A Comparison of Microsoft Windows and Apple Inc. Mac OS

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An Operating system is software that manages a computer’s functions, it is the most important piece of software on a computer. The Operating system is in charge of managing all software and hardware within the system. A significant responsibility of an Operating system is to manage different components of the system.

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Some of these components include: CPU or Central Processing Unit, memory, storage, and Input Output (I/O) devices. An Operating system can determine a user’s experience and capabilities with their chosen system. Two of the most popular Operating systems today are created by Microsoft and Macintosh. While there are numerous versions of each of the Operating systems Microsoft Windows and Mac OS continue to be two of the most prominently utilized today. This paper will give you a comparison of different components of the two Operating systems. Windows and Mac OS both serve the same purpose and execute the same core function, the goal is to see the differences in the execution of these

Apple’s Mac OS was first released in 1984 to serve as the Operating system for their line of personal computers. When released the marketing for the Operating system focused on the ease of use unlike any other personal computer (PC) at the time. The user interface was graphically based compared to typing commands directory paths at text prompts, users used a mouse to navigate Finder which housed icons representing folders and files. This inspired most computers to move to the GUI or Graphical User Interface that we are accustomed to today. Later versions of Mac OS offered features like file sharing over the Internet, network browsing, and multiple user accounts. Apart from a brief period in the early 1990s when Apple licensed Microsoft to use parts of Mac technologies, Mac OS was never licensed to use of the Operating system to any other computer manufacturers. In 1996 Apple acquired NeXt Computers. Steven Jobs developed NeXT Computers after leaving Apple. In 2001, after the return of Steve Jobs, Apple released OS X a major redesign. OS X was based on the most recent release of Mac OS and the NextStep system. OS X ran on UNIX kernel as its core software code, this offered technical advances. Some advancements offered by OS X included; memory protection, preemptive multitasking, Finder became more versatile, Aqua interface was introduced, and the Dock bar to launch frequently used applications. Beginning in 2007 Apple released a number of mobile devices with Internet connectivity. The iPhone smart phone and iPad their tablet computer were among those released. Mac OS’s ability to connect with these devices was a selling point for the mobile products. In April 2010 a voice assistant Application was acquired by Apple Inc., the assistant was introduced in the 4S release of the iPhone. Siri the digital voice assistant would go on to be incorporated in many Apple products. In 2011 Apple offered cloud computing, their release of iCloud allowed users to share data among all of their Apple devices whether they were running Mas OS X or their mobile operating system iOS. Subsequent release included Apple Watch their smart watch running watchOS and more connectivity features.

Today, roughly ninety percent of personal computer run a version of Microsoft Windows. Windows OS developed by windows to run personal computers featured the first graphical user interface for IBM compatible personal computers. Microsoft released the first version of Windows in 1985. Windows was an extension of Microsoft’s existing operating system MS-DOS with the added GUI. This was a result was due in part on the licensed Apple Inc. concepts. Windows allowed users to visually navigate with a mouse using the virtual desktop opening windows displaying the contents of folders and files no longer needing to type commands or directory paths. Later releases included additional functionality. Windows File Manager, Program Manager, Print Manager, and an improved UI were all introduced in following releases. Windows XP released in 2001 and united the various Windows packages under a single banner offering different editions for different types of customers for instance; consumers, businesses, multimedia developers and more. Windows 8 released in 2012 offered a new start screen with a grid display. Windows 8 also offered the ability to log on to a different machine running Windows 8 and experience their preferred settings. The 2015 release of Windows 10 introduced Cortana a digital personal assistant similar to Apple’s Siri, and a new improved web browser. Windows announced that Windows 10 would be the final version of Windows, updates will still occur but no large scale revisions.

A process is a program in execution. A process required resources including; CPU time, memory, and I/O devices to perform the process. The operating system is responsible for process creation and termination, resuming and pausing, as well as support for synchronization and communication.

In Windows every process contains one or more thread(s). A Windows thread is a basic executable unit. Threads are scheduled on the basis of the usual factors like; the availability of resources such as the CPU and physical memory, priority, fairness, and others. A thread includes different components. A stack for procedure calls, interruptions and exception handles is one element. The TLS or Thread Local Storage which is an array like collection of pointers giving each thread the ability to allocated storage to create its own unique data environment is another portion. An argument on the stack from creating the thread which is usually unique for each thread is also a factor. Lastly, a context structure which is maintained by the kernel with machine register values. Every Windows process includes resources. Some resources that may be include are; threads, a virtual address space that is distinct from other processes, code segments, data segments containing global variables, environment strings with environment variable information, the process heap, and open handles or other heaps.

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