Following are some popular OS of a computer (Personal Computer).

  • DOS(Disk Operating System)
  • Windows(OS from Microsoft)
  • OS/2 (OS from IBM)
  • MAC(OS from Apple Computers)

And some popular networks OS that OS for LAN (Local Area Network) and WAN (Wide Area Network) are:

  • Window NT
  • Novell
  • UNIX

And UNIX is also a popular OS for Mini and Mainframe computers.


§  DOS is also known as Disk Operating System.

§  MS DOS from Microsoft was one of the most popular operating system for IBM compatible PC before the wide spread use of Window OS.

§  MS DOS is 16 bits operating systems.

§  It is a command based operating system that it provides a character based operating system interface to users wherein users can write C commands on a command prompt.

§  DOS has gone through many revisions and finally it was extended to a GUI (Graphical User Interface) based operating system known as Window.

Microsoft Windows:

§  The Window is the most popular operating system from Microsoft Inc.

§  The Windows has tremendous amount of user friendly features and capabilities.

§  It is almost a monopolist operating system for personal computers.

§  The Window has gone through several revisions in the last 10-15 years like Window 1.0,2.0,3.0, 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

§  The key features of the Windows OS are as follows:

o    Windows 95/98 and later versions are user friendly 32 bit OS.

o    Windows enables multiple programs to be executed simultaneously

o    Windows enables users to work with large files and use file operation like Cut, Copy, and Paste etc. very conveniently.

o    Windows allows the users to pass information from one application to another application like from Word to Excel.

o    Windows help to use a computer system more efficiently and effectively

Microsoft Window NT:

Windows 95 and 98 are the operating system used for a PC or single user system. Microsoft also introduced an operating system used for powerful system or for networks known as Windows NT.

§  Windows NT is 64 bits operating system used for big size machine or servers; and it is also known as Network Operating System (NOS).

§  It is more stable, reliable and multitasking operating system.

§  Window NT is multiprogramming, multiprocessing operating system that it can handle many users programs simultaneously, and it can also work with many processors (CPU) unlike Window 95 /98 which is based on a single processor computer system.

§  Window NT provides enhanced security features than Window 95/98.

§  Window NT is portable operating system that it can work with any type of processor unlike Window 95/98, which can work with processors of PC only.

§  Over the years, Window NT has also been introduced in the market with many versions such as Window 2000 Advance Server, Window 2003 server etc.

Operating System 2:

§  OS/2 was jointly introduced by Microsoft and IBM for PC’s, but this OS has certain problems like it demanded considerable computer resources in terms of memory capacity, CPU’s processing power etc.

§  This OS was also not compatible with some of the existing applications; and due to all these problems it is not in much use.

Multitasking Operating Systems:

§  Multitasking Operating Systems seems to turn one computer into many, not physically but logically.

§  There is on one computer we can execute many application simultaneously.

§  These Operating Systems allow many tasks to be executed concurrently.

§  We know that Windows is multitasking OS; and we can execute many applications simultaneously using Windows OS.

§  That is We can work in MS word, at some time, when we are working in MS- Excel.

§  Also, We can switch between one application and another without closing any application.

§  Multitasking Operating Systems increase the productivity of users for use of computers.


§  UNIX is multiuser, multitasking and multiprocessing operating system and primarily, used in bigger size machines like mainframe and minicomputers.

§  It was developed by AT and T Bells Labs around 1970.

§  The development of UNIX has given birth to many operating systems that can work on different types and sizes of computers.

§  For Example: LINUX and SOLARIS operating systems are known as siblings of UNIX operating system.

§  The UNIX is a flexible operating system and can be used for any type of processors unlike MS DOS which can work only on INTEL’s processors or its clones..

§  Also, the UNIX is not built to run on single processor; it can work on single processor system as well on many processor systems.

§  The UNIX can also interact with devices and networks of different vendors; which help to use this operating system for managing complex networks like banking and telecom.

§  The UNIX operating system is more popular for mission critical applications that the general purpose applications due to its scalability and security feature.

§  It is mainly used for very large, highly secured and multi-users applications like banking and telecom.


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