What is a computers operating system?
There are a whole host of different operating systems, the ones you will be familiar with by name will probably be:
Microsoft windows XP
Microsoft windows Vista
Microsoft Windows 7
Microsoft Windows 8 + 8.1
Mac OS 9
Mac OS X (Lion, Snow Lion, Mavericks)
There are many more but most of the well known ones are listed here. Further information can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_operating_systems
what exactly does it do?
An operating system is a complex set of programs that are designed to manage your computers hardware, software and its resources. This means that it can provide services installed programs you use on your PC.
Imagine that the Operating system as the middle-man between the physical hardware in your computer and the software you want to run (i.e. Microsoft Office). You open office and this could be the conversation between the program itself and the operating system and in turn the hardware.
As computer hardware advances, so do operating systems. It is always good to keep fairly up to date as new systems may be developed with enhanced security to protect your online activities. They may also improve to give a better user experience or encompass new technologies such as touch screen support.
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