8.2   OPERATING SYSTEMS

Originally, the main role of an operating system was to help various applications interact with the computer hardware. Operating systems provide a necessary set of functions that allow software packages to control the computer’s hardware. Without an operating system, each program you run would need its own driver for the video card, the sound card, the hard drive, and so on.

Although modern operating systems still perform this function, users’ expectations of operating systems have changed considerably. They assume that an operating system will make it easy for them to manage the system and its resources. This expectation has resulted in “drag and drop” file management, as well as “plug and play” device management. ...

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