Operating system functions
In any computer, the operating system:
- Controls the backing store and peripherals such as scanners and printers.
- Deals with the transfer of programs in and out of memory.
- Organises the use of memory between programs.
- Organises processing time between programs and users.
- Maintains security and access rights of users.
- Deals with errors and user instructions.
- Allows the user to save files to a backing store.
- Provides the interface between the user and the computer - for example, Windows Vista and Apple OSX. For more information, see the User Interfaces study guide.
- Issues simple error messages.
In a larger computer such as a mainframe the operating system works on the same principles.