According to Kroenke (2012), the operating system provides a platform on which different applications run and provides controlled access to different resources. It is a program that enables users to send client requests to be serviced by a server program and receives responses on behalf of users based on a client-server model. The operating system enables read and writes operations on data, allocates main memory to applications, performs memory swapping, enables users to start and stop different applications, and provides backup and recovery mechanisms (Kroenke, 2012).
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The operating system ensures fair allocation of resources which includes the CPU to other programs in a process known as swapping. It is the operating system that provides a platform on which applications execute. It is important to note that operating systems exist in different versions and types. Examples include windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems. On the other hand, the hardware provides the platform on which the operating system executes and performs machine or binary instructions. The hardware consists of devices that support input and output functions, provides an interface for users to interact with the computer or the software by enabling users to enter commands which are translated by the operating system. Examples include the keyboard, document scanners, the mouse, and other peripheral devices (Kroenke, 2012).
Computer hardware functions
Kroenke (2012) describes different computer hardware devices which perform different functions and support different business processes by enabling automation of the business processes. Some of the business processes include database services. Typically, organizations require data storage technologies which include databases. Such services are provided by the computer hardware which is capable of storing a database (Lucey, 2005). Database services are implemented by the client who sends requests to the database using the client program. Any application which runs on the operating system executes on the computer hardware (processor) and provides services for applications to query the database and return results based on the client-server architecture. According to Kroenke (2012), the core elements that make up the hardware part of a computer include the processor, special function cards, and the main memory.
The processor is referred to as the central processing unit (CPU) and performs arithmetic and logic operations on data. The main memory is basically designed to store instructions and data from which the CPU fetches data to compute. Other peripherals which support the functions of the computer hardware include the keyboard, the mouse, the microphone, UPC reader, and a scanner (Kroenke, 2012). Typically, there are output hardware and storage hardware which are designed to store programs and data. Typical examples of input and output hardware include the keyboard and video display devices. An example of storage hardware includes magnetic disks such as the flash disks.
Organizations produce large amounts of data which need to be stored. The data can only be stored on storage hardware devices such as optical disks which include DVDs. In an organization, the operating system provides services by enabling the coordination of different applications to perform application-specific services. Different computer programs are assigned specialized roles, which reduces costs by replacing human beings with computers. Also, computer hardware provides repositories for data storage, which can be accessed retrieved, and generated for business use to influence decision making (Lucey, 2005).
Kroenke, D. M. (2012). MIS Essentials, New York: Prentice Hall. Web.
Lucey, T. (2005). Management Information Systems, New York: Thomson Learning. Web.