5 Types of Operating Systems for Computers

Some consider operating systems to be the backbone that holds a computer together. An operating system is responsible for controlling and managing a computer, ensuring that computer software works with computer hardware. As computers develop and evolve over the decades, there are many different operating systems available on disk and for download. The following is a list of five of the basic types of operating systems:

  1. The Graphical User Interface operating system, also called a GUI, consists of icons and graphics. Computer users generally navigate through information by using a mouse. The GUI operating system does not use command line operating like MS_DOS or UNIX. Users don’t have to know how to use code since they just have to manipulate icons, windows, and menus. This has made it one of the most popular operating systems used today by end-users. Some examples of GUI operating systems include Windows 98, Windows CE, and System 7.x.
  2. The multi-user operating system is designed to allow several users to work on the same computer at different times or at the same time as desired. Some examples of multi-user operating systems include Windows 2000, UNIX, and Linux.
  3. The multiprocessing operating system uses more than one computer processor when desired. Some examples of multiprocessing operating systems include Linux, UNIX, and Windows 2000.
  4. The multitasking operating system is designed to allow several software processes to run simultaneously. Some examples of multitasking operating systems are UNIX and Windows 2000.
  5. The multi-threading operating systems are created to allow different parts of software programs to run at the same time. Some examples of multi-threading operating systems include Linux, UNIX, and Windows 2000.

Although this list labels five different types of operating systems, there are many more available on the market. The other operating systems offer variations on the systems labeled above.