Sistemas operativos: de la edad de piedra a la época dorada

Han pasado muchos años desde la invención del primer sistema operativo a mediados de los años 50. Este surgió como todas las cosas, para cubrir una necesidad específica, la cual consistía en que las máquinas fueran autónomas.

Antes del concepto “sistema operativo”, las máquinas eran programadas directamente por los programadores, y quienes paso a paso y en secuencias binarias, mejor conocido como “lenguaje máquina” lograban hacer que un computador cumpliera las tareas asignadas. Pero cometer un error en la programación de las mismas, implicaba iniciar todo el proceso desde cero nuevamente.

Desde esta primera aproximación, inició un boom en la invención y desarrollo de los sistemas operativos, empezando desde la ejecución de comandos en línea o consola, hasta llegar a centrar los programas en la facilidad de uso por parte de los usuarios. A partir de entonces se desarrollaron las interfaces de usuario y nuevos sistemas que le permitan al internauta la mayor y mejor experiencia de usabilidad y navegación frente a la máquina, poniendo estos programas al alcance y manejo de cualquier tipo de persona interesada en aprender a usar el sistema.

De esta manera, se logra pasar de tareas básicas a más avanzadas; además en paralelo, a medida que los computadores se volvían más pequeños y al alcance de todos, los sistemas operativos eran más avanzados y programados para realizar múltiples tareas. Este desarrollo atravesó fronteras y logró pasar más allá de los ordenadores, incrustándose en dispositivos de uso común como celulares, neveras, lavadoras, radios, equipos de audio y cualquier aparato que requiera de la interacción entre el ser humano y la máquina. 

Hoy estamos viviendo la ‘época dorada’ de los sistemas operativos. Se han dejado atrás los limitantes, han atravesado fronteras que en su época fueron inimaginables, se han superado a sí mismos y se han moldeado a lo que el contexto les exige. Hoy encontramos sistemas en los teléfonos inteligentes, tabletas, automóviles, sistemas de posicionamiento global, decodificadores de televisión, Smart TV y demás dispositivos inteligentes. Cada uno de ellos se ha acoplado y adaptado a las necesidades específicas del mercado y de los usuarios; y a su vez han evolucionado a una velocidad fascinante, tanto así que el desarrollo de hardware se ve opacado por el acelerado crecimiento del software.

El futuro de los sistemas operativos es prometedor. Cada vez están más integrados a nuestro entorno y prácticamente pasarán desapercibidos, ya que lograrán mimetizarse al medio digital y pasar a ser algo tan común en el ambiente, no yendo tan lejos: en algún momento la biomedicina utilizará un sistema operativo para controlar un órgano artificial implantado en nuestro cuerpo.  Todo pasará a otro nivel.

*Imagen tomada de Getty Images.

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