Role of Operating System

Role of Operating System

Basic Concept

An Operating System is a set of software that interacts with electronic hardware and supports Application Software. The Operating System provides an environment in which the Application Software runs; providing a wide range of services including memory access and management, process management, networking and (often) an operator interface framework.

A Bit of Complexity

In many electronic systems, there is more software employed than just the Application Software and Operating System. For example, there may be specific drivers for network components such as Ethernet modules or there may be a Graphical User Interface framework entirely separate from the operating system and Application Software. When considering a generic system, there also might not be an operating system at all, but just a set of component drivers.

Putting the Complexity Aside

For the end user or equipment manager, although there may be many software elements that make up an entire system, it is generally sufficient to understand that a system comprises electronic hardware, a collection of application independent software components which we’ll call the Operating System, and software developed for the specific application which we’ll call Application Software.