Have you had trouble lately deciding which operating system will do the job for you? Did you buy an iPhone or iPad and love it so much that you think a Mac might be your next choice? Each operating system fits different demographics. Just because something sounds good doesn’t mean you’ll like it after you’ve shelled out several thousand for it.
If you just want things to work, you should probably choose Windows 7. The reasons in this case are pretty simple. You probably have used Windows before, whether at work, home, or school, and you’ll probably know where to find everything and which programs do which thing. If you’re vigilant about your anti-virus protection and don’t download things from strange websites, you won’t have to worry about malware. You have the greatest choice of software out there. Some regular maintenance is required, but most of your friends and family probably are using the same system – so you’ll be able to ask them for help.
If you’re working in a corporate environment, chances are everyone else is using Windows too. This makes transferring work between the office and home seamless, with no difficult conversions or headaches. Windows PCs generally come fully configured and can be purchased at a fairly low cost. Alternatively, if you have some computer smarts, you’ll be able to build your own machine for far less money and with less pre-installed “junk” software.
If you’re an artist or a musician, Mac Snow Leopard OS X has historically been and is probably still the choice for you. Other people in your industry will be using it, so it’ll be easier for you to both fit in and get a job. Many relevant programs that might cost money on a Windows PC come pre-loaded on the Mac. In general, the interface is fairly simple to use, so if you’re a relatively fast-learning user, you’ll pick up the new OS in no time, even if you do have to get used to having the top menu buttons on the left.
Macs can still do everyday tasks like word processing, and if you need Windows sometimes you can generally dual boot a licensed version for a free. Macs also suffer from fewer viruses because they’re not generally a target, and even if they do, you have access to the free “Genius Bar” in Apple stores for advice. You’ll have to pay a little bit more to get one, but you may find that it’s worth it.
If you are a fan of open source and want to have your machine with only the software you need and nothing else, you might choose a Linux install. If you already have a Windows PC, you can even install Linux as a dual boot and try it out before you commit to having it as your full time operating system. It’s free, so it’s well worth your time to try it out.
Linux is completely customisable by the user. You will be able to see every file and install only the programs you actually need to function. It can do most basic and advanced tasks and can even run some Windows programs using an emulator if you need them. Linux may not fare well in the typical workplace because, like Macs, it only supports poorer versions of the many necessary and often used programs that are exclusive to Windows PCs. For home use, though, you’ll suffer less from viruses – especially since you’ll be able to look at every file and determine if it has anything malicious attached to it – and your computer will guaranteed be faster at starting up and shutting down because it simply carries less bloat from start to finish. Linux can do almost anything you want it to do, so if you want to experiment, it is truly the operating system for you.