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September 2018, Vol. 2, No. 5

Why you don't always need a general-purpose operating system

Applications that require high CPU performance or fast scale-out capabilities could benefit from eliminating the general-purpose operating system and using something purpose-built instead. The most common operating systems today are Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS and macOS, Google Android and Linux. These are all examples of general-purpose operating systems, which are developed to support a variety of independently developed applications and provide support for a wide range of functions. Applications, on the other hand, are typically written in a way that ties them to the operating system type that IT will deploy them on. Even web applications running in Docker containers still generally end up being tied to a specific OS, web server and/or database. Cross-platform application development is an option, but it is often more efficient to build an application using the OS and library stack that IT will ultimately deploy it on instead. Building applications on a general-purpose operating system usually leads to higher programming ...

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