What are the different types of computer operating systems? Computers have evolved significantly in the last couple of decades. Computers companies continue to improve their performance through innovation. As a result, many types of computers have been developed by various company brands. Some of these companies include: Apple, Hewlett Packard, Sony, Toshiba and Accer among others. In terms of software, they have also evolved a great deal with recent efficiency areas of interest being speed, look and performance among others. An operating system is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources providing common services for computer programs. In simple, a computer could not perform without operating systems. Some of the operating systems in use worldwide include: Windows, Linux, Ubuntu and Macintosh among others. Basically, there are 4 types of computer operating systemsbased on the types of computers they control and the applications they support.
Single User, Multi-tasking
Most people use this type of computer operating systems in their computers. Computers such as normal PCs and laptops use this type of operating system to run. Examples of the single user, multi-tasking operating systems are: Microsoft windows and Apple MacOS platforms which are very common world over because of their flexibility and low purchasing costs. These platforms let a single user have several programs/software running at the same time. For example, it is possible to use Microsoft office while still running other programs such as browsers and adobe Photoshop.
Multi-user operating systems
This OS allows many people to make use of computer’s resources simultaneously. Examples of these operating systems are: UNIX (where multiple remote users are having access to the unix shell), VMS (virtual Memory System) and mainframe among others. Multi user allows access by multiple users of computers. I addition, time sharing, management systems g and most batch processing systems are multi-user systems.
Single User, single tasking
As the name suggests, single user, single tasking is a type of computer operating system which allows only one user to perform a specific task on it at the same time. A good example of this operating system is the palm OS for palm hand held computers. Earlier versions of Microsoft operating systems such as Windows 95 are also good examples of single user, single tasking type of computer operating system.
Real time operating systems (RTOS)
These types of computer operating systems are used to control machinery, scientific instruments and industrial systems. They have a major similarity in that they have very little user interface capability and no end- use utilities. This operating system is meant to serve real time application requests. In this, it should be able to process data as it comes in without the need of a person being there to control it. One of the main characteristic of a real time operating system is in its level of consistency as regarding the amount of time it takes to accept and complete a task from an application. In typical designs of a real time operating system, the task has 3 states which are: running, ready and blocked which means waiting for an event. Some of the examples of RTOS are: Windows CE, RTLinux, QSE, QNX and LynxOS among others.