An operating system serves as the manager of a computer, overseeing the use of hardware, such as processors, and communicating with peripherals like printers. The OS provides the platform for application software and allow different programs to run at the same time. Operating systems also control digital devices like smartphones and tablets or the electronics found in automobiles.
Operating systems coursework could cover concepts such as virtual memory, CPU scheduling and synchronization methods that enable multiple applications to run. Students may delve into the features of modern multi-core processors, which make use of multi-threaded applications. Classes may focus on general knowledge or specific vendor solutions such as Microsoft Windows and Apple's OS X. Studies can also introduce you to open source technology such as the various Linux versions, including India's Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS).
An understanding of this field can be useful in different aspects of computing; for example, tech support staff and system administrators work with the operating systems running the machines in their corporate network. Programmers need an understanding of operating systems to write code for applications that will interact with an OS. People with specialized knowledge of an OS may become software developers, building programs or systems, which could be designed for specific organizations or for products that the public buys.