What are hardware and software resources managed by the OS?

An operating system manages the resources like disk drives, memory and processors. Any device inside the computer is managed by the operating system. The operating system manages running applications or programs, called processes.

The different hardware and software resources are as follows −

  • Processor(s)

  • Memory (RAM)

  • Hard Disk Storage

  • Removable Media

  • Software

  • Input Devices

Now, let us see how Windows manages its hardware and software resources.

Windows is itself software we usually call it as an operating system or system software. Windows manages the computer’s memory, internal CPU process and all of its application software and hardware.

Generally speaking, what is an Operating system: An OS is an interface between the computer hardware and software. It helps humans to communicate with the hardware with the help of software.

When we talk about how windows manage both Hardware and software we can say the following −

  • In order for the operating windows to communicate to your hardware, it requires drivers.

  • Drivers will teach the OS how to interact with hardware.

  • That’s why while installing windows on our computer it will install Drivers along with it or we should do it manually. Hardware resources contain assignable address bus and peripheral systems, which the software can use to address its required location.

  • Before software communicates with the hardware instance, a PnP manager will assign the resource based on the knowledge of resource availability.

  • There is a tool called System resource, it is either used by hardware or software to communicate with each other.

  • Some of the system resource tools are, IRQ,I/O addresses, Memory addresses, DMA channel.

  • All four resources are used for communication between hardware and software.

  • Hardware devices signal the CPU for attention using an IRQ.

  • Software addresses a device by one of its I/O addresses.

  • Software looks at memory as a hardware device and addresses it with memory addresses, and DMA channels pass data back and forth between a hardware device and memory.


The issues in managing hardware and software technology are listed below −

Capacity planning

It is related to estimating the requirement of computer hardware, computer software, network connection and other infrastructure resources based on present and future requirements.

The capacity planning is done not only for the present; it needs a reasonable assessment for the future also so that if the demand increases then the infrastructure can support that. If planning for up gradation; then it is very important to use the latest and advanced technologies available at the time because the technologies have a shorter life.


It is related to the ability of a system to serve a large number of users without breaking down the system.

Therefore, while planning for infrastructure capacity it is also very important to use the latest version of computer models which can support advanced technology, have more capacity and be more efficient in performance.