What Operating System is Right for You?

Winodws Mac Linux
Even today, the vast majority of users have one or other version of Windows installed on their computers and this is the only operating system that they know, but Mac OS X and Linux are two other great operating systems that come with their loyal supporters as well.

Even today, the vast majority of users have one or other version of Windows installed on their computers and this is the only operating system that they know, but Mac OS X and Linux are two other great operating systems that come with their loyal supporters as well.

Which is the best operating system and more importantly, which operating system is the best for you?

Windows

The most widely used operating system, with an estimated 90% market share, is still the one that is best suitable for the average computer user. Windows comes with its pros and cons and although might not be the most secure system and networking might not be as easiest as all of us wish, it still has a great number of advantages. The most obvious one is the abundance of developers that create their software applications for the Windows platforms – no matter what task you are trying to accomplish and what software you need, it is likely that it has been developed for Windows first and only later adopted for the other operating systems, if adopted at all. The security risks are mainly due to the popularity of the operating system rather than its own flows, and Microsoft is constantly improving the protection of the personal computers against the various threats. The latest version of Windows, Windows 7 is a huge improvement over the not entirely successful Windows Vista and offers faster boot-up, easier networking, higher security, quick access to files and programs, and easier way to share printers and files. If you have to choose an operating system for your computer and have set up your mind on Windows, then consider Windows 7 for a newer computer with sufficient RAM and faster dual core processors, and Windows XP for older hardware and slower machines. Although Windows Vista came with a few improvements over Windows XP, its many flows easily overshadow them!

Mac OS X

Loved by many, this operating system is easy to use, elegant, and offers various features that are not found in Windows or Linux. The marriage between hardware and operating system seems to be stronger, especially in the case of the Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6), which uses the Grand Central Dispatch technology and has the capabilities to get the best out of the multi-core processors. Another great advantage, although arguably one that is due to the lower popularity of Mac OS X compared to that of Windows, is the fewer security threads – a Mac OS X user is unlikely to have to deal with countless malware, spyware, and viruses and does not have to run multiple programs and updates in order to stay protected. This operating system is also considered to have an easier to use interface and use less hardware resources than Windows, but comes with some major disadvantages as well. Since it is far less popular, only a few vendors create programs, games, and other content for Mac OS X specifically and even though a user can install Windows on its Leopard Intel Mac, this somewhat defeats the purpose of running an operation system different than Windows. Mac OS X is also difficult to customize, not compatible with great number of peripherals, and far fewer games can be run on it.

Linux

The most often cited advantages of this operating system are its cost, performance, stability, network functionality, security, and easy installation. However, this is an operating system that is far more difficult to use for the vast majority of the non-tech users, comes in way too many versions and variations, does not have nearly as many applications developed for it, and is capable of running Windows programs only by using emulators. The verdict on Linux is that even though it still remains the choice of operating system for hosting servers, it is suitable for a desktop computer only to users that do not mind the higher learning curve, the limited amount of available applications, and the not always compatible hardware.

Even though this article does not list all pros and cons that the three reviewed operating systems have, it should serve as a starting point and help you out when choosing an operating system. After all, it also boils down to your personal needs and preferences and what is ideal for one user might not be suitable for another. What operating system do you prefer and why? Please let us know in the comments.

 
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Comments (9)

  1. Kevin Thursday - 18 / 11 / 2010 Reply
    "limited amount of available applications" on Linux? you serious? Linux distros have probably they highest number of software choices available due to its open source roots.
  2. Brandon Johnson Thursday - 18 / 11 / 2010 Reply
    Mac OS X all the way. The Mac OS is much stronger than either of the other two mentioned. The ease of use and UI makes the strongest contender. Another awesome feature of the Mac OS is the tight relationship between the OS and the hardware. Everything just works. All major firmware updates come in one package through the OS's software update, eliminating the need to travel around to all the manufacturers sites for you sound card, video card, NIC, etc to gather the latest updates! A personal favorite feature of a Mac of the other two, you can hook almost any printer up to a Mac OS machine and it will most likely have the driver needed (provided you did the "reccommened" installation version of the OS).
  3. Foomandoonian Thursday - 18 / 11 / 2010 Reply
    By your choice of language, I'm guessing you're a Windows user. You use definitive terms to describe its positive aspects (most widely used, a great number of advantages, is a huge improvement) and washy phrases when mentioning its shortcomings (might not be the most secure system, networking might not be as easiest, the not entirely successful Windows Vista). With Mac and Linux, this is reversed, with almost apologetic, second person references to the pros (Loved by many, offers various features, considered to have an easier to use interface, most often cited advantages) but more concrete cons (only a few vendors, difficult to customize, not compatible with great number of peripherals, and far fewer games can be run, more difficult to use). I'm not challenging your viewpoint, but for an article like this to be truly useful you should describe the pros and cons clearly and definitively, without putting bias in the language.
  4. RattyUK Thursday - 18 / 11 / 2010 Reply
    Get a Mac and run all three OS's...
  5. dave Thursday - 18 / 11 / 2010 Reply
    Mac OSX looking forward to Lion coming out next year!
  6. James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil Saturday - 04 / 12 / 2010 Reply
    Your review of the Mac OSX is not only biased but inaccurate. I have used Windows and Apple systems side-by-side since the mid 1980s. In that time I have had two system software total crashes on Macs. On Windows, too many to count. As far as software availability, Mac software is as plentiful and cheaper than Windows equivalents. For example, On Windows, my video editor is Sony Vegas. Cost, on sale, was over $600. On my iMac, I use Final Cut Express. Cost, $150 when I bought it. It is at least as capable as Vegas and far easier to learn and use. In addition, there are free programs for the Mac that are faster and more capable tan Windows equivalents that cost $$. Yes, Macs cost more initially. It's called value vs price. (Economics 101) When you consider the higher quality of hardware, better resale value, cheaper software, fewer repairs, and higher productivity, the initial price is revealed to be a bargain. Sure, there will be those that disagree. But I would be very surprised to find anyone that can prove I am wrong on any issue.
    • Andy Crofford Sunday - 05 / 12 / 2010 Reply
      It all depends on your preferences. I prefer to run Windows because I like to be able to upgrade my hardware when I need/want to. Also, resale? Who buys a computer for its resale value?
  7. ShellsOnTheFloor Saturday - 04 / 12 / 2010 Reply
    Look, people. It's silly to say that one of these is superior to all the others. They all have their niches. Everybody has an OS choice that's best for him. If you value cost or stability above all else, Linux. If you value ease of use or a pretty user interface above all else, Mac OSX. If you value gaming or need to use a wide variety of programs that may not be available for the other two, Windows. I'm personally a Windows user first, Linux user second.
  8. Shawn Saturday - 04 / 12 / 2010 Reply
    I can speak with some authority when I tell you that Linux users cannot stand when people point out the shortcomings in the OS, especially when you discuss how usable it is. They are nearly as bad as Mac fan-boys... not quite that completely idiotic, but close. At least Linux isn't 2 to 4 times more expensive like everything Mac. Are many of the Linux Distros a good OS? Definitely. Are they great? Not yet. It is *not* user friendly... and most of the Linux community doesn't seem to care. That community, which is also Linux's greatest asset, is also it's greatest obstacle... They are so focused on not being Windows, they won't take advantage of this things about windows that made it the most popular OS. For an OS to be really great it does have to have an approachability factor if that OS is meant for home users. is Windows that OS? Fuck no. But it made driver updates and simple maintenance an affair not requiring intimate knowledge of the command line. Apparently, for the Linux fans, it is more important to be open source and secure than usable by the majority of people, and that is Why Linux doesn't get the respect it deserves.

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