What is an Operating System
Some of the most popular operating systems available today are Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS and Linux. Each of these come in different versions. Some of the popular versions of Windows include Windows 10
Most of the software designed today is created with a certain operating system in mind. For example, if you purchase software for Microsoft Windows it will not work with Linux or Mac OS.
When you purchase software it will tell you what software it works with. Furthermore, it is also possible that certain software will only work with certain versions of a given operating system. For example, a piece of software written for Microsoft Windows 7 may not work with Windows 8 or Windows 10.
Many software vendors will upgrade their software to work with newer version of software, however. You may even be able to upgrade your current software version if your license allows it.
When you purchase a new computer it will typically come with an operating system installed. Therefore, it is assumed the hardware is optimized for the OS. However, if you upgrade to the new OS with an existing computer, you will want to make sure that your hardware meets the minimum system requirements. Typically, the box will outline what you need in your computer to run the OS>
In most cases, the operating system will require a minimum of the following pieces of hardware:
- Processor – It will require a certain amount of processors and minimum speed
- RAM – Usually measured in GB. Most modern operating systems require a minimum of 1 GB of RAM
- Graphics Card – Operating systems with a graphical user interface will outline a minimum requirement for a graphics card
- Hard Drive Space – all operating systems will require a certain amount of free space to install
Mac OS is usually only compatible with Mac hardware. Windows and Linux can install on most Intel and AMD based systems. There are alternative installation methods to get these operating systems on all manner of hardware, but that is advanced knowledge that is beyond the scope of this article.