There are two categories of Operating Systems. The first, like Linux, manage system resources and provide an interface between the user and the underlying hardware/software, enabling humans to effectively use computers.
The second, like Windows, basically look good and pretend to do a million different things, but can’t do any of them correctly or efficiently. As is the case with everything else in life (such as music, for example – think Britney Spears vs Pink Floyd), the second category has a much larger and much more visible fan following (ahem, sorry, “user base”*).
*I’m referring to Desktop Operating Systems
All that apart, Operating Systems pose the ultimate technical challenge in computer programming, and that’s the reason I’m writing about them here.
“UNIX is an operating system, OS/2 is half an operating system, Windows is a shell, and DOS is a boot partition virus.”
- Operating System Concepts (6th Edition), By Abraham Silberschatz, Peter Baer Galvin, Greg Gagne (Wiley, 2001 )