OS: The Big Question — Which operating system should you choose?

posted in: Ask a Nerd | 0

By Wayne Embrey

What makes Operating Systems (OS for short) different, and which one should you choose? We’ll look at the top three OS’s in their current state.

OS’s are kind of like cars in that how they are built is the only difference between them. In the end they are still cars. Computers today all have a form of input (keyboard and mouse), a screen, a processor, and a hard drive for storing your data, but the software is what defines them.

The Big 3

1   Apple’s OS X
Built on an early form of Unix, it offers the user speed and security. Apple has been described as cult-like for many years due to its deterring hardware price and minor learning curve.

2   Microsoft’s Windows
Like the air we breathe, it is everywhere, with tons of software programmers and lots of support for its many users. This popularity also makes it susceptible to viruses and poorly written software.

3    Linux
Just saying Linux is a pretty broad statement. Amazingly, there are hundreds of versions. It is the do-it-yourself OS, once described as the most comfortable, fuel efficient, armored tank you’ll ever build yourself.

These OS’s provide the basic framework for people to surf the web, create documents, read email, watch videos, and listen to music, but each one provides a different piece of software for all of these tasks.

Surfing the web is the same in any OS. You click an icon on your desktop and a web browser opens. The same goes for email. You open a program or web browser to receive your email. All of the OS’s provide their flavor of email programs and they all do the same thing—receive email, send email. Whatever you do in one OS you can do in another.

So what’s the difference?

Lifehacker recently published an article on this very subject: lifehacker.com/mac-vs-windows-your-best-arguments-486125257.
In short, different OS’s are like flavors of ice cream or different makes of cars. Apple users are not in a cult and Windows users are not enlisted in Darth Vader’s Empire, but Linux users are a bit weird. Anyone who builds their own tank when they can buy a perfectly good car clearly has too much time on their hands.

People always ask my preferred Operating System. I point to my Apple MacBook Pro laptop. I choose the reliability, security, and ease of use it provides, and several of my business clients have made the change to Apple products in their businesses also.
M! June/July 2013




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