April 1, 2013
Operating systems are the link between the user and the applications and the hardware. They are responsible for deciding how the user commands will be interpreted and how the operating system itself will carry the process. There are several different types of operating and each carries out processing in their own way. Windows, UNIX/Linux and Mac are some of the most popular and widely used operating systems. Even though each of these is unique, as operating systems they all share the same general functions. They are responsible for allocating processes to maximize processor use while also making sure response time is not negatively affected. They are also responsible for dedicating resources to processes while maintaining order, with low priority processes being pushed back and higher priority processes being moved forward. This must also be done while avoiding deadlock, which is an infinite loop of processes waiting on each other to be executed. Newer operating systems may also be required to support communication between processes and user creation of processes. Even though operating systems share the same goals, they can have very different ways of achieving them. Windows in particular is the most widely used operating system and therefore it focuses on providing support for a wide range of environments. Process management on Windows is guided by the user ID. When a user logs on they are given a token that includes their information and preferences and what files and programs they have access to, this is known as a security ID. Windows can then determine how to process user commands. Windows process management focuses on how processes are named and whether threads are provided within the processes. It also focuses on how processes are represented, related and protected and what mechanisms are used for process communication and synchronization. Processes are...