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Functions of an Operating System

There are many different types of Operating Systems which come in
a variety of different types ranging from mobile phone Operating Systems such
as Android and iOS to laptop and desktop Operating Systems such as Microsoft
Windows, Linux and MacOS. The basic functions of an Operating System are to
communicate with the hardware inside a computer as efficiently as possible by
using drivers for best performance when the user is performing tasks.

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The interfaces differ between Operating Systems but most them have
the same basic principles of doing things such as on Windows, Linux and MacOS,
minimizing and maximising windows on the desktop is the same although things
look different. Operating Systems also have the same basic principle of being
able to navigate through your files although the areas where your files are
located differ between Operating System but normally they have a Documents,
Pictures, Music and videos


System Families/Subcategories

Most Operating Systems have different versions which have
different features such as Windows Home and Pro, Linux distributions and
different versions of MacOS. This also applies for Android and iOS which have
different versions of their mobile Operating Systems.



Windows Operating System

Microsoft Windows is a GUI (Graphical User Interface) based Operating
System and it has numerous versions and families/subcategories of the Operating
system. Some versions which Windows has is Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows
XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Some of the Windows Operating System
Families/Subcategories are Windows enterprise, Windows Home edition, Windows
professional, Windows Enterprise and Windows Server Edition.



Microsoft Windows is very reliable according to people who use it
on a day to day basis and in my opinion, I have found Windows to be very
reliable. Microsoft Windows doesn’t normally have any major reliability issues
such as slowdowns or crashing although sometimes it can have the odd crash or
freeze. One issue with Windows reliability is that it doesn’t run as well on
older hardware than Linux.





The latest Windows Operating System costs £100 for the home
edition and provides the best features for a home user who doesn’t need
advanced tools.

The pro edition gives you extra features and costs £154.99. Some
of the extra features are Bit locker encryption for hard drives which is useful
if you are a business and you want to encrypt your hard drives in case you have
a laptop with sensitive data on which could get stolen. Another one of the
features is ‘Hyper-V’ and this feature allows you to create a virtual machine
on your computer which essentially means you can test things on the virtual
machine and it won’t damage your actual machine in any way.

Compared to the other Operating Systems I will compare this is
very expensive but may be worth the price based on what you expect to get out
of the Operating System and what you want to do on the computer.

Another version of Windows is a server and enterprise edition
which cost loads and are for business use since those editions include very
advanced tools in.



Windows has lots of heavy support since it is a closed source Operating
System which means that the developers all work for the company rather than
people outside the company developing the Operating System. Windows 10 has
constant support and updates for its Operating System to ensure that it any
security issues get fixed. Windows 10 patches are also put out fast since they
will have a very large team of developers who can roll out the updates.



Microsoft Windows is a very secure Operating System since it has
various security features such as adding folder permissions for different user accounts
so only certain users can access certain folders. You can also add passwords
onto files through third party software which uses different encryption methods
such as AES 256 bit, twofish, serpent etc.

The Operating System is also secure because of the constant
updates which are rolled out for it since its closed source and because
Microsoft is such a big company, they patch any security problems very quickly
which makes the security relatively reliable. The downside with it being closed
source is that you don’t know whether Microsoft have hidden any backdoor
methods to bypass user logins since people can’t access its code unlike open
source software.  







The Microsoft OS can be used for a variety of tasks ranging from
basic internet surfing to editing, rendering and encoding video which is more
advanced. Windows is also used in professional environments such as film
production. The Microsoft OS is also very user friendly since its GUI based
which means that everything’s onscreen unlike Microsoft’s old DOS OS which
could only be ran through commands on a black and white command prompt.  Microsoft’s OS is also a very popular OS for
playing games on, ranging from basic games such as candy crush and solitaire up
to First Person Shooters etc.



Microsoft’s OS is compatible with pretty much all hardware since
it has a wide range of drivers which are pieces of software which allow the
hardware to communicate with the software and understand each other.
Microsoft’s OS is also compatible with the newest kinds of hardware too since
the manufacturers release new driver updates and as these new drivers come out,
it improves the efficiency of the drivers which then has a knock-on effect and
improves the performance of your computer, this is especially noticeable in
games if you are getting lag and then after a driver update the game runs
better than it previously did.



Linux is an Open Source Operating System which means that people
can get the code and alter it for their own personal use, this means that you
can customise the look of the Operating System by recoding certain areas. Linux
has a wide fan base since you can pretty much customise literally any aspect of
the OS if you have enough coding knowledge. If you don’t have much coding knowledge,
then its recommended to leave its code alone since you will risk breaking the Operating
System and having to reinstall it from scratch. Another reason why it’s so
popular is because there are many distributions of Linux or ‘Distros’ which all
have different features and are suited for people who want to complete
different tasks.



Linux is a very reliable Operating System since it rarely ever has
any freezes or crashes. It is also more reliable since sometimes Windows has a
couple of bugs or it decides to restart itself for an update without asking the
user whether they want the PC to restart. It is also recommended to run a Linux
server rather than a Windows server since Linux can run for years without any
kind of crashes or hiccups unless a piece of hardware fails. Another reason why
it is reliable is because according to reports, Linux runs better on older
hardware than Windows does which means that you wouldn’t feel the need to
upgrade your hardware as often as you would if you were running a Windows OS.






Linux is commonly free although you can pay for a few Linux
distributions. Linux’s price is what lets it compete against Windows so well
since it provides the same number of features (if not more) and the majority of
Distro’s are free to use which means that its good if you are on a budget.


Linux is Open Source software which means that it relies on community
forums for help rather than a central Linux website which means that Linux
relies on its fan base for help rather than an actual company. The only issue
with this is that if Linux becomes less popular and less people make forum
posts on how to fix something on Linux then you will struggle on finding help
to do something on Linux unlike Windows which has forums and the central Windows
website which means that the sources of information will be a lot more accurate
and reliable.



Linux is very secure because not as many people use Linux, it
makes it more secure since hackers don’t tend to target Linux vulnerabilities
and they normally try to hack Windows. Another reason why Linux is more secure
is because of its permissions and that it gives users a lower level of access
to the Operating System which means that viruses can’t take over the entire
computer and that the virus would only affect someone’s personal files and
programs. Linux is also secure because encrypting files is easier than in Windows.



The Linux OS can be used for a variety of tasks and most of the
things you can do on a Windows OS can be done on Linux such as editing videos,
surfing the internet and you also get more access to Linux since you can edit
the code in Linux, so you could customise the Operating System and get rid of
things you don’t like. Another advantage of being able to change code in Linux
is that you can patch security issues yourself instead of waiting for an update
to be released. An issue with Linux is that not as many games are supported on
Linux than on Windows so you may struggle to find a game you like.



Linux is compatible with lots of hardware although there may not
be a driver which is compatible with Linux for more vague hardware which not
many people use. Overall Windows wins for the number of drivers it is
compatible for although there is a very high chance your hardware will be
compatible with Linux. Another issue with hardware for Linux is that the
drivers are normally developed by supporters of Linux rather than developers
which means that when hardware gets old, there won’t be any new driver updates.





The MacOS is a GUI based Operating System which is used on Macs, MacBook’s
and IOS for iPhones and iPads. The OS has different releases which have code
names and the latest name for their OS is called High Sierra. The MacOS is
designed to be very speedy and reliable for people who want a good experience
when working online 



The MacOS is a reliable Operating System because of the fact that
it is UNIX based and UNIX is known for its high reliability. MacOS is also more
optimised which means that it is generally more fluent when performing tasks
and it rarely freezes up. The MacOS is a good Operating System for small or
large businesses who want to be highly productive with as little technical
issues as possible. Another advantage is that the Operating System doesn’t tend
to slow down over time like you may find on Windows due to it being differently
designed. The only issue with Macs is that some of their updates can have
glitches in them which can be annoying.


Mac Operating systems technically don’t cost anything since they
come with the Mac you buy but apparently the Operating System is free which
means that there is no extra price included and you are paying purely for the
Mac and not for the OS.



Mac Operating Systems are supported in the same way as Windows
since there are developers which work on security patching and bug issues to
ensure smooth running of the Operating System which also means that it would be
more supported than Linux since it doesn’t rely on a fan base to help and
publish information which also means the information is accurate since the
developers have published it. The latest version of their Operating System
known as ‘High Sierra’ is closed source but one of their earlier Operating
Systems known as ‘OS X’ has been made into open source which means that people
can access its code and change it.



MacOS is secure since not many viruses inject Macs although this
is mainly to do with the fact that not many people develop viruses for MacOS
due to there not being anywhere as many people who use Macs as Windows which
means hackers gain more benefit by developing viruses for Windows. Security
updates can also be quite slow to release which means that you may be waiting a
while for a critical bug to get fixed.


MacOS can be used for a variety of tasks and most of the things
you can do on a Windows OS can be done on a Mac such as editing videos, surfing
the internet and doing video production. An issue with MacOS is that like
Linux, you may struggle to find games which will run on its Operating System
since it’s not designed as much for games as it is for production purposes.

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