Operating system functions are defined as objects that are collections of data and methods. The objects represent operating system resources. The resource objects can be instantiated and used across process and machine boundaries. Each object has an associated handle that is stored in its private state. When an application requests a resource, it is given a second handle or pseudo handle that corresponds with the handle in the object’s private state. The second handle is valid across process and machine boundaries and all access to the object takes place through the second handle. This greatly facilitates remote computing. In preferred embodiments, the objects are COM objects and remote computing is facilitated through the use of Distributed COM (DCOM) techniques. Other embodiments of the invention provide legacy and versioning support by identifying each resource, rather than the overall operating system, with a unique identifier that can specified by an application. Different versions of the same resource have different identifiers. This ensures that applications that need a specific version of a resource can receive that version. This also ensures that an application can specifically request a particular version of a resource by using its unique identifier, and be assured of receiving that resource. Other embodiments of the invention provide legacy support by intercepting calls for operating system functions and transforming those calls into object calls that can be understood by the resource objects. This is accomplished in preferred embodiments by injecting a level of indirection between an application and an operating system.