6 Different Types of Operating Systems
Microsoft began as a company in 1975, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. It was a technology company that would go on to change the world. The year is 1981. Microsoft releases its first operating system, named MS-DOS. MS-Dos is a command line operating system. What this means, is you type in commands and get results. This is like when you run commands on something like the terminal on linux. MS-DOS was actually around before windows was invented. Back then, there was MS-Dos and PC-DOS, which was the IBM variant of MS-DOS. They were very similar, but different since IBM made PC-DOS. MS-DOS stands for microsoft disc operating system. There were minor improvements to this operating system as time went on, but nothing too major. Usually it was hardware requirements and ability to use different hardware with it. There were no huge graphical overhauls.
According to wikipedia, “MS-DOS was a renamed form of 86-DOS – owned by Seattle Computer Products, written by Tim Paterson. Development of 86-DOS took only six weeks, as it was basically a clone of Digital Research’s CP/M (for 8080/Z80 processors), ported to run on 8086 processors and with two notable differences compared to CP/M; an improved disk sector buffering logic and the introduction of FAT12 instead of the CP/M filesystem. This first version was shipped in August 1980. Microsoft, which needed an operating system for the IBM Personal Computer hired Tim Paterson in May 1981 and bought 86-DOS 1.10 for $75,000 in July of the same year. Microsoft kept the version number, but renamed it MS-DOS. They also licensed MS-DOS 1.10/1.14 to IBM, who, in August 1981, offered it as PC DOS 1.0 as one of three operating systems for the IBM 5150, or the IBM PC.
Microsoft Windows 1.0
MS-DOS ran until version 6.22 until the first version of windows was released. Windows 1.0 was basically a shell for Ms-Dos, however, it included a lot of features that MS-DOS couldn’t do, such as multitasking. There were features such as word processing, database creation, spreadsheet creation, and graphic creation. Windows 1.0 allowed less technically savvy users to gain access to computer functionality. This was a big step forward for technology as a whole because it enabled people to really utilize this on a large scale, in the business world, for example. It also allowed for useful functionality like calendars and alarms to be used by the public. There were a lot of different software features that Windows 1.0 had to offer, and it was offered at an affordable rate of $99. This was one of the main selling points of windows 1.0, the affordable cost. At a time (1985) when things like the Apple Lisa were selling for costs like ten thousand dollars, this was a very affordable price points.
Speaking of Apple, this was one of Microsoft’s biggest competitors at this time (and still is). There was fierce competition on everything from design patterns to functionality, on who could deliver the better product. The product that Apple had to compete with Windows 1 was named the Apple Lisa, and it ran on an operating system called Lisa OS. We will discuss this next.
Apple had spent a lot of time and money developing the operating system that will rival IBM and they came up with the Lisa OS. This operating system was released with the machine named the Lisa in 1983, and it famously flopped. At this time, steve jobs was kicked out of the development for the Lisa previous to it being released, so this was especially hard for the company. The Lisa operating system was very user friendly, and well-designed. There were a lot of different settings available to the user to customize their browsing experience, like setting the screen contrast level, and the dim level, etc. It featured an array of different software features similar to that of the Windows 1.0, and offered useful applications for office and home duties. Apple prides itself on its design, and its keen eye to the user experience.
As reported by www.mac-history.net, “The Lisa was a more advanced (and far more expensive) system than the Macintosh of that time in many respects, such as its inclusion of protected memory, cooperative multitasking, a generally more sophisticated hard disk based operating system, a built-in screensaver, an advanced calculator with a paper tape and RPN, support for up to 2 megabytes of RAM, expansion slots, and a larger higher resolution display.”
Apple worked hard to achieve these technical feats, but unfortunately sales were not up to par. They only ended up selling about 10,000 units. An interesting note about the software on the Lisa operating system, is that it could not be used to write programs for itself. There were 7 applications preinstalled on the computer, and Apple had deemed them, “enough to do everything.” Those programs were:
LisaCalc, LisaDraw, LisaGraph,LisaProject,LisaList, and LisaTerminal
If you wanted to create software for the machine, there was a seperate dev operation system called Lisa Workshop that was required. This was actually a dual boot config that ran by compiling code on one machine and testing it on the other.
Mac System 1
The Macintosh System 1 was revealed in 1984, and the best part about it was the software. This is the project that Steve Jobs primarily focused on, once they would not let him work on the Lisa anymore. He joined the Macintosh team instead, and decided to help the team be the best they could be. The result of his fierce leadership, and overbearingness was a success for the original Macintosh. The Mac System featured a graphical user interface that built upon the Lisa Operating System, but at a much lower cost. One of the big draws of this operating system was the fact that Jobs insisted on certain nice touches, like having several different preloaded fonts included in the system. Another nice touch was the ability to change how you viewed a list of items, whether that be icon view, or in a sorted list.
The MacOS could run accessories on top of other apps, but if the user wanted to switch to another program, they would have to shut down their current program, to load up the finder, and load something else. The original macintosh originally had only one drive, so they could only inject one disk at at time. When users are completely done with a disk, mac OS let them move the disk icon to the trash to get rid of it.
The MacOS did not really have multitasking capabilities. The system allows you to run certain desk accessories on top of software, but that’s the extent of the multi tasking capabilities Lisa allows you to run multiple programs at once, but that is a lot more expensive as we have seen. The MacOS file system did not have hierarchy,everything is basically in one level. There is no hierarchy of directories, or folders, etc. This is remedied by the GUI, as we can navigate it just fine, using subfolders on the user interface. They also had a control panel on the original mac. There was a lot of different pictures that showed you what you could edit. Things like changing the desktop background were introduced with this control panel. The games on this operating system were quite advanced, compared to those of other operating systems at this time.
Microsoft released windows XP in 2001. Before that, they were working on a version of windows called blackcomb, aka windows 7. They were going to release vista, and then release windows 7 shortly after. What happened in reality, is Windows Vista gained a lot of the features that were slated for Windows 7, and thus, development took a very long time. Microsofts development team was not meeting deadlines, and they were developing this version of windows over the course of five years, and in 2004, which is about halfway through the development process, they completely trashed all their hard work they were doing. Their work had a bunch of unstable different features that didn’t have a singular direction. They needed a clear direction on what the next version of windows should be. In 2004, they started fresh with Windows Longhorn and that eventually became windows Vista. That was another two years of development, and finally they came out with windows vista RTM in late 2006. The problem with this is Windows Vista raised the system requirements quite a bit. In 2006, most computers were single-cored, and usually had like 1-2 gigs of ram. This is not enough to run windows vista, so this caused an issue. People were angry because of all the system requirements that windows vista demanded. By the time Microsoft updated Windows Vista, no one payed a lot of attention to it.
The reason being is because Windows 7 came out in 2009. By the time this happened, there was a big stigma around Windows Vista, and its reputation has been bad to this day. As far as the actual functionality of Windows Vista, there are a lot of cool features that enhance the usability of the operating system. One such feature is if you hover your mouse over a tab on the taskbar, you can a thumbnail view of the window. This allows for an easier view of what you are going to be looking at when clicking that application. There’s also a new button to “switch between windows” on the main screen that allows for a 3d view of all open windows on the computer, that way you can switch between them faster. Another time-saving function of windows vista is the ability to get a preview of a file in the right side of the window of the file manager when you are searching for an image/file you would like to select. All you have to do is click it once and you can see a preview on the right half of the window.
Mac OS X
The first version of the Mac OS 10 was released back in March 24th, 2001, and this ended the reign of the Mac OS9. Steve jobs actually held a mock funeral for Mac OS 9 onstage during the 2002 worldwide developers conference. The release of the Mac OS 10 began a new era for the Macintosh. “Kodiak” was the beta for Mac OSX that was released to the public for $29.95. This release was a working operating system that proved Mac had what it takes to reinvent itself. Mac OSX “Cheetah” shipped on march 24th, 2001. Cheetah was the first major release of OSX and sold for $129. This OS features a glossy user interface that set a new standard for how good a computer interface could look. The terminal is Max OSX allowed access to the Unix core, something completely new. OSX also revealed a new text editor named TextEdit. There were also some missing features. You couldn’t play DVD’s or burn CD’s. There were also a lot of drivers missing, like those for some printers. Another issue was speed, the OS was slow at times, which upset some users. Apple offered users a free upgrade to the new OS, Mac OS 10.1, “Puma” to make up for this. Puma also received some criticism from reviewers. The public complained that kernel panic bugs still existed, and the user interface had not changed enough.