All computers have operating systems, whether they are personal computers, handheld devices, or large supercomputers. The operating system determines how other programs run, the file structure of the system, how data is stored and processed, and even how peripherals are connected to the system. The operating system of a computer is the program that users rarely notice. It is always running, and defines the very way in which users interact with their system.
When computers were the nearexclusive domain of scientists and engineers, most computer users were familiar with the structure and characteristics of their operating systems, which varied from manufacturer to manufacturer. As personal computers gained a wider audience of nonscientific users, and as technology advanced to third and fourthgeneration programming languages that require less specialized knowledge, the relationship between the end user and the operating system has grown less direct. Advances in operating systems continue to be made, and today, Microsoft Windows dominates the personal computer market, with Apple machines running a proprietary operating system. However, two other operating systems, OS/2 and Linux also maintain a small market share, and OS/2 has a joint history with Windows. This research compares and contrasts OS/2 and Linux, including their future potential.
COMPARISON OF AND CONTRASTS BETWEEN OS/2 AND LINUX
OS/2 was the result of a short-lived partnership between Microsoft and IBM in which the two companies sought to create a standard operating system to succeed PC-DOS, which was, in turn, based on Microsoft's MS-DOS. The move to OS/2 was brought about by a need for multi-tasking; that is, for computers to be able to perform more than one function at a time. OS/2 addressed that issue, but Microsoft continued development on Windows and the two companies quickly parted ways. OS/2 remained a proprietary system with development occurri...