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Technical Essay

1705 words - 7 pages

(2014Spring) INFO TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE INFO-300-901-2014Spring |
Technical Essay 3 |
a comparative analysis |
Kym Harris |
4/26/2014 |


Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and Red Hat Linux are the most popular operating systems used today. All three platforms have pros and cons, but many users struggle to find the right OS to serve their computing needs. While Macintosh and Linux seem to be impenetrable to viruses, Windows suffers a great deal from such intrusions. On the other hand, users find Windows to be easier to navigate than the other two operating systems. Macintosh, operating on the Apple computer platform is very expensive in comparison to the ...view middle of the document...

* 1995-Windows 95 was launched. This new version included internet support, and the debut of the ‘start’ button we have all become familiar with. It also introduced features such as the task bar, and the max/min and close buttons on each window.
* 1998-2000- Windows 98, 2000, and Millennium Edition (Me) are released to the public. At this stage, Microsoft has started to design products for the home consumer as opposed to businesses. Windows 98 introduced the quick launch bar and support for reading DVD’s and USB’s.
* 2001- Windows XP shows off a new look and boast more user friendly features. It becomes available in 25 languages and is the fastest and most stable operating system Microsoft has created. XP was the first OS to offer different versions for home users and professionals.
* 2006- Windows Vista, an answer to the many concerns of the operating systems security, was released. This version included many features to optimize security, protecting data and preventing harmful software attacks.
* 2009- Windows 7 is introduced and marketed towards wireless users. Functionality was improved and a touchscreen version was available.
* 2012- Windows 8 is Microsoft’s most innovative operating system yet. Its features include built in apps, a Windows store, a start screen with tiles to connect apps, a new taskbar, and streamlined file management. (A history of Windows, 2014)
Basic Architecture
“Windows 2000 architecture is the latest architecture of Windows operating system and the newer versions of the Windows OS have the same structure as Windows 2000. This structure is a modular structure, composed of several simple modules” (Windows Operating System Architecture, 2013). The first module is the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) which is programming that hides keeps the operating system from recognizing hardware differences, allowing it to be functional on several hardware platforms. Next is the Kernel which works with the HAL to schedule activities that the CPU must perform, improves performance by coordinating activity among the processors, and is known as the ‘heart’ of the operating system. The kernel and HAL are part of the Executive Services, which is a group of services managed by components that interact with input/output devices, object management, process management and the system security (Windows Operating System Architecture, 2013). The last module of the Windows operating system architecture is the User mode, which includes two protected subsystems. The Environment subsystem “provides the ability to run programs written for different operating systems” while the Integral subsystem “handles the user mode functions, including logon and access control” (Solomon, 2013).

Security Mechanisms (CIA)
The latest Microsoft operating system, Windows 8 has some legacy security mechanisms that have been updated as well as some new security features. Address space layout randomization (ASLR) is a function that randomly...

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