The first computers did not have operating systems. Each program that was running on these first computers had to include all the code needed to run on the computer, communicate with the connected hardware and perform the calculation that the program was intended to perform. This situation made even the simplest programs become very complex.
In response to this problem, the owners of the central computers began to develop system software that facilitated the writing and execution of the programs included in the computer, and thus the first operating systems were born.
The first operating system was created by General Motors in 1956 to run a single IBM central computer. In the 1960s, IBM was the first computer manufacturer to take on the task of developing operating systems and began distributing operating systems included in its computers.
The first operating systems were developed in the 1950s, when computers could only run one program at a time. Later in the following decades, computers began to include more and more software programs, sometimes called libraries, that came together to create the start of today’s operating systems.
In the late 1960s, the first version of the Unix operating system was developed. Written in programming language C, and available for free during its early years. Unix easily adapted to the new systems and quickly achieved wide acceptance.
Many modern operating systems, including Apple OS X and all different versions of Linux, date back or rely on the Unix OS.
Microsoft Windows was developed in response to an IBM request for an operating system to run its range of personal computers or PCs.
The first operating system created by Microsoft was not called Windows, it was called MS-DOS and it was built in 1981 when it bought the 86-DOS operating system from Seattle Computer Products and modified it to meet IBM requirements.
The Windows name was first used in 1985 when a graphical user interface was created and paired or joined with the MS-DOS.
Today Apple, OS X, Microsoft Windows and the various forms of Linux (including Android) dominate the vast majority of the modern operating systems market, as we saw earlier.
Video Operating Systems
Here is a video that explains very well everything about operating systems in a very simple way and which OS to choose. Once you have studied the operating system, we recommend you do the following exercise in the form of a Test: Test Operating Systems.
Most software programs are designed to work with the operating system of a single company, for example only Windows (Microsoft) or only macOS (Apple).
A software will clearly indicate what operating systems it supports and will be very specific if necessary including the version or versions of that OS it supports. For example, a video production software program might say that it is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7, but is not compatible with earlier versions of Windows such as Windows Vista and XP.
Software developers also usually release additional versions of their software that work with other operating systems or different versions. Returning to the example of the video production program, that company could also launch another version of the program with exactly the same features but to work with macOS, the place with Windows.
It is also important to know if your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit. It’s a common question that they ask you when downloading software Below you can see how to know if your computer is 32bit or 64bit in Windows.