Operating Systems vs. Web Operating Systems: Learning the Difference

In today's ever-changing digital and information technology (IT) landscape, the demand for tech-savvy individuals who can meet the complex computer needs of all types of organizations is greater than ever. If you’ve always been intrigued by subjects such as IT, software development, internet security, etc., then a job in the field of information technology may be perfect for you.

One of the most common questions on the subject of IT pertains to the differences between operating systems and web operating systems. While the two are far more similar than people often realize, it’s helpful to first understand a few other relevant terms:

  • Hardware – the physical parts (RAM, motherboards, etc.) of a computer or other similar device (e.g. tablet).
  • Software – the general term referring to all types of computer programs such as scripts, applications, etc.
  • System Software – the numerous files, programs, etc. that comprise your computer’s entire operating system.

What Is an Operating System (“OS”)?

An operating system is a type of software that, through direct communication with your computer’s hardware, enables the programs on your device to run, or function properly. All operating systems include the essential files (i.e. system software) your computer needs to quickly and effectively boot up.

Operating systems are included on all desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other similar devices. Some of the most common operating systems for desktop computers include OS X, Windows and Linux, just to name a few.

What Is a Web Operating System?

The primary difference between a device’s operating system and a web operating system is that the latter requires an internet server in order to function. Web operating systems are essentially web-based programs that mirror the features, layout and overall environment of their OS counterparts.

The major drawback of web OSs is that they cannot function without internet access; however one of their unique benefits is that they enable you, the user to access your "virtual" desktop from literally anywhere in the world, so long as you’re connected to the internet.

Intrigued by High-Tech Subjects Such as These?

If you’re the type of student who finds these challenging subjects to be fascinating, the majors within Upper Iowa University’s (UIU) cutting-edge Organizational Information Systems and Technology Program (OISTP) may be right up your alley.

About the OISTP Majors

We offer three innovative majors within this program – information technology (IT), information systems (IS) and software engineering (SE) – each of which will equip you with the in-depth knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a wide array of careers that are in high demand and regularly deemed as top jobs with better-than-average job outlooks, including:

  • Software Developers
  • Web Developers
  • Database Analysts
  • Security Analysts
  • Information Systems Analysts
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  • And Many More

Types of IT Classes You’ll Take in These Majors:

  • Networking
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Web Systems
  • IT Infrastructure
  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Forensics
  • Elementary Statistics
  • Network Management
  • Security Cyber Systems
  • Computer Architecture
  • Rational Problem Solving
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Advanced Computer Networks
  • Information and System Security
  • Foundations of Information Systems
  • Project Management and Integration
  • Database and Information Management

Take Your Tech Career to the Next Level with UIU

From specialists who install, customize and ensure the optimal performance of any and all parts of an organization's operating system and other tech components, to those who design, maintain and address complex software concerns, the employment outlook for individuals who can master these types of intellectually demanding subjects is extremely promising.

To learn more about the three majors offered within UIU’s innovative Organizational Information Systems and Technology Program, contact us today!