Learn why multitasking is so important.


All modern OSs support multitasking. This means they can execute multiple programs in parallel. The systems with this feature displaced the OSs without it. Why is multitasking so important?

Efficient usage of computers

The challenge of efficient usage of computers arose in the 1960s. Computers were relatively expensive at that time. Only large companies and universities were able to buy them. These organizations counted every minute they worked with their machines. They could not accept any idle time of the hardware because of its huge cost.

Batch processing

Earlier operating systems executed programs one after another without delays. This approach saved time originally spent switching computer tasks. If we were to use such an OS, we would need to prepare several programs and their input data in advance. Then, we would have to write the programs and their data onto a storage device, like a magnetic tape, and load the tape into the computer’s reading device. Afterward, the computer would execute the programs sequentially and print their results to an output device—for example, a printer. This mode of operation is called batch processing.

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