Operating System - Different Of User Interface of OS

Operating System

An operating system (OS) can be considered to be a resource manager which manages all the resources of a computer, i.e., its hardware including CPU, RAM, Disk, Network and other input-output devices. It also controls various application software and device drivers, manages system security and handles access by different users. It is the most important system software. Examples of popular OS are Windows, Linux, Android, Macintosh and so on. 

    The primary objectives of an operating system are two-fold. The first is to provide services for building and running application programs. When an application program needs to be run, it is the operating system which loads that program into memory and allocates it to the CPU for execution. When multiple application programs need to be run, the operating system decides the order of the execution. 

    The second objective of an operating system is to provide an interface to the user through which the user can interact with the computer. A user interface is a software component which is a part of the operating system and whose job is to take commands or inputs from a user for the operating system to process.

Types of User Interface of Operating System

There are different types of user interfaces each of which provides a different functionality. Some commonly used interfaces are:

(A) Command-based Interface 

Command-based interface requires a user to enter the commands to perform different tasks like creating, opening, editing or deleting a file, etc. The user has to remember the names of all such programs or specific commands which the operating system supports. 

    The primary input device used by the user for command based interface is the keyboard. Command based interface is often less interactive and usually allows a user to run a single program at a time. 

    Examples of operating systems with command-based interface include MS-DOS and Unix.

(B) Graphical User Interface 

Graphical User Interface (GUI) lets users run programs or give instructions to the computer in the form of icons, menus and other visual options. Icons usually represent files and programs stored on the computer and windows represent running programs that the user has launched through the operating system. 

    The input devices used to interact with the GUI commonly include the mouse and the keyboard. Examples of operating systems with GUI interfaces include Microsoft Windows, Ubuntu, Fedora and Macintosh, among others. 

(C) Touch-based Interface 

Today smartphones, tablets and PCs allow users to interact with the system simply using the touch input. Using the touchscreen, a user provides inputs to the operating system, which are interpreted by the OS as commands like opening an app, closing an app, dialing a number, scrolling across apps, etc. 

    Examples of popular operating systems with touch based interfaces are Android and iOS. Windows 8.1 and 10 also support touch-based interfaces on touchscreen devices. 

(D) Voice-based Interface 

Modern computers have been designed to address the needs of all types of users including people with special needs and people who want to interact with computers or smartphones while doing some other task. For users who cannot use the input devices like the mouse, keyboard, and touchscreens, modern operating systems provide other means of human-computer interaction. Users today can use voice-based commands to make a computer work in the desired way. Some operating systems which provide voice-based control to users include iOS (Siri), Android (Google Now or “OK Google”), Microsoft Windows 10 (Cortana) and so on. 

(E) Gesture-based Interface 

Some smartphones based on Android and iOS as well as laptops let users interact with the devices using gestures like waving, tilting, eye motion and shaking. This technology is evolving faster and it has promising potential for application in gaming, medicine and other areas.