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Essential Guide to Computing: The Story of Information Technology, The by E. Garrison Walters

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Chapter 7. Microcomputer Operating Systems

While initial operating system development was in the province of mainframe and minicomputer vendors, the momentum of innovation has now shifted to where the market is—the smaller systems. Since these systems are used by lots of people who know little about computers (and often don't want to), much of the emphasis has been on the user interface. Beyond that, there are countervailing trends. Rapid improvements in desktop hardware have allowed their OSs to become huge, bloated monsters, often unreliable and complex to the user. On the other hand, the explosive growth in the market for handheld devices has shifted much of the focus of innovation back to software that is efficient and simple to use.

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