A personal computer has something installed on it called software. Software allows a computer to do different things. A computer needs software to be of use to people.

The most common type of software found on any personal computer is the operating system, which provides a user interface and some basic commands so users can actually do something on a computer. Almost every operating system these days has what is called a graphical user interface, which display programs in their own areas on the screen called windows.

Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system, but other systems, such as Linux and Macintosh, perform similarly and even allow you to use several programs at the same time. This is why such operating systems are said to be capable of multitasking: they can do more than one task at a time.

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Computer Basics: A Brief Introduction to Computers
Copyright 2002 Middletown Thrall Library