Types of Operating Systems

The Types Of Operating Systems: The Ultimate Guide To Everyone

The operating system is the most crucial application that launches when a computer is turned on. A system’s operating system is software used to facilitate communication between a user and a system. This blog post on “what is an operating system?” helps readers understand the many types of operating systems, their features, and their benefits.

Examples of operating systems that let users utilize applications like Microsoft Office, Notepad, and games on a computer or mobile device include Windows, Linux, and Android. The computer must have at least one operating system to execute simple programs like browsers. 

Different Types of Operating Systems 

As you can see in the image below, we’ve compared different types of operating systems you may have been using on your computer or phone.

Operating System’s History

  • To manage tape storage, operating systems were created in the late 1950s.
  • For its IBM 701, the General Motors Research Lab built the first OS in the early 1950s.
  • Operating systems started utilizing discs in the middle of the 1960s.
  • In the late 1960s, the initial version of the Unix operating system was developed.
  • Microsoft’s original operating system was DOS. It was created in 1981 using 86-DOS software purchased from a Seattle-based business.
  • When a GUI was developed and combined with MS-DOS in 1985, the modern, widely used OS Windows was taken.

Why Use An Operating System?

The development of software for computers benefits greatly from an operating system. Without an operating system, each program must have its user interface (UI) and all the necessary code to manage the computer’s low-level operations, such as disc storage, network connections, etc. This would greatly increase the size of any application and render software development difficult, given the wide variety of underlying hardware available.

Instead, many routine operations, such as transmitting a network packet or showing text on a display or other conventional output device, can be delegated to system software, which acts as a bridge between applications and hardware. Thanks to the system software, applications can interface with the hardware consistently and repeatedly without being aware of any specifics.

That system software—the operating system—can support nearly any number of applications as long as they all access the same resources and services in the same way. A single and well-understood interface allows users to control, configure, and manage the system hardware, greatly reducing the time and coding needed to design and debug an application.

Types of Operating Systems

Batch Operating System

In a batch operating system, there is no direct user-computer interaction. On an offline device, such as punch cards, users prepare their work and submit it to the computer operator. Jobs with similar requirements are batched together and run as a group to expedite processing. The operators sort the programs with comparable needs into batches when the programmers hand them their code.

Benefits of the Batch Operating System

  • Execution times for comparable tasks are longer.
  • Many users can share batch systems.
  • In batch systems, managing massive works becomes simple.
  • A single batch has extremely little downtime.

The following are the issues with batch systems:

  • Insufficient communication between the user and the task.
  • Because mechanical I/O devices operate slower than the CPU, the CPU is frequently idle.
  • Providing the desired priority is challenging.

Distributed Operating System

A distributed operating system is a new development in computer technology that is being used quickly and widely everywhere. Multiple computers are linked together by a single communication channel in a distributed operating system. These separate computers are loosely connected systems since they each have their memory and CPU. The system processes can execute various tasks and come in various sizes. The main advantage of this operating system is that it allows users to view files located on connected systems rather than on their own systems. Additionally, the systems linked to this network have remote access available.

Distributed Operating System benefits

  • Since all computers are independent, the failure of one system won’t affect the other systems.
  • The host system is under less stress.
  • The network can readily grow as more machines are connected to it.
  • The calculations are done more quickly since the effort and resources are shared.
  • Electronic mail helps to boost the speed of data sharing.

Distributed Operating System disadvantages

  • The setup fee is expensive.
  • Such systems’ software is quite sophisticated.
  • Failure of the primary network will result in system failure as a whole.

Time-Sharing Operating Systems 

To ensure seamless operation, enough time is allocated for each task to be completed. Each user receives CPU time if they use the same system. They are also referred to as multitasking systems. The main difference between time-sharing and multi-programmed batch systems is that time-sharing systems aim to reduce reaction time. In contrast, multi-programmed batch systems aim to optimize processor utilization. The task may come from one person or several users. Quantum is the amount of time that each task has to complete itself. When this period of time is up, OS moves on to the following task.

The CPU runs multiple tasks simultaneously by switching them. The shifts happen often. As a result, the user can get a quick response. For instance, during transaction processing, the processor runs each user application in a short quantum of computation. Each user can obtain a time quantum if there are n users present. The response time is a few seconds after the user sends the command.

Benefits of a Time-Sharing OS

  • There is equal opportunity for each work.
  • Fewer chances for software duplication
  • CPU idling time may be decreased.

Time-Sharing OS disadvantages

  • Availability issue
  • The integrity and security of user programs and data must be maintained.
  • Difficulty with data communication

Network Operating Systems

Network operating systems are installed on a server, giving users access to tools for managing data, user groups, and applications. Users of this operating system can access and share data and resources, typically within a local area network, including printers, security software, and other devices. For some networking devices, such as routers, switches, and firewalls, the idea of a NOS is still in use. Manufacturers may use exclusive NOSes, such as the Cisco Internetwork Operating System (IOS), RouterOS, and ZyNOS.

Network operating systems have the following benefits:

  • Highly stable servers are offered by centralization.
  • By using the servers, security issues may be handled more easily.
  • Upgrades and the incorporation of new technology are simple.
  • The servers can be accessed remotely.

The following are drawbacks of network operating systems:

  • They need upkeep and updates regularly.
  • Purchase and upkeep of servers are expensive.
  • Workflows may suffer from users’ reliance on a centralized server.

Embedded Operating System

Not every computing gadget is multipurpose. Computers require an operating system, as do a wide range of dedicated devices, such as digital home assistants, automated teller machines (ATMs), in-flight entertainment systems, retail point of sale (POS) terminals, and internet of things (IoT) devices. 

The main distinction is that because the linked computing hardware only performs one key function, the OS is greatly simplified and focused on performance and robustness. The OS must function swiftly, without crashing, and gracefully manage all failures so it can always be used. The OS is typically given on a chip built into the gadget.

For example, an embedded OS will be utilized in a medical device part of a patient’s life support system. This OS must function correctly to keep the patient alive. One illustration of an embedded OS is embedded Linux.

Advantages of embedded operating system

  • It is quick because it is focused on a single task.
  • Low price.
  • These use fewer resources, including memory.

Disadvantages of embedded operating system

  • There can only be one task completed.
  • It is almost scalable but is difficult to improve.

Real-time Operating System

Operating systems for real-time systems are used. These operating systems are beneficial when numerous events occur quickly or within a set time limit, such as in real-time simulations.

The following are examples of real-time operating systems

Hard real-time OS

The hard real-time OS is primarily used in applications where even the smallest delay is intolerable. These applications have very strict time requirements. These systems are designed for life-saving devices like airbags and parachutes, which must deploy instantly in the event of an accident.

Soft real-time OS

The operating system for applications where time constraints are not extremely stringent is called a soft real-time OS. A significant task is prioritized over less important activities in a soft real-time system, which is maintained until the work is finished. Additionally, a time restriction is always established for a particular activity, allowing for brief delays for subsequent activities, which is acceptable—reservation systems, virtual reality, etc.

Advantages of real-time operating system

  • Device and resource consumption is at its highest level.
  • These systems nearly never make mistakes.

Disadvantages of real-time operating system

  • Real-time operating systems employ very complicated algorithms.
  • Drivers for certain devices react to interrupts as quickly as they can.

Common Types of Operating Systems

Windows by Microsoft

Microsoft Windows, one of the most widely used proprietary computer operating systems in the world, was developed by Microsoft. Microsoft Windows is preloaded on the majority of personal PCs.

iOS by Apple

The same company that makes smartphones and tablets also uses Apple iOS on those devices. This system gives users access to thousands of applications. The operating system provides strong encryption capabilities to prevent unauthorized access to user data.

Android by google

The most widely used operating system in the world is Android from Google. Most tablets and smartphones use it. Other manufacturers’ devices can also use it.

MacOS by Apple

This exclusive operating system, created by Apple, operates on the laptops and desktops made by the company. The most recent macOS, formerly known as OS X systems, is preinstalled on all Apple and Macintosh computers.


Linus Torvalds, a Finnish programmer, designed Linux; today, colleagues from all over the world contribute updates to the main kernel program. Programmers and corporate servers favor Linux. Online, it can be accessed for nothing.

Conclusion: Types of Operating Systems

The demand for technology in corporate settings will only increase as technology develops and younger generations, like millennials, enter the workforce and grow up using it. We genuinely hope that this article was informative. Contact us if you need assistance with an operating system assignment.

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Features of Operating System…

FAQs ( Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the Operating System structure?

User application programs can interface with the machine’s hardware thanks to an operating system design. The operating system has a complex structure and needs to be easy to use and alter; therefore, it should be created with the highest care. A straightforward way to do this is to construct the operating system partially.

Process in Operating System?

In computing, a process is an instance of a computer program executed by one or more threads. It consists of the entire program code and its activities. Depending on the operating system, a process may consist of many execution threads running simultaneously (OS).