I will begin this assignment with a brief description of an Operating System. Every computer has an Operating System the most common are Windows and Unix, they have many tasks to complete all of which can fall into one of the following broad categories. o They run accessories o They translate High Level Programs o They perform all House Keeping Operations o They automate the actual running of the computer o And finally they perform all the commands that we use I could go into a lot more depth about these subjects, but this is not the purpose of this report. Compatibility is a common part of every modern day Operating System in one way or another. A compatible Operating System allows you to run and execute programas or files form other Operating System software or Hardware.

This is very useful because the World of technology is continually changing, its seems we are constantly hearing of new hardware and software that is to be released or even upgrades to old packages. All of these new releases and versions must be made compatible with the older systems, for instance I myself actually only ever use Microsoft Windows 95' from home but I am able to run Microsoft Office 97' without any major problems. The reason for this is that Microsoft have made sure that the technology they have implemented when writing the Windows system was sufficient so as the user would not have to change there Operating System repeatedly. Also Operating Systems have to be compatible with various hardware, and they have to be able to deal with the evolution of future hardware, e. g. new types of keyboards, monitors and mouse's.

Another reason that it is important to have compatible Operating Systems is that in most households / offices you will find people that use the same computer for very different reasons. This may mean that if a person wants to use a program that is not on there existing package e. g. Microsoft Office then he / she will be able to install this program because the Operating System is compatible to all kinds of Software.

Although it is true that you are able to run multiple Operating Systems on a single computer, this could prove to be very expensive and wasteful in terms of space. Although I support the idea of compatible systems I understood what the computer scientist was implying when he wrote "Compatibility is the recipe for stagnation." What I believe this to mean is that if every System is compatible, the Operating systems themselves will not be allowed to evolve, because people will not buy the latest version if there current version is serving its correct purpose. To summarise I think that compatibility is a very good thing, as us a users would find it very difficult to change our Operating System on a regular basis just to keep up with the latest technological trends. This is not to say we should never upgrade, as every system will someday become somewhat obsolete, just that we can prolong upgrading while the technology is there..