What is Multitasking?
Multiple programs can be run simultaneously, thanks to this logical expansion of a multiprogramming system. In a contemporary computer system, the word "multitasking" is employed. The ability to multitask in an operating system enables users to do multiple computer tasks simultaneously. "Many tasks" also refers to processes that utilise a CPU or other equivalent processing resources. The operating system keeps track of your development in these fields and allows you to switch between them without losing any information.
While multitasking was not completely enabled in early operating systems, it was possible to run many programmes simultaneously. Due to this, a single piece of software may use the entire computer's CPU while performing a specific task. The user could not complete other operations, like opening and dismissing windows, due to limitations imposed by fundamental operating system features, such as file copying. Because modern operating systems are fully capable of multitasking, several programmes can run concurrently without interfering. Additional features include the simultaneous operation of numerous operating system processes.
Different Forms of Multitasking
Multitasking can be divided into two basic categories. A handful of them are listed below:
- Preemptive Multitasking
- Cooperative Multitasking
An operating system for a computer is given the specific duty of preemptive multitasking. Before giving another process access to the operating system, it determines how long one task should be given to complete. Preemptive refers to a process where the operating system manages every step of the way.
In desktop operating systems, preemptive multitasking is employed. The Unix operating system first used this form of multitasking. Preemptive multitasking was introduced to Windows in Windows NT and Windows 95. Proactive multitasking was added to the Macintosh with OS X. When another programme should take over the CPU, and this operating system alerts the currently running programmes.
"Non-Preemptive Multitasking" is the name for cooperative multitasking. Working on the current job while allowing another process to execute on the CPU is the primary goal of cooperative multitasking. Using taskYIELD, this task is completed (). Context-switch is conducted upon calling the taskYIELD() method. MacOS and Windows both employed collaborative multitasking. After completing a brief unit of work in response to a message, a Windows programme will hand the CPU over to the operating system and wait for another message. It worked perfectly as long as the apps were well-written and free of errors.
Benefits of Multitasking
There are various benefits of multitasking; some are as follows:
In charge of several users
This operating system supports several concurrent users, and several apps can run without the system being sluggish.
The finest virtual memory mechanism is found in operating systems that can handle numerous tasks. Because of virtual memory, no programme has to wait a long time to perform its tasks; if a problem arises, those apps are moved to virtual memory.
Use Several Programs
Multiple programmes, including an internet browser, games, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and other utilities, can be operated at once by users.
Maximise the capabilities of the computer
I/O devices, RAM, hard drives, CPU, and other resources may all be managed by a multitasking operating system.
Background processes can operate more effectively under a multitasking operating system. Although most users are unaware of these background programmes, they are essential to the smooth operation of other programmes like firewalls, antivirus software, and others.
To avoid waiting for the CPU, each task is given a certain amount of time.
Memory management is specified in operating systems that support many tasks. Because of this, the operating system forbids any permits for undesired apps to consume memory.
Users are happy as a result of the increased flexibility provided by multitasking operating systems. It allows each user to run one or more programmes simultaneously.
Drawbacks of Multitasking
The following list of drawbacks of multitasking includes:
In a multitasking environment, more tasks must be completed simultaneously by more processors, which increases CPU heat production.
The Memory Boundary
Due to the main memory becoming overcrowded when loading numerous programmes, the computer may function slowly when several programmes run simultaneously. Reaction time lengthens because the CPU cannot offer distinct times for every programme. Low-capacity RAM usage is the main root of this problem. As a result, a fix can be offered by increasing the RAM capacity.
The Processor's Bounds
Because of their slow CPUs, the system might run programmes slowly, and processing several programmes might cause their reaction time to lengthen. More computing power is necessary to find a solution to this issue.