Background Process

(n.) (1) Multitasking computers are capable of executing several tasks, or programs, at the same time. In some multitasking systems, one of the processes is called the foreground process, and the others are called background processes.

The foreground process is the one that accepts input from the keyboard, mouse, or other input device. Background processes cannot accept interactive input from a user, but they can access data stored on a disk and write data to the video display. For example, some word processors print files in the background, enabling you to continue editing while files are being printed. This is called print spooling. In addition, many communications programs are designed to run in the background. Background processes generally have a lower priority than foreground processes so that they do not interfere with interactive applications.

Even though DOS is not a multitasking operating system, it can perform some specialized tasks, such as printing, in the background. Operating environments, such as Microsoft Windows and the Macintosh operating system, provide a more general multitasking environment.

(2) The area of a display screen not covered by characters and graphics. The background is like a canvas on top of which characters and graphics are placed. Some monitors allow you to control the color or shading of the background.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

Related Articles

10 Quick Tips For Social Media Marketing

10 Quick Tips for Social Media Marketing Social Media Defined: Social media is a phrase used to describe a variety of Web-based platforms, applications and...

Digital Advertising

What is Digital Advertising? Digital advertising is marketing to a target audience through digital platforms, including social media, email, search engines, mobile apps, affiliate programs,...

E-Commerce

E-commerce, or electronic commerce, is online-conducted business, including marketing, sales, and fulfillment. Consumers and businesses place and track orders at least partially through the...

Virtualization Software

Virtualization software is a digital solution used to create an abstraction layer for hardware. The software creates multiple instances, or virtual machines (VMs), that...

ScalaHosting

ScalaHosting is a leading managed hosting provider that offers secure, scalable, and affordable...

HRIS

Human resources information system (HRIS) solutions help businesses manage multiple facets of their...

Best Managed Service Providers...

In today's business world, managed services are more critical than ever. They can...