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Introduction to Operating Systems

Essay Topic: ,

Brief history of three different Operating Systems (OS). For the three OS I chose Windows, Linux and Apple systems. Windows 1.

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0: The very first version of Windows, Windows 1. 0, basic interface that used “gadgets,” like the calendar and calculator, but it gained little popularity. Released in 1985, the system had basic functionality, introduced the first version of MS Paint and a primitive word processor. Windows 2. 0: Released in 1987, was not much better than the first.

While 2. 0 introduced two current staples Excel and Word to users 2. went under fire when Macintosh sued Microsoft for mimicking the look and feel of their current operating system. The lawsuit was dropped. Windows 3. 0: The introduction of virtual memory, improved graphics, and the ability to multitask helped propel Windows to sell 10 million copies. In fact, while it was released in 1990, Windows 3. 0 wasn’t discontinued until 2001. Windows 3. 1: A pseudo-release for Microsoft, Windows 3. 1 contained fixes and improved font functionality. Microsoft continued to develop a new release, Windows NT, hoping it could be released as a continuation of Windows 3. and 3. 1. Unfortunately, issues with driver support and software meant it was time for a new version altogether.

Windows 95: The change from 16-bit to 32-bit, Windows 95 was designed for increased compatibility and ultimate user-friendliness. Became clear that consumer computers would become the future, Windows 95 was offered on newer computers only because it lacked some backwards compatibility at first. Newer releases and patches made the version easier to use on older machines, by 1995, Microsoft had achieved a widespread interest in home computers.

Windows 4. : The follow-up to Windows 3. 0, Windows 4. 0 released in 1996 with minor improvements and is not considered a major Windows release. Windows 98: As consumer computers became widespread, Windows 98 improved hardware and hardware drivers, Internet Explorer, and eventually Internet connection sharing. Released in 1998, with a new release in 1999, Microsoft 98 was the first release designed specifically for consumers, as opposed to the business or technology set. Windows 2000: Windows 2000 made everyone’s lives easier increasing the number of plug and play devices compatible with the OS.

Windows ME (Millennial Edition) was also released, offering the system recovery tool to help return a crashed computer to its last known operating settings. Windows XP: The system designed for ease and stability, Windows XP was released in 2001, offering plenty of ease and functionality for laptop and desktop users. The OS was designed to offer users help through a comprehensive help center, gave users the ability to consume a number of different types of media. Windows Vista: Widely considered a flop in technology circles, Windows Vista was released in 2006.

Vista had high system requirements and suffered issues with performance and security. The OS also tended to drain laptop batteries. The version lasted only three years, during which some users downgraded back to XP avoiding the pitfalls of Vista. Windows 7: For this current release of Windows, Microsoft learned its mistakes with Vista and created an OS with speed, stability and minimal system requirements. Microsoft ditched the gadget bar from Vista, replacing with a cleaner feel. This version was released in 2009. Windows 8: This latest Windows release is getting a lot of attention.

With redesigned Metro-style user interface and Windows Store, this version is, once again, redefining what Windows is. It also comes with integrated antivirus protection, a virtual hard disk and a new platform based on HTML5 and JavaScript. Windows 8 promises faster boot time, touchscreen compatibility and the ability to create a bootable USB flash drive. It may not be enough to get people to switch from Windows 7, but at least it’s a glimpse into the future of the Windows operating system. Linux is an OS for your computer.

Like the Mac and Windows systems, it provides the basic computer services needed for someone to do things with a computer. It is the middle layer between the computer hardware and the software applications you run. Full applications have capabilities like boldface type and picture editing tools. None of this is available through the OS. Yet all of it is done by communicating with the machinery of the computer through the OS. You may highlight a word in word processor and tell it that you want that word in bold type, but the OS tells the computer which pixels (or part of the screen) to darken.

Linux was developed by Linus Torvalds and a band of programmers who voluntarily developed the core program of the system (aka, the kernel). That program was originally compatible for another operating system called Minix, but later development made it usable with GNU software. GNU is pronounced like the animal and stands for ‘GNU’s Not Unix. ‘ It was a project conceived by Richard Stallman in 1983 in response to the increasing tendency of software companies to copyright their software under terms that prohibited sharing. GNU’s purpose: to develop a wholly free system.

It had achieved significant progress toward this goal by the time that Linus and others had developed their kernel in the 1990s. While many people refer to the combination of the two as “Linux”, this is not correct. The kernel combined with GNU’s free software is properly called “GNU/Linux. Both the kernel and the software are freely available under licensing that is sometimes called “copyleft”. Where traditional copyright was meant to restrict usage and ownership of a copyrighted item to as few people as possible, inhibiting development and growth, GNU/Linux is different.

It is released under terms designed to ensure that as many people as possible are allowed to receive, use, share, and modify the software. That license is called the GPL (GNU Public License). Ubuntu depends on the Linux kernel and includes many GNU applications. So, when someone speaks of the Ubuntu kernel for a computer, they are actually talking about a recent version of the Linux kernel. Most of the applications that are available for Ubuntu are either part of the GNU collection or are released under the GPL. For Apple not much information was found.

However, they provide a timeline of the OS. 1978: In June of 1978 Apple introduces Apple DOS 3. 1, the first operating system for the Apple computers. 1984: Apple introduces System 1. 1985: Apple introduces System 2. 1986: Apple introduces System 3. 1987: Apple introduces System 4. 1988: Apple introduces System 6. 1991: Apple introduces System 7 operating system May 13, 1991. 1995: Apple allows other computer companies to clone its computer by announcing it is licensed the Macintosh operating system rights to Radius on January 4. 1997: Apple introduces Mac OS 8. 997: Apple buys NeXT Software Inc. for $400 million and acquires Steve Jobs, Apples cofounder, as a consultant.

1999: Apple introduces Mac OS 9. 2001: Apple introduces Mac OS X 10. 0 code named Cheetah and becomes available March 24, 2001. 2001: Apple introduces Mac OS X 10. 1 code named Puma and becomes available on September 25, 2001. 2002: Apple introduces Mac OS X 10. 2 code named Jaguar and becomes available on August 23, 2002. 2003: Apple introduces Mac OS X 10. 3 code named Panther October 25, 2003. 2004: Apple introduces Mac OS X 10. code named Tiger at the WWDC on June 28, 2004. 2007: Apple introduces Mac OS X 10. 5 code named Leopard October 26, 2007. 2008: Apple introduces Mac OS X 10. 6 code named Snow Leopard and MobileMe at the WWDC on June 9, 2008. Factors that may lead users to upgrade the OS they use is stability, performance and security. Windows Vista had many issues in these areas making users switch back to XP. For other OS not quite sure if any had serious issues, though the newer versions gave more reason to upgrade. My personal use of OS has only been with Windows and Apple IOS on a cell phone.

Never a fan of Apple but Windows I like. It has been so long since I used XP that I am unsure of why I switched other than I had to because my new PC had a different version. Despite the problems with Vista I was like Sheldon when using 7 the first time, 7 is too user friendly. However, I love Windows 7 and do not intend on upgrading until I have no choice. For Apple use on a cell phone there may be a chance I do not like this IOS because it is only through a phone and they have not yet made phones run just like PC’s.

I do plan on buying an Apple computer soon so I can get more experience with the OS. Linux is an OS I am not even sure if I ever used, it is possible I did when computers first came out because my neighbor was a computer fan and was also the person that got me into technology. That was so long ago that I barely recall anything I did through her computers, all I remember is I had to tell the PC what to do like command prompts. If Linux OS is the same, than I do enjoy this system.