Linux vs Macintosh vs Windows (unbiased comparison)
In this article, I will be outlining the pros and cons of the three major operating systems: Linux, Mac and Windows (commonly referred to as "PC"). Keep in mind that there are many other operating systems, but I will not be reviewing them because of their very small market share.
Let's start with the most popular: Windows
With almost 90% of the operating system market share, you can't miss Windows. It's in commercial buildings, industrial facilities, as well as home computers.
Windows, having been introduced in 1985, is a very mature and complete piece of software. Yet, it has it's flaws...
- Compatibility: Almost every application, driver or game will work on Windows.
- Technical support: Having so many users, you can always find someone (either online or offline) who can help you with Windows.
- Huge quantity of function: When you get to know Windows well, you'll find out that there are so many functions that you can do almost anything quite easily.
- Viruses: You may need to buy an antivirus program, although free ones exist.
- Slow: Windows, especially Vista and 7, requires a lot of computer resources (memory, processor, disk space), and thus, runs slower.
- Price: It easily costs over a hundred dollars.
Another big player: Macintosh
Apple's Macintosh OS is even older than Windows. It is the first ever successful graphical-based operating system, being released one year before it's Microsoft counterpart.
- Viruses: Apple Macs get almost no viruses. This is mostly due to Window's superior market share.
- Reliability: Macs only run on Apple computers, and are thus less prone to hardware and software crashing.
- Looks: Let's face it, most of the time, Mac just looks better than Windows.
- Expensive: Mac costs even more than Windows.
- Only available on Apple computers: If you already have a computer, you cannot install MAC on it unless it's an Apple. Otherwise, you must buy a new computer.
- Compatibility: Only a few programs will run on Mac, and almost no games.
Smaller but growing: Linux
Linux is GNU's answer to Mac and Windows. Yes, this means that Linux is FREE! By free, you can download, modify and redistribute it without spending a dime! . Linux is a younger player in the OS world, having been written in 1991, and is optimized for modern use (well, more than Windows and Mac). Unfortunately, it has some disadvantages also...
- Price: Linux is F-R-E-E. You can download it, install it, use it, modify it... All for a whooping 0$.
- Variety: Linux is not a full operating system. It is just a kernel. To use the kernel, additional software needs to be bundled with Linux. Several hundreds of these bundles (called "distributions" or simply "distros") exist. The most popular ones include Ubuntu, Mint and Fedora. The good thing is, with so many different flavours of Linux, there is always one to suit your needs!
- Viruses: Although being more vulnerable to viruses than Mac (because it is open source), Linux still has very, very, very few viruses.
- Complicated: Although some distros are quite easy to use, most of them will required a good deal of computer knowledge in order to get them to work.
- Compatibility: Like Mac, representing only a few percents of the market share, Linux does not have as many programs and games as Windows.
- Vendors: You won't find a lot of vendors selling Linux computers. Usually, you'll just end up having to buy Windows computer, reformatting the hard drive, and installing Linux yourself.
In conclusion, no operating system is really better, the choice is up to you. If you're a gamer, then you have no choice, go for Windows. Programmers might prefer Linux and video/graphics producers will probably tend towards Mac. The best thing to do is probably to try each OS and see which is best for you!