Methods of factoring operating system functions into one or more groups of functions are described. Factorization permits operating systems that are not configured to support computing in an object-oriented environment to be used in an object oriented environment. This promotes distributed computing by enabling operating system resources to be instantiated and used across process and machine boundaries. In one embodiment, criteria are defined that govern how functions of an operating system are to be factored into one or more groups. Based on the defined criteria, the functions are factors into groups and groups of functions are then associated with programming objects that have data and methods, wherein the methods correspond to the operating system functions. Applications can call methods on the programming objects either directly or indirectly that, in turn, call operating system functions.