Operating System: Functions, Types And Classification

By definition, an operating system is a set of programs that allows us to manage the memory, disk, information storage media, and the different peripherals or resources of our computer (keyboard, mouse, printer…). In other words: it is the most important program (software), without the operating system your programs like Word or Excel do not work and you cannot use printers, keyboards, etc. Basically, without an operating system, your device is useless.

Operating System Functions, Types And Classification

This already comes with online courses for healthcare personnel on the computer and uses a graphical user interface. That is, what allows you to use the mouse to click on icons, and buttons or interact with any other element to execute actions or tasks. This is how we tell the computer what to do! Of course, phones and tablets also have an operating system.

Functions of an operating system

What is the function performed by an operating system?  The main function of the OS is to manage and secure hardware resources (physical components of the computer system) and provide services to run user applications. So far, good. But it has many other functions:

  • Processor management
  • Random access memory management
  • Input/output management
  • Application execution management
  • Authorization Management
  • File management
  • Information management

Most Used Operating Systems:

The graphical interface of each operating system looks different, so switching from one system to another may seem strange at first, but don’t worry, they all have very similar functions. All operating systems are designed to be easy to use and the basic principles are the same in any of them. Therefore, if you know how to handle one you can easily adapt to another.


It was developed in the 1980s by  Microsoft  and its founder, Bill Gates,  and now comes preinstalled on most new computers. Therefore, it is the most popular operating system.  In the case of Windows, its standard version works with computers, although there is also a version for phones ( Windows Mobile ).


It is an open source operating system, this means that it can be modified and distributed by anyone around the world. This is one of its advantages, since you do not have to pay for it and you can choose between the different versions that exist. However, it is true that in our homes it is very little used, unlike in most servers, in companies, which use Linux because it is easy to customize.


It is the operating system created by  Apple Inc. and it comes installed on all your computers. All recent versions are known as MacOS X and the specific names of each of these are: Mavericks, released in 2013; Mountain Lion, in 2012; Lion, in 2011 and Snow Leopard, which was created in 2009.

Classification of operating systems

These software can be classified taking into account different aspects, let’s see: 

By users
  • Multi-user:  Several users can run the applications installed on the operating system at the same time.
  • Single-user:  Only one user can run a program or application at the same time.
By tasks
  • Multitasking:  Multiple processes run at the same time.
  • Single-task:  A single process is executed at a certain time.
For resource management
  • Centralized:  Resources are located on a single computer.
  • Distributed:  Resources are used on more than one computer.


An operating system is software that manages computer hardware and provides services for computer programs, facilitating communication between software and hardware components while ensuring efficient resource utilization and user interaction. It acts as an intermediary between users and the computer hardware.


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