• Brandon Glover

Operating Systems

An operating system (OS) is what a computer depends on for its basic functions. There are three major operating systems: Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Each operating system is different in some way.

Windows is the most common OS. Optimized for office work and ease-of-use, Windows is a classic. Windows comes in several different packages, each for a different purpose. There is Windows Home, Office Professional, Office Home and Student, Office Professional Plus, and many more. Windows runs .exe files (or executable files).

Windows, often, will come with quite a few programs for work. Programs like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Access, and more. After all, Windows was originally designed for offices.

Windows should come with an internet browser. Windows 8 and below has Internet Explorer; Windows 10 and onward has Microsoft Edge. These browsers have been ostracized for their low speed, but Microsoft says that Edge is a "fast and secure browser" on their website.

In 1975 Bill Gates and his friend Paul Allen had created a version of the programming language BASIC (a programming language praised for ease-of-use) for the world's first microcomputer- the MITS Altair 8800. Gates and Allen had presented this programming

language to the company MITS, who had accepted it and decided to sell it as Altair BASIC. Paul Allen, in the same year, was hired for MITS. Gates left Harvard to work with him. According to the Telegraph "They officially established 'Microsoft' on 4 April 1975, with Gates as the CEO." Gates never went back to Harvard. And in 1976, Microsoft became independent from MITS.

In 1983 Bill Gates announced Windows 1.0, which wasn't actually available until 1985 and was being sold for $100. Windows 1.0 used MS DOS, which would be on every Windows computer until 2000. Two years later Windows 2.0 was sold for the same price. In the same year Windows 386 was sold for ,again, $100. In 1988 Windows 286 was released and sold for, once more, $100. According to Computer Hope "Microsoft Windows 3.0 was released on May, 22 1990 and was priced at $149.95." At this time IBM wanted to cooperate with Windows.

Windows turned IBM's offer down in 1990 and changed the name of their current version to OS/2. After this point, they sold Windows computers with OS/2 installed or you could turn an older version on an older computer to a newer version on the same computer. In 1991 Microsoft released Windows 3.0. A year later they released Windows 3.1, which sold more than one million copies within two months. In 1993, according to Computer Hope "Windows had more than 25 million users."

In 1995 Windows 95 was released, and sold a record-breaking one million copies in four days. A year later Windows CE was released. Windows 98,which was also high-selling but not as much as Windows 95, was released in 1998.

With the death of MS DOS in 2000, Bill Gates announced Windows CE would be called Pocket PC. In the same year Windows ME was released, but it was sadly missing MS DOS. Windows ME was also called by the company Windows "Millennium". Windows XP was released in 2001. Through the years of 2003-2005, Windows released for the first time, different editions of Windows, such as Professional and Media Center packages. In 2006 Windows Vista was released. Windows 7 was then released in 2009, after many Windows servers releases and updates. Windows 8 was released in 2012, and Windows 10 was released in 2015.

MacOS is the second most used OS. According to The Verge "Windows 10 is four times more popular than Apple's MacOS." MacOS boasts a great user-friendly interface and unique typefaces. Steve Jobs wanted to make a computer that is user-friendly and he wanted to use the calligraphy skills from college to help. MacOS was originally called Macintosh. Another version of this OS is MacOS X. MacOS and MacOs X run .dmg files.

Apple comes with a word processor called TextEdit, normally found in the Applications folder. TextEdit is essentially a less powerful version of Microsoft Word. It has a lot of fonts, but has less options. To make up for the lack of options, it has a user friendly interface.

MacOS comes with a web browser called Safari. Apple's website says that "Safari is faster and more energy efficient than other browsers", but Safari also has no memory. It doesn't have a web history, but Safari lets you save sites to the browser. Safari's main purpose is privacy.

Apple Inc. was originally started in 1976, the same year Microsoft became independent, by college dropouts Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, both of whom wanted the company to change the way the world saw computers. Jobs and Wozniak wanted a computer that was not only accessible, but user friendly as well. According to the Library of Congress "Jobs and Wozniak started out building the Apple I in Jobs' garage and sold them without a monitor, keyboard, or casing." Later, in 1977, they decided to add a protective casing for the computer.

In 1977 Apple revolutionized computers with the Apple II. The Apple II was the first computer to ever have color graphics. Sales for computers, not only Apple's, began to boom in the late 70's because of the Apple II. According to the Library of Congress "Wozniak left Apple in 1983 due to a diminishing interest in the day-to-day running of Apple Computers." Steve Jobs then hired PepsiCo's John Sculley to be president, but this backfired, causing a lot of controversy around Sculley. Jobs had then left Apple after Sculley fired him in 1985 to do bigger things.

Jobs founded his own company called NeXT software. Jobs had also bought Pixar from George Lucas and revolutionize animation with the first fully 3D-animated movie, Toy Story. NeXT software had also partnered with the creator of the PDF, Adobe.

In 1985, Sculley had turned down a partnership deal from Microsoft to use Apple's software. Because of this, Microsoft, who had a similar interface for their computers, was now Apple's biggest competition. According to the Library of Congress "it was not until 1997, when Apple was desperately in need of an operating system, that it bought out NeXT software." Then Sculley needed the help of an old friend, Steve Jobs. Jobs became the CEO, or iCEO as he called it. Jobs decided to forge an alliance with Microsoft to help create a Mac version of Windows.

This decision was Apple's turning point. Steve Jobs started revolutionize the world again. He created the iBook, the first laptop, the first popular mp3 players, iPods, and a store to buy mp3 files, iTunes. Apple later released more revolutionary products that people use everyday like iphones and Apple watches.

Linux is different from the other operating systems for multiple reasons. For one, it is completely free to use. People can change how Linux works by changing the kernel to make it do something it couldn't before. Another thing is that there are tons of different versions of Linux, and that there are many things you can do with Linux.

I, personally, use Linux, specifically Linux Mint Tara. It is a great version to use for people switching from Windows. It comes with versions of Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc. that are almost no different than Microsoft's programs. It also has a lot of the customization features of Windows,

actually more, and has a lot more options as well. It comes with hundreds of screensavers, all you have to do is update the application for it, which is automatic upon opening it. Linux is actually often used by developers for testing. Linux does not use a specific file, and can run all of them if you change the kernel in the right way.

Linux uses Mozilla Firefox as its default browser, but it can also use Google Chrome or any browser as long as that browser supports Linux. Firefox is praised for its high speed.

Linux, as mentioned previously, is a very malleable OS. In fact, game platform Steam has made a free OS designed for Steam called SteamOS. With the release of the Linux-

based OS, Steam also gave compatibility for thousands of games on Steam. SteamOS, though , is not for beginners. According to Steam "the installation experience is not intended for a non-technical user." Steam also states that it only uses special software, but Steam also says that they will try to give it more support.

In 1991 a man named Linus Torvalds started a project. He wanted to make a Unix-like program that was free to use. For this project he used Minix, a Unix-based OS that was not free. He knew that first, he had to write a new kernel. After he developed a kernel he started developing drivers and hard-drive access and dubbed it Version 0.01. Version 0.01, though, required Minix to operate. So it was not free yet.

According to Living Internet "on October 5th, 1991, Torvalds sent a posting to the comp.os.minix newsgroup announcing the release of Version 0.02." Version 0.02 still required Minix, but still was an interesting subject. Torvalds constantly improved the kernel during that month and on December 9th, 1992, he released Linux Version 0.11. It was opensource. In other words, free.

In January, 1992, Torvalds released Version 0.12, which was more stable. Things started to get interesting, though, when he released Version 0.95 in 1992. It was called Linux Version 0.95 because it was so much more advanced the previous version. According to Living Internet "after that Linux became an underground phenomenon."

Throughout the 90's Linux began to evolve. As Torvalds kept modifying it, more and more people wanted it. Version 0.12 used opensource GNU free license software to operate. Linux Version 0.95 used original free license software to operate, and over time, more and more opensource software was created and used for Linux.

By 2000, most computer companies supported Linux in some way, which finally ended the "war" between all of the different Unix-based operating systems. In 2001 when Linux Version 2.4 released, Torvalds began to stop working with other companies that supported Linux. He did so to not show favoritism. According to Living Internet, he " went to work for a company called Transmeta." Even though he remained as the kernel release manager, he worked on mobile communication solutions and eventually founded with Transmeta what would be known as the Linux Foundation.

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