This paper discusses the various types of operating systems that are commonly used for the internet. The paper explains the general meaning of the operating systems and then discusses the various types of operating systems which support the internet applications. An operating system is a software component of a computer system that is responsible for the management of various activities of the computer and the sharing of computer resources. Operating Systems provide a base software platform on top of which other programs called application programs can run.
Operating systems enable user to interact with the computer systems by acting as an interface between users or the application programs and the computer hardware. The different operating systems available in the market offer a wide choice for the user. However, with the increasing internet usage, the choice of operating system greatly depends on how well the OS supports the activities of the internet based applications. The different operating systems provide different types of browsers to enable internet usage. Linux is the most popular operating system for the internet and is based on UNIX, just like the Mac OS X.
Linux offers larger amount of free space and open source software and is more equipped than any of the other counterparts. Comparing the features of the various OS, Hughes states that one of the most important features of the Linux operating system is its set of internet clients and servers including mail, news, FTP, web as well as the proxy clients and servers. Owing to the range of Linux distributions to offer, Linux is easily customizable. The use of compatibility layers such as Wine, makes Linux attuned with the windows programs and hence a good choice for the internet.
The system is less prone to viruses and hence more reliable, especially for the internet. The system is freely available and far less expensive. This advanced operating system is most popular and recommended for internet users. BSD operating systems are very similar to Linux operating systems and fully support internet access. Both Linux and BSD come with full functionality for regular dial-up, PPP-based, cable modem, and Ethernet connections. Sun Operating system, which is a part of Sun Microsystems Solaris, is yet another OS commonly used for internet networked applications (Linfo, 2004).
Although not so commonly used, BSD and IRIX also considered as good operating systems for the internet applications. Linux is considered to be safer for web hosting servers. It is found to b more reliable, stable and efficient (Internet-Web Hosting). Microsoft Windows has been the most common operating system. The series of operating systems started with MS_DOS, Windows 95, Windows NT, XP and the now popular Windows Vista. Owing to the largest library of programs and applications, and the ease of hardware compatibility that it renders, Windows continues to be one of the commonly opted operating systems.
However, considering the performance speed and security issues, Windows might not be the best choice for the internet. Windows operating system is prone to viruses and spy ware because of which it necessitates the installation and maintenance of the internet security software. Apple’s Mac OS X is the second most popular operating system based on UNIX. The OS is relatively simpler and more compatible. It offers many advanced features along with an intuitive interface. Mac OS X supports second largest selection of software and is the most reliable operating system.
Unlike the Windows Operating system, Mac OS X is not prone to virus or malware and is a better choice for the internet when compared to Windows for certain cases. However, the limited compatibility with the Apple hardware imposes a constraint on the system being used across the internet. Unlike the Windows, the Mac OS X does not require the frequent expenditure on the internet security software subscriptions and is thus less expensive as compared to the Windows. The choice of Operating Systems for running Internet applications primarily depends on the type of user.
While Windows may be the choice of home and leisure users, Linux is generally used by professionals. Windows offers ease of use whereas Linux provides Security and Open source. References Hughes, P. , Operating Systems Comparison. Retrieved on April 14, 2009 from http://netshooter. com/linux/oscomp. html The Most Popular Operating Systems. 2004. Linux Information Project Retrieved on April 14, 2009 from http://www. linfo. org/operating_systems_list. html Internet-Web Hosting. Retreived on April 14, 2009 from http://www. internet-webhosting. com/whichplan. php