In an operating system, cooperative multitasking is a means of providing the appearance that more than one task (executing process) is running at a time. Cooperative multitasking represents an improvement over multiple programs loading, in which more than one program can be loaded into memory, but only one can execute at a given time. Multitasking creates the impression that two or more programs are running simultaneously by switching tasks rapidly. In cooperative multitasking, tasks are designed to give up their control of the CPU to other applications voluntarily. See preemptive multitasking, task.
Technipages Explains Cooperative Multitasking
Cooperative multitasking is a technique in which different pieces of software give up their immediate control of the processing unit of a computer so that another software can use it. The programs voluntarily give up their control as this allows other programs to use the processor of the computer.
The technique depends on the ability of the applications to agree on the best processing ratio. The applications equally allow the processing units’ power between themselves; hence, when a program is being used, every other program stops. The applications in the background will only process data when programs in the foreground are inoperative.
The downsides to this being, when a program which was not written to comply with cooperative multitasking begins to run it will stop other programs from running. This has been a big concern for developers, as a single program can crash an entire operating system. The use of cooperative multitasking has declined, as windows 3.1 and Macintosh operating system (macOS), had cooperative multitasking built into them. Subsequent versions from the two companies now rely on pre-emptive multitasking, a new technique that silenced the use of its predecessor-cooperative multitasking.
Common Uses of Cooperative Multitasking
- In one way or the other, weightless threads make people recall the cooperative multitasking of macOS versions and older Windows.
- Generally speaking, in cooperative multitasking, a process won’t stop running until it figures out to do so voluntarily.
- Cooperative multitasking helps the central processing unit of computer dedicate it’s processing resources to a singular activity.
Common Misuses of Cooperative Multitasking
- Cooperative multitasking is not allowed for heavyweight threads.