We've all got a favorite operating system, whether it helps us get things done or waste as much time as possible. But beyond the flashy graphics and apps, it's easy to lose sight of what an operating system really is, and why one seems 'better' or 'worse.' So we thought it'd be fun to put together some interesting facts and figures about operating systems to remind everyone of what they really are.
General Motors built the world's first OS, GM-NAA I/O, way back in 1956. It didn't do much, other than automatically running a series of programs, as soon as the previous was completed. Back in the day, that was advanced stuff, since the usual method tended to involve hanging punch-card programs on a clothes line and manually loading them into the computer, one after another. It's probably more like our modern concept of a 'kernel' than an operating system, since it only managed basic functions.