The sheer amount of operating systems currently available on the market would make anyone’s mind spin.
However, the operating systems that have been dominating the market for the longest time are still going strong and competing with the newcomers. It’s great to have a variety of options to choose from, but things become trickier when you look at what’s popular and whatnot, instead of canvassing your actual needs and matching them with the right operating system for you.
If the whole process gives you nightmares, no worries. You’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading for our full breakdown on choosing an operating system that will fulfill your every requirement.
Choosing an Operating System: What Matters to You?
Simply put, the whole choosing process will greatly depend on your needs and the factors that you’ll prioritize.
For instance, you might really care about the user interface and experience, which are the building blocks that make (or break) user easiness. On the other hand, you might prioritize cybersecurity, so you’ll want to pick the operating system that has the highest rankings when it comes to security protocols, even if it’s a bit more complex to use.
Moreover, you might be someone who’s looking for great overall performance, so which is it going to be?
Let’s take them one at a time and see.
Windows Operating System
We can’t start with anything but the most familiar operating system on the market, and that is Microsoft Windows.
The latest version would be Windows 10, which was released in 2015, and showcased considerable improvement when it comes to performance in comparison to the belated Windows 8.
One of the great perks of choosing Windows as your operating system (OS) is that there’s a wide range of software available to you. Regardless of what you need daily, there will be a kind of software available for Windows, from business software to home computing apps, and much more.
On the other hand, Windows does have a problem when it comes to security, as it’s been the main target of a huge chunk of malware. Therefore, if you want to pick Windows, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the latest security updates and make sure that your operating system is up to date.
If you happen to be a gamer, then you’ll definitely want to go with Windows. All games, as well as AAA titles, are a breeze to play on your PC. Admittedly, the game selections are getting a lot better for macOS and Linux, but Windows still reigns supreme when it comes to games.
Besides, you’ll want to check how much space does Windows 10 take before making your final decision.
macOS: Apple’s System
If you’re a creative professional, basically a graphic designer, video editor, or anything of the sort, you’ve probably noticed that the majority of your colleagues prefer using macOS.
However, you’ll want to keep in mind that while you can (almost) install Windows on any PC, the macOS is only available on Mac hardware. If you’re an expert in OS, then you’re probably familiar with installing macOS on non-Apple hardware, creating a Hackintosh. But, if you’re aiming for simplicity, then you’ll want Mac hardware.
macOS is superb when it comes to providing support for heavy creative software like Premiere and Adobe Photoshop. Sure, you can have this type of software on your Windows, but you’ll notice that it functions better and comes with more options when it’s installed on macOS.
Also, it comes with better security protocols than Windows, as it’s less frequently targeted by malware, and the latest version of the OS is (usually) free.
However, the problem with getting macOS is the hefty price tag. Getting both the software and hardware together, in addition to the specialized desktops would cost you thousands of dollars. When you also find out that there is less free software available for use on macOS, you’ll realize that the costs will only increase from here.
The Linux Operating System
You might have heard about Linux, especially if you run in the computer science and programming circles.
Linux is notorious for its complex system and the fact that it’s not user-friendly in any shape or form. Yet, you’d be delighted to know that there are more user-friendly distributions now available on the market.
The killer benefit of Linux is its sheer flexibility. If you can “think” it, you can probably change it in your Linux system, as long as you have the required knowledge and (basically) know what you’re doing.
Thus, if you’re looking for an operating system that can help you automate and perform complex tasks in the most efficient ways, then you’ll want to get yourself a Linux.
Unfortunately, if you’re a first-time Linux user, you’ll want to strap in as the learning curve can be steep. After all, you and the command line will be best friends from now on.
The Chrome OS
Remember us mentioning newcomers to the OS scene? Well, welcome Google’s new Chrome OS.
It’s a new lightweight OS competitor that keeps eating more slices of the market as it develops. Basically, when you get a Chromebook, you’ll find a simplified operating system that’s made of the Chrome web browser and some desktop bits and pieces. That’s about it.
Sure, you’ll have access to Chrome apps, Chrome itself, and Android app, but that’s all. You won’t be able to install Windows desktop software on a Chromebook.
It’s a great option if you’re looking for something simple and easy to use. They’ll update (and sync) automatically with Google Drive for your file storage needs, and you won’t have to install antivirus software. Besides, with a price tag between $200 and $300, it’s practically a steal.
Yet, if you’re looking for an OS that can withstand heavy applications and you’re expecting to put a big workload on the poor system, then go for anything but Chrome OS.
Picking the Right Operating System
A person can swim in the number of options available to them on the market when it comes to operating systems.
Our breakdown only highlighted the big kahunas of the market, the tried-and-true, if you will. Hopefully, it helped you on your journey of choosing an operating system for your personal or business use.
Remember to write down the factors that are essential to your work, and pick the right operating system accordingly.