Definitions for operating system
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
the software that directs a computer's operations, as by controlling and scheduling the execution of other programs and managing storage and input/output.
Origin of operating system:
operating system, OS(noun)
(computer science) software that controls the execution of computer programs and may provide various services
Software that controls the allocation and usage of hardware resources such as memory, CPU time, disk space, and input and output devices.
An operating system is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. The operating system is a vital component of the system software in a computer system. Application programs usually require an operating system to function. Time-sharing operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may also include accounting for cost allocation of processor time, mass storage, printing, and other resources. For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is usually executed directly by the hardware and will frequently make a system call to an OS function or be interrupted by it. Operating systems can be found on almost any device that contains a computer—from cellular phones and video game consoles to supercomputers and web servers. Examples of popular modern operating systems include Android, BSD, iOS, GNU/Linux, OS X, QNX, Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, and IBM z/OS. All these, except Windows and z/OS, share roots in UNIX.
The New Hacker's Dictionary
[techspeak] (Often abbreviated ‘OS’) The foundation software of a machine; that which schedules tasks, allocates storage, and presents a default interface to the user between applications. The facilities an operating system provides and its general design philosophy exert an extremely strong influence on programming style and on the technical cultures that grow up around its host machines. Hacker folklore has been shaped primarily by the Unix, ITS, TOPS-10, TOPS-20/TWENEX, WAITS, CP/M, MS-DOS, and Multics operating systems (most importantly by ITS and Unix). See also timesharing.
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