Operating system performs the basic tasks such as, recognizing input from keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk. It also controls peripheral devices such as, disk drives and printers.
Microsoft® Windows® is a series of software operating systems and graphical user interfaces produced by Microsoft®. Operating system is classified as multi-user, multi-processor, multi-tasking, multi-threading, and real-time.
There are seven currently supported versions of Microsoft® Windows® that are Windows® 2000, Windows® XP, Windows Server® 2003, Windows® XP Professional x64 edition and Windows Vista®, Windows® Home Server and Windows Server® 2008. Windows® XP is the first customer based operating system produced by Microsoft® built on the Windows® NT Kernel and architecture. The most common editions of the operating system is Windows® XP Home Edition and Windows® XP Professional.
The operating System is responsible for managing allocation of the processor between the different programs using a scheduling algorithm. This type of scheduler is totally dependent on the operating system, according to the desired objective. Efficiency of multi-threading and multi-processing function of the processor depends on the operating system. If the operating system is unable to handle the task sequences well, the processor, however strong it might be, will remain ineffective. The compatibility of the processor with the Windows® operating system hugely matters.
Windows® operating system manages reading and writing of the file system. It determines the file accessibility by the users and manages authorizations of applications and files. It provides indicators to diagnose the correct operation of the machine. The Operating System is completely responsible for the security mechanisms in relation with the execution of programs. It guarantees that files and applications are used by users with proper authorizations.
The Windows® operating system has the duty of memory management. It allocates a definite space for each application to run. If it is notified of insufficient physical memory, the operating system can create a memory zone in the hard drive. This portion is known as the
“Virtual Memory”. Applications are made to run on this memory. Virtual memory
is much slower than the actual memory.
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