What is Operating System? Explained with Examples

Computers and Mobile phones have become an important part of our lives. Without them, we cannot perform most of our activities. But, what makes Mobile Phones and Computers work? How do they understand human language? It’s all because of the Operating System (abbreviated as OS). So, you might be wondering, What is Operating System in the first place? That’s what we are going to explain in this article, along with examples.

What is Operating System?

It is not possible to use a Mobile Phone, Computer, or Tablet without Installing an Operating System. Operating System is a medium between hardware and software. 

Think Operating System as a mediator between you and the machine (computer). An Operating System provides a graphical interface for humans, where they can read and write in human language. The Operating System converts the user language into computer language so that the computer can understand the command given by the user and start performing the task.

Let’s take your PC for example. The Operating System created a nice interface with Start Menu, Desktop Icons, and lots more. You can easily double-click on the application shortcut to open the program, which is located somewhere on the hard disk. 

The computer can only understand the computer Language. So, you can either write long codes using DOS or simply install an Operating System that makes your job easy.

What is Operating System, Computer Operating System, Operating System Examples, Functions of Operating System

Operating System also connects the hardware with the software. There are several types of operating systems, but the basic function of every OS is connecting the user with the computer. 

Some of the Operating System Examples are:

  • Windows OS
  • Mac OS
  • Linus
  • Ubuntu
  • Android OS
  • iOS
  • Symbian OS
  • MS DOS

Main Functions of Operating System:

  • Managing Primary Memory of the computer. Operating System checks and manages the programs using Primary Memory.

Example: When you install a program, it requires some amount of memory to perform operations. Therefore, it sends a message to the Operating System asking for memory. The Operating System will then allot the required amount of memory on RAM for that program.

Check out this article, to understand the Types of Storage Devices in a Computer.

  • Operating System also does multitasking. Even when you are playing a full-screen game, there are lots of programs and services running in the background.
What is Operating System, Computer Operating System, Operating System Examples, Functions of Operating System

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Operating System a Firmware or a Software?

We can consider Operating System as a Main Software that manages smaller software. We call it software because it can be Installed, Uninstalled, and altered by the user. Whereas, Firmware cannot be removed or reinstalled by the user. When your Operating System causes any issues, you can still open your computer with the help of Firmware. 

If you want to read more about What is Firmware, click on the link. 

How to Identify which OS you are using?

It is very easy to find out which Operating System you are using on your PC or Mobile Phone. When you start or restart your device, you can see the logo of the Operating System, like Windows, Apple, Linux, or any other.


An Operating System helps the user to perform tasks without understanding the computer language. With an Operating System, everything is neatly put on your screen. If you ever used MS-DOS, you will understand how many codes you have to write in order to execute a small task. So, several groups of people have worked together to create an Operating System. Now that you understand what is Operating System, comment below which operating system you are using.

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