Special features of an Operating System
1. Multi tasking - It can manage to execute two or more programs to execute at the same time. Actually, the CPU can handle only one task at a time. Since the execution is carried on fast, it appears as though 2 or more jobs execute at the same time.
2. Multiprogramming - At the same time, 2 or more programs are saved in the main memory.
3. Parallel Processing - It can execute the jobs by making use of 2 or more CPU’s.
4. Buffering - They are temporary storage regions. The data is read from an input device and transfer the data to the output device. Since the I/O operation is slow, the CPU is always busy.
5. Spooling - They are larger buffers from the hard disk which stores data through I/O operation.
Operating System Comparison
The most popular and widely used operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
· Microsoft Windows: Windows is the most popular operating system in the world today. Ever since the launch of Windows 1.0, the world has seen significant developments with Microsoft’s releases over the years: Windows 95, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and finally, Windows 7. Today, Windows has evolved into a platform that is very user-friendly and compatible with most software and hardware.
Windows is more expensive than other operating systems because it is proprietary software. Windows is frequently attacked by hackers and it is important to protect your system with anti-virus software.
· Mac OS: Apple had introduced Mac OS X operating systems for its range of Macintosh computers. The Mac OS X is based partly on the UNIX platform and has very similar administrative controls. Mac OS X software requires minimal maintenance and is resistant to viruses, malware and spyware. The only disadvantage associated with Mac OS X is its inability to be compatible with most software and hardware. Mac OS was first supplied along with Macintosh systems in the year 2002. Note that this operating system was first introduced in the year 1984. Currently, all Mac OS versions are depicted in Roman numerals. The latest version is Mac OS X.
· Linux: The Linux operating system is based on UNIX and is regarded as a very secure platform. Since Linux is an open-source project, it allows users to freely access the source code. Linux requires relatively lesser hardware than other operating systems, and therefore, provides high performance even on a smaller hard disk. A huge community of users regularly contributes codes to improve functionality and performance of Linux. Since Linux is server-based, it has fewer home-based users. Linux only provides limited multimedia support. Red Hat, Mandrake, Suse, and Fedora are the most popular Linux operating systems. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, first began work on this operating system in 1991. Today, Linux is among the most popular operating systems in the world.