has since been ported to more computer platforms than any other operating system. It is actually the most prevalent operating system on servers, with more than 95% of the world's fastest supercomputers running a variant of Linux. In addition, the Android operating system is built on the Linux kernel.


With its first edition released in 1999, OS X is an operating system designed to run exclusively on Apple's Mac computers. Since 2002, all Macs have come preloaded with it. OS X is a Unix-based operating system. The 'X' in OS X is to emphasize how OS X and UNIX are related.

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows, easily the most widespread operating system on desktop and laptop computers, is a series of operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Microsoft. The first version of Windows, a graphical operating system shell, was released in 1985. The most notable versions of Windows from the past include Windows 3.0 and 3.1, Windows 9x, Windows NT, Windows XP. Today, there's Windows Vista, and Windows 7 and 8.