All computers require an operating system in order to function. The operating system is the software used by the computer to control all the different programs and commands. Most people buy a computer that comes pre-loaded with an operating system. For consumers, this is normally either a Microsoft Windows operating system or a Macintosh OS X operating system. Some business users may alternatively have a Linux or UNIX operating system. Learn more about operating systems with these key facts.
Types of operating system
There are broadly four different types of operating system.
Operating system tasks fall into six different categories.
Most popular operating systems
Windows remains the most popular operating system in the world, by a massive majority, partly because so many businesses and corporate organizations deploy Microsoft operating systems. According to data reported by W3 Schools, in August 2012, Microsoft Windows operating systems account for more than 80 percent of the global operating system market. The top 5 operating systems at this time were:
The newest addition to the market comes from the mobile operating system market. While this only accounted for 1.8 percent of the market as of August 2012, this is an area of growth that looks set to continue to rise consistently.