When trying to decide which type of operating system to go for, there are a few factors that are crucial to bear in mind. Firstly, you should evaluate your requirements as a user before making any decision in the first place. Another key factor to consider is whether you’re going to be using an operating system for business as opposed to personal use. This automatically narrows down your selection process.
Patented operating systems virtually always come preinstalled on particular hardware devices, so if you prefer a particular brand of hardware, this could dictate your choice. Open-source operating systems are usually highly customizable, where trademarked platforms are more inflexible and at the liberty of the sellers regarding changes and updates. Due to the customization options, open-source operating systems may necessitate a higher level of technical knowledge.
So which OS should you choose when it comes to the crux of it all? Namerific thought it best to give you a useful overview of all the possible choices, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Spoiler Alert: there’s no ‘one size fits all’ option.
The most popular desktop and laptop operating system in the world, offering the widest compatibility with existing software and hardware, this system is available for use on a variety of PC brands, tablets, as well as video game consoles, but due to its patented nature, it’s rather inflexible. Although compatible a lot of programs, it’s only convenient if you’re used to utilizing other Microsoft products, like Microsoft’s Office Suite. The amalgamation of Microsoft Office also makes it a widespread choice if you’re looking for an operating system for your company. That said, it is also a feasible option if want an operating system for personal use.
Windows PCs generally have excellent compatibility with all the software you’d want to run, whether it’s typical consumer desktop software, internal business apps that were designed for Windows, or PC games that are still primarily coming out for Windows PCs. They’re available at a wide variety or price ranges to suit all budgets.
Conversely, Windows computers are often packed with bloatware and usually don’t have the attention to detail you’ll find on a Mac laptop. Even the trackpads on their laptops are generally still mediocre compared to the ones you’d find on a Mac. Most malware is written for Windows systems, so they’re the most vulnerable in the real world.
This operating system runs on the Linux kernel, which means that they are flexible operating systems and often free, which is beneficial if you’ve got a tight budget. Nevertheless, Linux can be challenging if you are less tech-savvy, because of the focus on the command line to control all functions of the system. If you are an experienced user, the command line can become a very easy-to-use and practical tool.
Because Linux is open source, it is highly customizable and there are a variety of user interfaces accessible to choose from on any device. If you’re a developer, Linux distributions are worth looking into because of the flexibility. For business purposes, however or even just the common personal user, it can be complicated and oftentimes it doesn’t permit access to proprietary software, which can be unproductive for businesses needing that functionality.
Linux systems are usually used by computer nerds and developers who find a UNIX-based operating system more convenient than Windows. If all you need is a web browser, you can get by with Linux — but you could also get by with a well-supported Chromebook which is cheaper to purchase.
Mac OS X
Whether you’re a Mac lover or not, you can’t deny that Apple makes amazing hardware. The Mac OS X operating system knows what it wants to be — it’s a desktop operating system where you run windowed applications.
If you want to spend around $1000-$1500 on a laptop, it’s hard not to choose a Mac. Apple’s MacBook Air and MacBook Pro offer excellent battery life, an amazing touchpad, and great hardware. In many cases, MacBooks end up being better value for money than high-end ultrabooks. High-end Windows ultrabooks may even be more expensive than comparable Macs.
The propagation of web-based software means Macs are more functional than ever. What’s more, they have a wide variety of other software available, including official versions of Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and other professional creative applications. Conversely, Macs still don’t have as much software as Windows does, and Macs are still far behind when it comes to games.
You should be familiarised with, or prepared to learn, the general design of Mac computers if you are interested in OS X. The operating system integrates with other Apple products, including their mobile operating system iOS and the iCloud for storage purposes. It also provides access to Apple’s App store, which is registered to Apple products as well. Apple OS X is very popular for personal users, but can also be used for business purposes.
Google’s Chrome OS is the newcomer competitor that’s seizing more and more of the market. Chromebooks run a simplified operating system which is basically just the Chrome web browser with some desktop bits. You have access to Chrome, Chrome apps — and that’s it. You can’t run Windows desktop software, and even Linux desktop software can only run if you put your Chromebook into developer mode and “hack” it.
If you only ever use Chrome on your PC and you want a simple PC with a full keyboard and powerful desktop web browser for not much money, a Chromebook can be a viable option. Then again, there’s still a lot a Chromebook can’t do — if you need to use desktop programs, a Chromebook isn’t the way to go.
So, Which One Should You Choose?
You should take into account the system you are currently using if you’re deliberating a change, since files or software programs can be incompatible if you’re trying to transfer them from one to another. Therefore, it can be beneficial to keep the same brand of operating system if you’re deciding on an upgrade. Often, the decision making process of selecting an operating system will boil down to personal preference.
The fact of the matter is, none of these operating systems is the winner. Each has their own strengths and works best for different people. However, no matter the operating system, constancy should always be at the forefront of your verdict, because of the huge consequences that can come from a crashed operating system. Keeping your data safe and accessible is vital.
We all have our preferred operating system, mainly because they’ve been efficient and reliable throughout the evolution of technology. Which is your preferred OS?