Introduction to GUI: Windows operating system

30/04/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

GUI is an interface that uses icons or other visual indicators to interact with electronic devices, rather than only text via a command line. For example, all versions of Microsoft Windows is a GUI, whereas MS-DOS is a command line. The GUI was first developed at Xerox PARC by Alan Kay, Douglas Engelbart, and a group of other researchers in 1981. Later, Apple introduced the Lisa computer with a GUI on January 19, 1983.

The actions in a GUI are usually performed through direct manipulation of the graphical elements. Beyond computers, GUIs are used in many handheld mobile devices such as MP3 players, portable media players, gaming devices, smartphones and smaller household, office and industrial controls. The term GUI tends not to be applied to other lower-display resolution types of interfaces, such as video games (where head-up display (HUD) is preferred), or not including flat screens, like volumetric displays because the term is restricted to the scope of two-dimensional display screens able to describe generic information, in the tradition of the computer science research at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.

How does a GUI work?

A GUI uses windows, icons, and menus to carry out commands, such as opening, deleting, and moving files. Although a GUI operating system is primarily navigated using a mouse, the keyboard can also be used to navigate using keyboard shortcuts or the arrow keys.

As an example, if you wanted to open a software program on a GUI operating system, you would move the mouse pointer to the program’s icon and double-click the icon.

Benefits of GUI

Unlike a command line operating system or CUI, like Unix or MS-DOS, GUI operating systems are much easier to learn and use because commands do not need to be memorized. Additionally, users do not need to know any programming languages. Because of their ease of use, GUI operating systems have become the dominant operating system used by today’s end-users.

What are examples of a GUI operating system?

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Apple System 7 and macOS
  • Chrome OS
  • Linux variants like Ubuntu using a GUI interface.

Are all operating systems GUI?

No. Early command line operating systems like MS-DOS and even some versions of Linux today have no GUI interface.

What are examples of a GUI interface?

  • KDE
  • Any Microsoft program (e.g., Word, Excel, and Outlook).
  • Internet browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox).

How does the user interact with a GUI?

The user uses a pointing device such as the mouse to interact and use most aspects of the GUI. However, it is also possible to interact with a GUI using a keyboard or other input devices.

Windows operating system

Functions of an Operating System

An operating system performs various functions, and each function serves a specific purpose:

  1. Process Management: Manages the creation, deletion, and execution of processes. It provides mechanisms for synchronization and communication among processes to ensure efficient utilization of system resources.
  2. Memory Management: Allocates and de-allocates memory space to programs, handling the organization and retrieval of data from primary and secondary memory.
  3. File Management: Controls file-related activities, including storage, retrieval, naming, sharing, and protection of files. It ensures efficient access and manipulation of data stored in files.
  4. Device Management: Keeps track of all devices connected to the system, handling the allocation and de-allocation of devices for various processes.
  5. I/O System Management: Hides hardware peculiarities from the user, ensuring seamless input and output operations between the user and the hardware devices.
  6. Secondary-Storage Management: Manages different levels of storage, such as primary storage, secondary storage, and cache storage. It ensures that instructions and data are appropriately stored for efficient program execution.
  7. Security: Protects the computer system’s data and information from unauthorized access and malware threats, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive data.
  8. Command Interpretation: Interprets commands given by users and directs system resources to process these commands effectively.
  9. Networking: Facilitates communication and coordination among distributed systems, enabling processors to communicate through a network without shared memory or hardware devices.
  10. Job Accounting: Keeps track of the time and resources utilized by different jobs and users for monitoring and billing purposes.
  11. Communication Management: Coordinates and assigns software resources (e.g., compilers, interpreters) among various users of the computer system.

Types of Operating system

  • Batch Operating System
  • Multitasking/Time Sharing OS
  • Multiprocessing OS
  • Real Time OS
  • Distributed OS
  • Network OS
  • Mobile OS

Batch Operating System

Some computer processes are very lengthy and time-consuming. To speed the same process, a job with a similar type of needs are batched together and run as a group.

The user of a batch operating system never directly interacts with the computer. In this type of OS, every user prepares his or her job on an offline device like a punch card and submit it to the computer operator.

Multi-Tasking/Time-sharing Operating systems

Time-sharing operating system enables people located at a different terminal(shell) to use a single computer system at the same time. The processor time (CPU) which is shared among multiple users is termed as time sharing.

Real time OS

A real time operating system time interval to process and respond to inputs is very small. Examples: Military Software Systems, Space Software Systems.

Distributed Operating System

Distributed systems use many processors located in different machines to provide very fast computation to its users.

Network Operating System

Network Operating System runs on a server. It provides the capability to serve to manage data, user, groups, security, application, and other networking functions.

Mobile OS

Mobile operating systems are those OS which is especially that are designed to power smartphones, tablets, and wearables devices.

Some most famous mobile operating systems are Android and iOS, but others include BlackBerry, Web, and watchOS.

Difference between Firmware and Operating System

Basis of Comparison Firmware Operating System
Definition Permanent software embedded in hardware Software that manages hardware and software resources
Function Provides low-level control to hardware devices Manages higher-level operations and user interactions
Location Stored in non-volatile memory (ROM/Flash) Installed on storage media (HDD/SSD) and loaded into RAM during boot
Execution Executes on specific hardware directly at startup Executes on top of firmware, coordinating various hardware components
Scope Typically limited to a specific device or component Runs on a wide range of devices and supports various applications
Customizability Often difficult to modify or update Frequently updated and customizable to support new features and enhancements
Interaction Usually has no direct user interaction Provides a user-friendly interface for user interactions
Examples BIOS, UEFI (for computers) Windows, macOS, Linux (for computers)
Primary Purpose To initialize and control hardware components To manage resources, provide services, and execute applications
Upgrades and Updates Firmware updates are less frequent and may require special tools OS updates are regular, easily accessible, and user-installable

Difference between 32-Bit vs. 64 Bit Operating System

Basis of Comparison 32-Bit OS 64-Bit OS
Bit Size Uses 32 bits to represent data and memory Uses 64 bits to represent data and memory
Memory Limit Limited to addressing 4 GB of RAM Can address a significantly larger amount of RAM (over 4 GB)
Application Support May not support all 64-bit applications Fully supports both 32-bit and 64-bit applications
Performance Generally, may be slightly less efficient due to smaller data chunks and memory limitations Generally offers improved performance due to larger data chunks and enhanced memory addressing
Hardware Compatibility Compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit processors Compatible only with 64-bit processors
System Requirements Can run on both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware Requires 64-bit hardware to run
Recommended Use Suitable for older or resource-constrained systems Recommended for modern systems with ample RAM and processing power
Security May have slightly lower security due to limitations in address space randomization Offers improved security features, including higher address space randomization
Software Updates May receive fewer updates and enhancements compared to 64-bit OS Generally, more actively supported with regular updates and improvements
Software Compatibility May have compatibility issues with some newer applications optimized for 64-bit OS Fully compatible with a wide range of modern software

Advantage of using Operating System

  • Allows you to hide details of hardware by creating an abstraction
  • Easy to use with a GUI
  • Offers an environment in which a user may execute programs/applications
  • The operating system must make sure that the computer system convenient to use
  • Operating System acts as an intermediary among applications and the hardware components
  • It provides the computer system resources with easy to use format
  • Acts as an intermediator between all hardware’s and software’s of the system

Disadvantages of using Operating System

  • If any issue occurs in OS, you may lose all the contents which have been stored in your system
  • Operating system’s software is quite expensive for small size organization which adds burden on them. Example Windows
  • It is never entirely secure as a threat can occur at any time