Desktop Operating Systems

The software that administers the allocation of the possessions of the central processing unit and offers people who develop that program with a suitable interface used to get along with those possessions is known as Operating System or simply OS.


  • The operating system develops the system information and the entry of user and acts in response by assigning and organizing the jobs and interior system resources as the service to the users and the programs of the system.
  • At the base of the entire system software, the operating system carries out the basic jobs like controlling and giving priority to the system requirements, assigning the memory, making easy in networking calculating input and output equipments, and organizing file systems.


  • Presently the contemporary desktop operating systems include Graphical User Interfaces.
  • A few older desktop operating systems firmly incorporated the GUI into the kernel.
      • Banner
      • System Status panel
      • Search panel
      • System and event collections
      • Menus
      • Workspace

Features of Graphical user interfaces

For example:

  • In the unique implementations of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, the graphical subsystem was in fact part of the kernel.
  • Many operating systems permit the user to install or generate any user line they desire.
  • The X Window System in conjunction with GNOME or KDE is a frequently found setup on most UNIX and Unix-like BSD, Linux, Minix systems.
  • Graphical user lines develop over time.
  • Windows has customized its user lines almost every time a new major version of Windows is released, and the Mac OS GUI changed dramatically with the opening of Mac OS X in 2001.

Device drivers Software

  • A device driver software is a precise type of computer software developed to permit interaction with hardware devices.
  • Characteristically this constitutes an interface for communicating with the device, through the specific computer bus or communications subsystem that the hardware is connected to, offering commands to or receiving data from the device, and on the other end, the requisite interfaces to the operating system and software applications.
  • It is a specialized hardware-dependent computer program which is also operating system precise that enables another program, characteristically an operating system or applications software package or computer program running under the operating system kernel, to interact transparently with a hardware device, and typically offers the requisite interrupt handling indispensable for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interfacing requirements.
  • The main design objective of device drivers is abstraction.
  • Every model of hardware is different.
  • Desktop Operating System essentially dictates how every type of device should be controlled.
  • The function of the device driver is then to interpret these OS mandated function calls into device specific calls.
  • In theory a latest device, which is controlled in a new manner, should function correctly if an appropriate driver is obtainable.


  • Most existing operating systems are accomplished of utilizing the TCP or IP networking protocols.
  • This involves that computers running different operating systems can take part in a familiar network for sharing resources like files, computing, scanners and printers, using either wired or wireless connections.
  • Many operating systems also hold up one or more vendor-specific legacy networking protocols.

For example

  • System Network Architectute (SNA) on IBM system, decent systems from Digital Equipment Corporation and Microsoft specific protocols on Window.
  • Exact protocols for specific tasks may also be supported like Network File System (NFS) for file access.

Embedded systems

  • Embedded systems utilize a variety of devoted operating systems.
  • In the simplest embedded systems, there is no difference between the operating system and the application.
  • Embedded systems that have certain time requirements are called as real-time operating systems.

Case Study

  • The most common and widely used operating system software is the Microsoft Windows. In the year 2004 at the Directions conference of IDC, the Vice President Mr. Saxena had declared that Windows had more or less 90% of the total customers of the operating system market.
  • The latest version of Windows present in the market is Windows Vista while the latest server version of it is the Windows Server 2003.
  • The descendant to Windows Server 2003 will be the Windows Server 2008 which is still in beta version and is at present being under tested.

Types of Windows operating systems:

  1. Windows 1.01
  2. Windows 2.03
  3. Windows 2.11
  4. Windows 3.0
  5. Windows 3.1
  6. Windows For Workgroups 3.1
  7. Windows NT 3.1
  8. Windows For Workgroups 3.11
  9. Windows 3.2
  10. Windows NT 3.5
  11. Windows NT 3.51
  12. Windows 95
  13. Windows NT 4.0
  14. Windows 98
  15. Windows 98 SE
  16. Windows 2000
  17. Windows Me
  18. Windows XP
  19. Windows XP 64-bit Edition 2003
  20. Windows Server 2003
  21. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  22. Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs
  23. Windows Vista
  24. Windows Home Server
  25. Windows Server 2008 (planned)
  26. Windows 7 (planned) (Formerly codenamed Blackcomb, now Vienna)