OS (Operating System)


Definition: The operating system is the master program that runs the computer, sets the standard for all applications that run on the computer, manages all files, and displays the user interface.

What This Means: The operating system determines which software applications will run on a computer. Examples are DOS, Windows (95, 98, NT, ME, 2000, XP), Macintosh OS X, Linux, and Unix (Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, etc.), OS/400 (IBM iSeries), and z/OS (IBM zSeries mainframes). When an education agency had only a few computers, a single operating system was typically chosen. Today, an agency can have many computers running multiple operating systems to match the individual applications each is supporting.


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