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Operating System

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Operating system placement

An operating system (OS) is a type of software, consisting of programs and data, that runs on computers and manages the computer hardware and provides common services for efficient execution of various application software.

For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between application programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is usually executed directly by the hardware, but will frequently call the OS or be interrupted by it. Operating systems are found on almost any device that contains a computer—from cellular phones and video game consoles to supercomputers and web servers.

Examples of popular modern operating systems for personal computers are Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.


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