A computer's operating system is the framework that enables the installed software to communicate with the computer's hardware to get work done. The operating system is responsible for managing memory, reading and writing data to the hard drives, and controlling the input and output requests from the various connected devices. There are several different operating systems available.
Continual development and improvement have resulted in the Windows versions used by millions of people throughout the world. Windows typically comes preinstalled on new PCs, but you can choose to reinstall it using the Windows CDs.
Device drivers are software that let the operating system control the connected system hardware. You can update these drivers using the Device Manager; updating a driver can improve the performance of a problem device.
Software updates can include simple patches or more comprehensive service packs. Some software, including Windows, can automatically search for and install updates using the Internet.
Vista is the next-generation version of Windows and offers PC users a new level of efficiency.