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Lesson 4Operating systems
ObjectiveDefine the role and vendors of operating systems in e-Commerce.

What are operating systems?

Operating Systems
Operating Systems

Operating systems (OS) provide low-level software services. They convert a core instruction set available in the CPU and peripherals into a set of executable and manageable functions. This conversion occurs through higher-level software functions, such as:
  1. Programming languages/compilers
  2. Management Applications: Any application that manages desktop systems (either remotely or directly on the system).
  3. Middleware: Acts as an interoperability platform between unrelated software architectures and applications.

Windows OS

The most famous operating system in the world is Microsoft's Windows. Today there are several versions of Windows.
  1. Windows OS is used for PCs
  2. Windows CE is used for handheld devices and very small mobile computers
  3. Windows Server is used for servers and workstations.

In early 2000, Microsoft will supercede Windows NT with Windows 2000, Microsoft's new line of server and workstation operating systems. Microsoft plans to offer high-end versions of Windows 2000, including a 64-bit variety, so that Microsoft can compete with Unix and other more established operating systems on larger hardware servers.

Operating system standards

Leading operating systems in terms of market share, and in particular in terms of use in e-Commerce include:
Apple Multiple Virtual Storage (MVS) UNIX
HP-UX Netware (Novell) Windows

There are, however, more than a dozen other operating systems with legitimate market share and vendor support, and all are candidates for e-Commerce solutions. For example:
  1. SCO Unix is still used by tens of thousands of small businesses
  2. There is still plenty of VMS and Digital Unix from the Digital Equipment Corporation (now part of Compaq)
  3. Several Japanese and German computer manufacturers, like Hitachi, Fujitsu, and Siemens-Nixdorf, use their own operating systems for some of their solutions.
In addition, there are several real-time operating systems (RTOs) used for embedded systems and handheld devices.
  1. Operating system standards
  2. Operating system subgroups
  3. Operating systems can be further broken down into three subgroups:
Operating system vendor/tool list

Operating system vendor/tool list

Vendor Product Name(s) (if applicable) Subcategory
Apple MacOS Client
Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 Client
3Com PalmOS Device
Microsoft Windows CE Device
Sun Microsystems J2ME, ChorusOS Device
Hewlett-Packard HP-UX Server
IBM AIX, OS/400, MVS Server
Microsoft Windows NT Server
Novell Netware Server
Red Hat Linux Server
SCO SCO Unix Server
Silicon Graphics IRIX Server
Sun Microsystems Solaris Server

Please see the Resources section of the course to download a PDF file containing a complete list of all of the vendors and tools covered in this course, along with URLs to the vendor Websites.
  1. Client OS:
  2. Server OS:
  3. Device OS: Operating system used for handheld devices

Programming Languages/Compilers: A program that translates source code (e.g. html) into object code.