When choosing an operating system for use within a specific environment, it is important to research the purpose it has been developed for as well as exploring its features and functions. This will ensure a users requirements are successfully met. Currently, the marketplace has an assortment of operating systems widely available; Mac OSX, DOS and Windows 7 to name but a few. All of these are categorized into one of two possible groups:
Command Line Systems - Require the user to physically type instructions for the computer to execute in order to perform desired tasks (see figure 1). As the technology continues to develop, new Command Line systems are rarely developed and as a whole they are becoming absolute in favor of more user friendly systems. The vast majority of computer users will have little knowledge of their existence or purpose despite their initial presence revolutionizing the computing world as we no it now.
Figure 1 – Command LineSystem
Graphical User Interface (GUI) Systems
Present a user friendly visual representation of available applications, features and functions with the aid of WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointing Device) (see figure 2) thus eliminating the need to constantly type commands.
Figure 2 – WIMP OS
For the purpose of this report, I will be focusing on two of Windows current GUI systems, XP vs. Vista and analyzing their suitability for the new staffroom computer suite.
First introduced in 2001, Windows XP has become the fastest selling, most internationally successful operating system to belong to the Microsoft family. Initially developed to overcome the poor stability and incompatibility issues associated with its predecessors, Windows 98 and 95. Microsoft’s XP also offered users a new type of experience by delivering a multi-purpose working environment with the aid of an enhanced interface to promote easy navigation and optimum simplicity (see figure 3)
Figure 3 – Example of XP’s Desktop Layout
Microsoft also struck the jackpot by cleverly devising and launching two separate versions of XP, Home and Professional, each designed to incorporate the key requirements for the designated users.
Some Basic Features of Windows XP Some Advanced Features of Home and Professional Windows XP - Professional
|User Administration |
|Offline Folders and Files |
|Desktop Sharing |
|Multiple Monitors Capability |
|Automated System Restore |
|Enhanced Power Management |
|Wireless Networking Support |
|Peer to Peer Networking Support |
|Advanced Troubleshooters |
|Feature | |Simple User Interface | |Reduced reboot scenarios | |Remote Assistant | |Fast User Switching | |Network Assistant | |System Restore | |Internet Explorer 6 | |Windows Defender | |Windows Firewall | |Windows Movie Maker | |Windows Media Player |
This instantly made the new system the most attractive solution to both home and business users worldwide....