Within the broad family of operating systems, there are generally different types, categorizes based on the types of computers they control and the sort of applications they support. The categories are:
Single-user, single task : As the name implies, this operating system is designed to manage the computer so that one user can effectively do one thing at a time. The Palm OS for palm handheld computers is a good example of a modern single-user, single-task operating system.
Single-user, multi-tasking: This is the type of operating system most people use on their desktop and laptop computer today. Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s MacOS platforms are both examples of operating system that will let a single user have several programs in operating at the same time. For example, it’s entirely possible for a Windows user to be writing a note in a word processor while downloading a file from the Internet while printing the text of an e-mail message.
Multi-user : A multi-user operating system allows many different users to take advantage of the computer’s resources simultaneously. The operating system must make sure that the requirements of the various users are balances, and that each of the programs they are using has sufficient and separate resources so that a problem with one user doesn’t affect the entire community of users Unix, VMS and mainframe operating systems, such as MVS, are examples of multi-user operating systems.
Some popular Operating System’s are:
. Unix: multi-tasking, multi-processing, multi-user, protected, with built in support for networking but not graphics.
. Windows NT: multi-tasking, multi-processing, single-user, protected, with built-in support for networking and graphics.
. Windows 95/98: multi-tasking, multi-processing, single-user, unprotected, with built-in support for networking and graphics.
.Windows 3.x: single-tasking, single-processing, single-user, unprotected, with built-in support of graphics but not networking.
.DOS: single-tasking, single-processing, single-user, unprotected, with built-in support for graphics or networking.
.Netware: multi-tasking, single-processing, single-user, unprotected with built-in support for networking but not graphics.