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Chapter 30. Mastering Computer and Netwo... > Client Operating System Software

Client Operating System Software

Computer hardware is great, but it doesn't get you anywhere by itself. Hardware requires software, usually operating system software, to do anything useful. An operating system, or OS, is the software that enables users and applications to interact with the computer hardware. An OS is essentially a set of baseline functions for the computer. There's no reason why each program couldn't essentially contain an OS and boot the system, but an OS essentially frees application designers from having to redesign the world each time they write software. The OS also offers consistent user and programming interfaces and standard ways of doing simple tasks such as copying data between applications.

There are a variety of operating system types:


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