This video helps viewers understand exactly what an operating system is. Windows 10 is an operating system, which defines the interface of your computer. Using some simple analogies, this video clarifies what the operating system does and what can be accomplished through the operating system.
- [Instructor] Windows is an operating system. An operating system is the core software on your computer. It's the platform or foundation that supports every operation on your computer. It defines the user interface on your system. And in a way, you can think of it as the personality of your computer. As operating systems, Windows, Linux, and Mac OS all do basically the same things, but its the interface, design and layout of the controls in these operating systems that make them feel completely different from each other.
Even though we're talking about Windows 10 in this course, I want to start by setting up some core analogies that will help you understand how operating systems work in general. So let's start by thinking about your computer as if it were your office. And in my office, the place where I usually start is at my desk. Looking at the surface of my desk, I have a few things that I always need at arm's reach. My telephone, my pencil jar, my stapler, and probably some documents that I know I'll be working with today. The analogy to your computer here is pretty clear.
The first thing that you see on your computer is your desktop. That's the empty screen that is underneath everything else on your computer. And it's the only thing you see when you do not have an application open. You can store files on your desktop but like your real world desktop, I recommend that you keep just a few things that you need quick access to. Generally it's not a great idea to store everything you need directly on your desktop. Just like a real world desktop in your office, it's very easy for your computer desktop to get painfully messy and cluttered to the point where you cannot find anything.
Besides, there's a much better system in place to take care of all that clutter. And once you make that decision to use it, you can keep things organized very clearly. So what is that system that we use to keep our files organized. Well that's our next analogy. Here in my office, if I get too many files and documents sitting on my desk, eventually I'm going to want to file away the documents that I'm not using right now. So I file those things away in my filing cabinet. Every single document that's important to me can be stored in this filing cabinet.
And I can set up a logical order so that any of those documents can be found very quickly. So where is the filing cabinet on your Windows computer? Well the filing cabinet is your hard drive and you access it using File Explorer. Even if you have five hard drives connected to your computer you can always get to them using File Explorer. You can think of File Explorer like an application, like Microsoft Word or your web browser. But the focus of this application is to browse all of your files and folders to organize everything that you have stored on your computer.
So let's take a moment here to look at how you get to File Explorer on your computer. Down here at the bottom of my screen, you will see the taskbar. Unless you've changed the default setup, File Explorer should be one of the icons here in this taskbar. So you can click on File Explorer here and it opens up the File Explorer window. And here you can browse through all your files and folders. Now the third thing that I want to establish is the idea of running applications on your computer.
For most people, this is the most important part. Usually when you sit down at your computer it's because you want to use an application like the web browser or a document editor, like Microsoft Word. Or you want to organize your photo library. If you are the boss in your office, then you can think of each of these applications like your employees. Now my analogy breaks down a little bit here because all of your applications are stored somewhere inside your computer's hard drive. Of course in the real world, you don't keep your employees in a filing cabinet.
Nevertheless on your computer, you need a way to interface with your applications. Just like in your office, you need to communicate with all your employees. So as we learn Windows, we'll talk about things like the taskbar down here at the bottom of the screen where you can launch some of your applications and switch between them. So for example, I see an icon for Edge, the web browser. I can click on that icon to launch that application. We'll also talk about the Start menu which is where you can get a much larger list of all of the applications on your computer and you could find something that you wanted to launch from here.
Maybe the Weather app. I can find that here and click on that to launch it. And that finishes off the analogies that I wanted you to keep in mind as we go through this course. This should give you a pretty good idea of what an operating system like Windows 10 is and what its capabilities are if you did not already know. I hope that helps you think of the futures of Windows 10 framed as working with parts of your office.
- Launching applications
- Interacting with windows, menus, and ribbons
- Multitasking to switch between multiple applications
- Switching to tablet mode
- Managing files and folders with the File Explorer
- Browsing the web with Edge
- Working with email, contacts, and calendars
- Using and installing apps
- Managing display and account settings
- Backing up Windows 10
- Troubleshooting Windows 10
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 12/08/2017. What changed?
A: The following topics were updated: understanding essential folder structure, including the user folder; using shortcuts to files and folders; and creating 3D objects in Paint 3D.