In a computer the operating environment includes temperature and so on affecting circuitry; but in particular the term is often used to describe the non-physical environment in which software runs. This may apply to application software with which users interact, comprising the "look and feel" of the system, its appearance and the things that have to be done to achieve desired results. The term may also apply to system software; e.g., software designed for a Unix environment will do things differently than in a Microsoft Windows environment. Some operating environments for programming purposes are referred as programming environments; e.g., the "UNIX programming environment" for a Unix shell with its look and feel and functionality.
"Operating environment" is not the totality of the functionality and appearance of an operating system.
Wikipedia (article: operating_enviroment )