Operating Systems

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An operating system is a piece of software that does two main things. Firstly it controls the hardware inside your computer, and it provides a way for the user to interact with the computer. This can be done either through a command-line interface, where you type in commands to make the computer work. It can also be done using a Graphical User Interface or GUI (pronounced gooey) which means that you use a computer mouse (or, more commonly nowadays, a touch-screen) to point and click on menus, icons and pointers to make your computer work.

Over the years Packard Bell computers have been bundled with various operating systems, usually from Microsoft.



MS-DOS (/ˌɛmɛsˈdɒs/ EM-es-DOSS; short for Microsoft Disk Operating System) is an operating system for x86-based personal computers. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s to the mid-1990s, until it was gradually superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface (GUI), in particular by various generations of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

MS-DOS grew out of a request placed by IBM in 1981 for an operating system to use in its IBM PC range of personal computers. Microsoft quickly bought the rights to 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products,[3] and began work on modifying it to meet IBM's specification, who licensed and released it as PC DOS 1.0 to be used with their PCs in August 1981. Although MS-DOS and PC DOS were initially developed in parallel by Microsoft and IBM, years later the two products eventually went their separate ways.

During its life, several competing products were released for the x86 platform,[4] and MS-DOS itself would go through eight versions, until development ceased in 2000. Initially MS-DOS was targeted at Intel 8086 processors running on computer hardware using floppy disks to store and access not only the operating system, but application software and user data as well. Progressive version releases delivered support for other mass storage media in ever greater sizes and formats, along with added feature support for newer processors and rapidly evolving computer architectures. Ultimately it was the key product in Microsoft's growth from a programming languages company to a diverse software development firm, providing the company with essential revenue and marketing resources. It was also the underlying basic operating system on which early versions of Windows ran as a GUI. It is a flexible operating system, and consumes negligible installation space.

Microsoft Windows


Microsoft Windows is a series of graphical interface operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Microsoft.

Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs).[5] Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced in 1984.