Which OS Is Best For You: Windows, Linux, Or macOS?

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by Jack Taylor | Last Updated:  November 5, 2019

Is there one operating system that is superior to another, and if so, is there any reason why I should consider using a different operating system than the one that I am currently using?

There are several factors involved in determining which operating system will best meet your needs. Asking the right questions will help you determine which operating system will best meet your needs. Once you answer those questions, you will know exactly which operating system you should use and why.

Today, there are 3 major desktop operating systems available on the market for you to choose from. They include Windows, Linux and macOS. While there are far more applications made available for Windows, it does not have the ease of use or security features like that of Linux or macOS. Both Linux and macOS are extremely secure, but macOS is arguably easier to use than Linux.

The Need to Choose an Operating System

An operating system is the software platform that communicates with the computer hardware, creating an environment by which you can install and run software applications.

The “environment” (OS), that you choose, will determine what types of software applications you can run. Though some companies may provide software for more than one operating system, that software usually runs better on one operating system than the other. It all depends on what the company in question.

Most large companies will only develop software for Windows and macOS, but will not develop software for Linux. Adobe is a great example. At present, they only develop software for Window and macOS, but have not created any software for the Linux platform. Given their decision not to develop software for Linux, other companies (or teams of people), have collaborated to create software that provides the same functionality, (some would argue better functionality), that Adobe offers in their products for the Linux platform.

For example, below are 10 free Linux applications that serve as alternatives to Adobe products.

Some of the Linux software applications listed above are not as good as the Adobe alternative, however, there are some that preferred over the Adobe alternative, like Darktable. The point is not to show that one piece of software is better than another. The point here, is to show that there are software alternatives available on other OS platforms, in spite of the popularity of a given piece of software.

Let’s take a look at each operating system and see how popular they currently are, who they are catered to, and why you might choose each operating system for your daily use.

Microsoft Windows

On November 10, 1983, Bill Gates announced the launch of Microsoft Windows. It wasn’t too long thereafter that it became the most popular desktop operating system in the world, and that popularity continues to this day.

Today, Windows 10 is running on more than 700 million devices. In addition to PC’s, (this includes tablets, phones, and Xbox One consoles). As of September 2019, the Windows operating system runs on 87.42% of the desktop computers (of course, this includes laptops as well).

Why is Windows so Popular?

Frankly, Bill Gates focused on winning, and Microsoft did whatever it took to get Windows, Microsoft Office, and later, SQL Server everywhere in the business world. They even reportedly gave their software away for free in order to win business contracts. So, there was a relentless drive that definitely plays a factor as to why Windows became so popular. I would argue that they succeeded in their quest.

Microsoft Office is clearly their flagship product. It was first released in 1990, and has only matured over the last 29 years. Today it is available for both Windows and macOS, and is even available on mobile devices.

There is one more reason why Windows is so popular 37 years old after its birth. If you grew up using Windows, you probably are still using Windows. Given that people are creatures of habit, they tend not to change, even if that change is for the better. Familiarity tethers people. This, is probably the biggest reason why people continue to use Windows all these years later.

Advantages of Using Windows

There are a several advantages in using Windows, but I’ll limit them to what I see as the three biggest reasons for the sake of brevity, however these three reasons are probably shared by the majority of Windows users.

Disadvantages of Using Windows

There are three main disadvantages in using Windows, which I touch on briefly below. Though I could write at length on each of these reasons, I am limiting how much I’ll address here and get straight to the point.

Microsoft Windows account for over 95% of all viruses and malicious software.

Who is Windows Geared to?

Frankly, people choose Windows because it’s familiar and it simply comes with the computer they buy. Given that Windows accounts for 87.42% of the desktop computers (including laptops), one could easily argue that they have succeeded in their mission to dominate the market.

People choose to buy a computer and Windows happens to be the operating system that the computer comes with.

Linux

In 1991, a Finish student, by the name of Linus Torvalds, developed a new free operating system kernel, which laid the foundation for every Linux distribution we see today. Linus Torvalds realized that in order to see his new operating system become wide-spread, he would need to invite others to participate in its development, and that is exactly what he did. His only condition was that those who added to the kernel keep their contributions free. Free was key.

Linux on the Desktop is only found on 2.11% of the computers worldwide. If it’s any good, why isn’t it widespread and found on more Desktop computers? Why isn’t it flying off the shelves? One reason is that nearly all PC hardware manufacturers are obligated under contract to put Microsoft Windows on their computers. You see, without an operating system, a computer is just a box with no way for you to interact with it. A computer without an operating system is like a skeleton without a body. It’s lifeless.

Why Isn’t Linux More Popular?

38 minutes of all 66 Mac vs PC ads, . . . but no mention of Linux.

Advantages of Using Linux

There are several advantages in using Linux as your desktop operating system, but the big three come down to security, customization and the fact it will not only run on older machines, while making them feel new again.

Disadvantages of Using Linux

Although there are many reasons to use Linux, there are a few disadvantages, but note that these reasons are primarily due to a lack of knowledge on behalf of the user and adaptability.

Linux does not have to be complicated. The majority of Linux distributions are very user-friendly.

Who is Linux Geared to?

There are generally 6 types of Linux Users. Who, exactly, is Linux geared to?

macOS

Steve Jobs was just 16 years old when he first met Steve Wozniak in June of 1971. Later that year, they began their business partnership by selling “blue boxes” that allowed one to make long-distance phone calls at no cost. On March 1, 1976, Wozniak completed his first machine, which later became the Apple I computer. One month later, together, they formed Apple Computer and incorporated the company on January 3, 1977.

Steve Jobs was relentless. Alan Deutschman, the author of “The Second Coming of Steve Jobs“, wrote of Steve Jobs, saying: “He had this company-within-a-company that became pitted against other parts of the company that actually made money.” Given the lack of cooperation with the rest of the company and the time and money that was being spent on research and development on projects that Steve Jobs had invested, the Board fired him from Apple in 1985.

In one of the biggest turn of events in history, 11 years later, Apple paid Steve Jobs $400 million dollars to acquire Next, Inc., which was the computer company Steve Jobs had created after having been fired by Apple. Apple realized that they needed the zeal and innovative Steve Jobs to turn their company around, as it was about 90 days from declaring bankruptcy.

Over the years Apple grew to become the first publicly traded 1 trillion dollar company, with over $245 Billion dollars of cash on hand.

Why Isn’t macOS More Popular?

Given the incredible success of Apple over the last 20 years, one would expect it to have a greater impact on the Desktop than it currently does. As of September of 2019, macOS only has a Desktop market share of 9.84%.

How Will Apple Win?

Advantages of Using macOS

There are several advantages of using macOS.

The Apple Ecosystem makes life a lot easier and less complicated.

Their is incredible value in having one company create the hardware that the operating system runs on.

Disadvantages of Using macOS

Who is macOS Geared to?

Closing Thoughts

Is there one operating system that is better than another? The operating system that meets your needs and does the things you want the way you want is the best operating system for you. The operating system that serves your needs, the one that helps you accomplish your goals and tasks in an efficient manner is the operating system that you should choose.

Mind you, what works best for you very well may not work for someone else. Respect the needs and wants of others and let them choose for themselves. The fact that you have choice is a win.


Jack has been helping people with computers needs for several years, and he loves to help people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur's perspective and enjoys freelance writing. In fact, when he's not writing an article or working on his YouTube channel, you might find him binge-watching Suits or formatting his computer . . . again, just for fun. To learn more about Jack, click here.
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