The Operating System (OS) is an integral part of your computer.
It acts as an interpreter between the different application software
programs and your computer. The OS can understand the data, information
and commands used by different programs because those programs are
written or coded specifically for that Operating System's interface,
using it's standard rules, commands and protocols. It then translates
the many commands and information into procedures the computer can
understand. Computers are not of much use without an operating system.
Just a quick note on Operating Systems. As I said before, your
computer will not work without one. The accepted practice in most
stores is to sell computers with operating systems.
Recently, I was buying a computer for a customer and one particular
store had prices considerably lower than others. Of course, there
were the usual price cutting features, smaller hard drive, cheaper
video card, less RAM, etc..., but it would serve the purpose. They
offered the choice of Windows98 or 2000, which was really nice of
them... considering the fact that you had to buy it off the shelf!
If you wanted an Operating System with your computer, it was going
to cost you extra!
Make sure of what you're getting!
(No, I didn't buy there).