There are numerous different types of operating systems available to computer users. An operating system (OS) provides the user with a way to access the computer’s hardware. Microsoft Windows® is a series of operating systems installed on most personal computers (PCs). Mac OS® is another popular type of operating system. Linux operating systems are free alternatives to Windows® and Mac OS®.
The Linux operating system can be obtained for free, even for commercial use.
Windows® is found on most computers and strives to provide a user-friendly operating system. The first versions of Windows® were made available in 1981. Over the years, various versions of Windows were released as technology advanced.
Macintosh computers and software are products of Apple Inc.
Mac OS® was created by Apple Inc., which took a different approach to the computer market, not only creating its own operating system, but also its own computers. For many years, this meant that Mac OS® could only be used on Apple-branded computers. In addition to computers, Mac OS® is used in many other Apple products.
In addition to the operating systems provided by Microsoft and Apple Inc., several free operating systems have been created. The best known of these free alternatives are the branches of operating systems known collectively as Linux. The Linux kernel, on which all Linux systems are based, was built on a much older operating system known as the Uniplexed Information and Computing System (UNIX).
Linux is based on the concept of free computer software. The Linux kernel itself is freely distributed, allowing a wide range of developers to use it to create their own version of Linux. This led to the development of a large number of free operating systems in a relatively short time. Open source development also allowed security patches and feature updates to be added quickly.
The fact that there are so many different versions that all use the name “Linux” causes confusion for many computer users. Also, many versions of Linux are oriented to provide advanced features with limited ease of use. This has resulted in Linux being used primarily for servers, where its security and stability help ensure that data is well protected. Linux operating systems have also been used on a number of other systems where cost and performance are major issues.