An Operating System (OS) is a software that helps in running many other applications in a computing system. Some OS came into being during the 1950s, when single line programs could only be executed by computers. Later on, many software programs were included in computers and were linked together that made the evolution of the present OS. These programs are known as libraries. There are software applications that can directly communicate with the hardware though it is not preferable, and the best thing would be to leave the communication part of the OS with the hardware. This is what exactly it takes care of at present and applications can easily run over it. Common libraries can be utilized by applications without worrying about the need of knowing the hardware details. An operating system for computer is very important because it is responsible for the overall communication with the machine. Some important aspect of an OS is also mentioned here.
It helps to manage all the hardware resources - All hardware resources pertaining to the system are managed by the OS. It takes care of all input devices like mouse and keyboard, network devices like routers and modems are also taken care of by it. Display monitors, scanners, and printers are output devices and these also depend on the OS. Internal and external drives that provide the needed storage are also managed by an OS. Therefore, one can see the plethora of activities performed by an OS and that is why it is so much important for a computing system.
There are many components of an OS - There are many components and features of an operating system. Features may vary from OS to OS, but there are certain components that will always be there. These include the Kernel, User Interface and Application Programming Interfaces (API). The Kernel provides a basic control level over the hardware devices like reading and writing data to the memory, etc. User Interface allows interaction with the user using a desktop and a graphical icon. API helps developers in writing modular codes.
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