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Operating Systems

An operating system (OS) is the system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. Most computer programs require an operating system to function. Since the early days of Windows 3.0 and 3.1, operating systems for home or business users have evolved into more reliable and complex operating systems capable of undertaking countless tasks.


Even so, most operating systems and software programs are upgraded rather than rewritten from the ground up. This lack of commitment and foresight limits operating systems development. What we see in science fiction (SciFi) films is not commonplace in our homes. Yet we have the technology and skills to push operating systems into that age, where:

  • Walls become displays in every room.

  • Desktop computers are integrated systems that communicate with our home and business devices, such as store cupboards, fridges, entertainment, lighting, heating, and security.

  • Voice recognition and instant language translation are commonplace.

  • Contact lenses become the new interfaces and remove the need for mobile phones, tablets, or laptops.

The four most common operating systems are:

  • Microsoft Windows

  • Apple’s macOS

  • Linux (Although this is not a commonly used OS for PC manufacturers)

  • Android

Methods to identify an OS

  • If you do not know what version of Windows being used, press the Windows key at the bottom of the keyboard, which looks like four squares and the R key at the same time to open the Run dialog box, then, Type in ‘winver’, then click Okay. A window should open called About Windows that tells you which operating system you are using.

  • Open the Start menu by clicking the bottom left-hand corner of your screen. If you see a search text box, select it, and then type about or about your pc. If you do not see a search text box, then just start typing about or about your pc. Select About your PC.

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