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9. Multics


It would be criminal to list sets of operating systems that provide real innovations without including the "granddaddy" of modern operating systems, Multics.

The Multics development project provided, many years ago, a rich set of OS innovations many of which are still being integrated into the mainstream including such things as:

Many of these features have since become "minimal expected functionality" for better Operating Systems.

One arguable counter-feature was that Multics depended on various hardware capabilities of the GE/Honeywell DPS8-M series, and it was problematic to run it on other hardware. One of the interesting characteristics of UNIX was that it was fairly quickly made portable to many sorts of hardware architectures. Between the retirement of the final Multics system (DND Maritime Command) in 2000 and a first boot of a Multics atop emulation in 2014 was a mighty long time.

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