Answer to Question #52524 in Other Programming & Computer Science for biruk
At the simplest level, an operating system does twothings:
1. Itmanages the hardware and software resources of the system. In a desktop
computer, these resources include such things as the processor, memory, disk
space and more (On a cell phone, they include the keypad, the screen, the
address book, the phone dialer, the battery and the network connection).
The first task, managing the hardware and softwareresources, is very important, as various programs and input methods compete for
the attention of the central processing unit (CPU) and demand memory, storage
and input/output (I/O) bandwidth for their own purposes. In this capacity, the
operating system plays the role of the good parent, making sure that each
application gets the necessary resources while playing nicely with all the
other applications, as well as husbanding the limited capacity of the system to
the greatest good of all the users and applications.
2. Itprovides a stable, consistent way for applications to deal with the hardware
without having to know all the details of the hardware.
Providing a consistent application interface, isespecially important if there is to be more than one of a particular type of
computer using the operating system, or if the hardware making up the computer
is ever open to change. A consistent application program interface (API) allows
a software developer to write an application on one computer and have a high
level of confidence that it will run on another computer of the same type, even
if the amount of memory or the quantity of storage is different on the two
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