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Module 1: Computer Basics

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Lesson 2 Topic 2 What is an Operating System

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What Is an Operating System?
* Lesson 2 - COMMON COMPUTER TERMINOLOGY 2.2 - WHAT IS AN
OPERATING SYSTEM? [1] What Is an Operating System? [What
Is an Operating System?]

In addition to hardware, a computer needs software to function. Software
sends instructions to the hardware to perform the necessary tasks.

The most important software on the computer is the _operating system_,
which controls and manages the hardware connected to your computer. The
operating system provides an interface that helps you to interact with the
computer. An example of one of the latest operating systems is Windows
Vista.

A user interface can be either text-based or graphics-based. Most
operating systems provide a graphical user interface (GUI), which displays
images and pictures that allow you to interact with a computer easily.

An operating system with a GUI provides an easy-to-use interface to help
you install hardware or software. For example, Windows Vista provides a
setup wizard, which guides the user through each step of a particular task,
such installing hardware or software.

An operating system ensures that your computer is functioning properly.
You need to update your operating system regularly to ensure that it is
compatible with any new hardware that you install.

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