Updated: Apr 22, 2022
An operating system is the software behind managing and running a computer system's hardware and resources. The OS sits between applications and hardware and makes the connections between all of your software and the physical resources that do the work. The most popular OS's include:
The macOS and Apple/Mac products are beloved by their users for ease of use and continually improving user experience. Fast processing speeds, a simple desktop interface, and a wide variety of helpful resources make users excited about macOS. Many users relish the instant connection with their computers and mobile phone hardware, and enjoy great security and the lack of bugs and hackers. Apple’s macOS is a proprietary operating system, meaning that Apple conceptualized, designed, developed, and now sells their own OS bundled in their hardware. It is designed and sold by apple in such a way that it is not meant to be tampered with or tweaked by users. Apple and Macintosh computers run on the proprietary macOS and OS X system, the first of which launched 20 years ago. There latest version as per the writing of this article is Monterey (macOS 12)
The Windows OS has been around since the 1980s and has had several versions and updates (including Windows 95, Windows Vista, Windows 7/8/10, etc.) Microsoft Windows is one of the popular operating system types and is preloaded on most new PC hardware. With each new Windows update or release, Microsoft continues to work on improving their users’ experience, hardware, and software, making Windows more accessible and easier to use. Microsoft Windows contains a control panel, a desktop and desktop assistant, disk cleanup, event viewer, and more. Many users prefer Microsoft Windows because they say it’s compatible with many other kinds of software. Many kinds of computer programs run best on Microsoft Windows because they’re developed by Microsoft.
Google's Android is based on the Linux distribution and other open source software. Android OS is the primary OS for Google mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Android has gained increasing popularity since its release as an alternative to Apple’s iOS for smartphone users and is continuing to increase in popularity with new updates and exciting features. It is also used by global smartphone manufacturers because of its open source nature.
iPhones are some of the most popular mobile devices on the market particularly in North America and the European markets. Apple's iOS is the mobile operating system used exclusively for iPhones. iOS integrations have regular updates, new expansions to software, and continually are offering new features for users even if they have older devices. Many users appreciate the unique user interface with touch gestures, and the ease of use that iOS offers. This operating system also allows other Apple devices to connect, giving users easy connections to other devices or people.
Linux is different from Windows and Apple in that it’s not a proprietary software, but rather a family of open source systems. In other words, anyone can modify and distribute it. Linux may be the least known on this list, but it’s free and available in many different open source versions. Linux is popular because of its ease of customization and offers a variety of options to those who understand how to use it. If you know how to customize and work with operating systems, Linux is an ideal choice. And if this kind of coding and back-end work is interesting to you, it may be a good idea to purchase a Linux system and get started on manipulating it. It is the basis of the Android and MacOS systems.
Learn more about developing software for these operating systems by pursuing the HURU Schools' Software Engineering Picodegree
The article was originally published by the University of You, attribution of images from Apple, Microsoft, Android, IOS and Kali Linux.