What is an operating system?
Software that controls the hardware of a specific computer system in order to allow users and application programs to employ it easily. The operating system mediates between hardware and applications programs. It handles the details of sending instructions to the hardware and allocating system resources in case of conflicts, thus relieving applications developers of this burden and providing a standard platform for new programs. Common operating systems for personal computers are Linux, Mac OS X and Windows XP.
operating system. (2006). In High Definition: A-Z Guide to Personal Technology.
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