Contrary to what many people think, choosing a new computer is a lot more complicated than going to the store, pulling out a credit card, and going home with the product. Perhaps more difficult is breathing new life into that old machine that has been asking for help for a while, or hiding behind a closet without much use. In both cases, however, it is worth noting that users must know what their needs are and what purpose they will bring to the device.
This analysis always includes the choice of operating system. Because which one is the best and which one best suits your needs? Windows, Linux or macOS?
Prejudice and fanaticism aside, in today’s article we’ll discuss the pros and cons of these platforms, but always oriented toward the needs of home users who use their computers to consume multimedia files, surf the Internet, play games, and play games. Or even take a job, be it academic or professional. With the scope of this definition, enterprise, infrastructure, and embedded systems scenarios are excluded from this question, as each scenario is a separate problem in itself.
Let’s take a look at the three operating systems that currently dominate the domestic market, pointing out their respective strengths and weaknesses, and their most suitable usage/demand scenarios.
what do you need?
It is often heard from experts that Windows is useless, Linux is the most secure operating system of all, and macOS is too expensive compared to Apple. All of these statements are very relevant and when you buy a new computer or decide to use a new OS on an old one you have to think very, very much about the user otherwise you will almost certainly not be happy with your choice and you will love that someone else did it for you .
So let’s start thinking about the question everyone looking to buy a new computer should be asking themselves: What do you need?
After you have well defined what you want to use this computer for, you need to consider how much you are willing to pay and try to balance the costs and benefits to achieve the ideal configuration for your bag.
Did you make this? That’s why it’s important to know one thing: there is no perfect operating system. One of these is almost always missing a very good feature, and vice versa, so knowing exactly what you can expect from your computer is important to understanding what Windows, Linux, and macOS can offer you and what you can do.
Consider this: while a lot of people complain that Windows is paid, the truth is that most of the time licensing costs are “embedded” in the value of a new computer, and you rarely need to pay “outside”. macOS, on the other hand, is free, but only for Macs (we’ll get to the price later) After all, Linux is completely free regardless of platform, but it may lack some features you need.
So the first analysis is: if your budget is too limited, you may be inclined to switch from Windows or Linux. If you want to work in video production or graphic design, 3D modeling, and more, a Mac might be worth it.
Of course, the first explanation is very simple, but it reminds you that it is very important to know what your needs are and what you need.
Let’s take a look at Windows, Linux, and macOS separately to find out which OS works best for you.
Windows has been the most popular operating system on the market for many years and is currently installed on approximately 78% of computers worldwide. That number is impressive, in part because of the aggressive adoption policy Microsoft has been preparing for Windows 10 since its launch in 2015.
The company’s idea is to offer Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users a free upgrade to the new system, which is a big incentive in itself. Additionally, Windows 10 promises to fix all of Windows 8’s bugs, provide a smoother and more consistent user interface, and is the “last” Windows release from Microsoft. In practice, we’ve seen this lead to systems becoming a service, and now regularly updated to include new features, features, security fixes, and more – meaning you don’t have to worry about when Windows 11 will be released or how much it will cost.
The whole strategy has worked well, and today Windows 10 alone is installed on no fewer than 800 million computers worldwide. For this reason, the Microsoft system is the most obvious choice for many, but this shift to software-as-a-service has created some minor issues for the platform.
for all tastes
It’s no coincidence that it dominates 90% of the operating system market: wherever you look and whatever you want to do, there’s a computer with the ideal configuration and format with Windows installed for you.
For example, Microsoft systems have long supported touchscreens, a feature not found on Apple’s Macs. Also, almost all computer and parts manufacturers make their products for Windows. In practice, this means you can get anything from a full tower desktop to a USB stick-sized device that can run Windows, not to mention a 2-in-1 that sometimes acts as a computer and tablet, just by highlighting the on-screen keyboard .
Don’t want to buy an off-the-shelf computer and want to assemble it piece by piece to make it exactly what you want? no problem. From a simple computer with everything built into the motherboard, to a true Transformer, with four graphics cards and 10 storage devices working simultaneously, Windows can handle it all.
In short: no matter what you want or want to do, there are Windows-compatible components and machines for you.
The downside of all this flexibility is that it’s hard to get all of this to work in perfect harmony, and can be a huge headache for users who aren’t that familiar with the hardware. Driver conflicts, component incompatibilities… These and other issues can happen, but are all manageable, especially if a lot of research is done beforehand.
The truth, however, is that the vast majority of users who choose Windows as their operating system end up buying desktops and laptops already installed, and these devices are usually not at significant risk of incompatibility because they have been previously tested by the manufacturer . Even in these cases, be prepared for some “unexpected events” with constant Windows 10 updates, from drivers that stop working to processors that burn out.
Your bag is the boss
Another thing about Windows is that it’s democratic, so to speak. Machines from manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo, and Microsoft can cost as much on their own as Macs, but it’s also possible to buy cheap PCs for less than 200 $– at the expense of performance, of course. It’s also possible if you want to spend 30,000$ on something super powerful for a specific purpose.
The downside to this diverse option is that the quality matches the price you’re willing to pay for a Windows PC. In other words, if you choose a PC from a reputable manufacturer, you’re almost guaranteed to get quality components, support, and warranty that match the amount you pay. On the other hand, buying a cheap machine can mean giving up good components, performance, consistent configuration, and a good service network.
Regardless of your choice, one thing is for sure: as the most popular system out there, Windows has the most compatible applications. This is a crucial factor for many users, especially those using very specific applications like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, 3ds Max, Office, etc. Of course, there are alternatives on Linux and macOS, but if you’re already used to some software, learning everything from scratch can be expensive and take unnecessary time and effort.
So many apps also have a side effect that can hit the most uninformed: it’s easy to come across software of questionable quality that threatens your security. Although Microsoft has tried to mitigate this problem by including basic Windows Defender in the system and introducing some quality control for apps published in the store, the truth is that Windows remains by far the most prevalent malware, spyware and ransomware The goal. Linux and macOS.
For this reason, Windows ultimately needs to pay more attention to security. While the best way to avoid problems is to be well-informed and cautious, many people find it more convenient to purchase more comprehensive antivirus or antimalware software. If this happens to you, you should be prepared to incur these “maintenance” costs at least annually.
Network and game resources, massive games
Today, all operating systems have network resources, but Windows is characterized by the fact that it doesn’t actually require additional software to set up a small home network or even a whole-house multimedia server. It’s all pretty basic compared to other systems and usually just needs tweaking here and there. But calm down, there’s a caveat: Before you get too excited about it, make sure you have Windows 10 Pro. If this is not the case and you have the home edition, you will have to invest in improvements.
If you don’t want to know anything and only care about games, then you’ve found your OS. Windows is unmatched in supporting everything from indie games to AAA games. Think about PC gaming and you can be sure: it will work on Windows without a workaround.
The only disagreement on this issue is whether it’s worth developing PC gamers or investing in consoles like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Again, the decision will come down to each user’s needs, but there’s no denying that Windows computers can be customized to look and fire you want. Just be prepared to cash in.
Linux is known for being an extremely versatile operating system that powers everything from small computers like the Raspberry Pi, to cloud data centers, to the devices we use in our daily lives like smart TVs, routers, thermostats, and more, and we Didn’t even suspect it. But what about home and personal use? How does the penguin system work?
The main difference between Linux and Windows and macOS is that it is an open source system. So anyone who wants to contribute to the project or create their own distribution can modify and improve it. Thanks to this property, we see that the system is fulfilled for many purposes.
This feature has attracted a lot of attention from those who adhere to the ideals of free software and seek options that are not controlled by the “paws” of Microsoft and Apple. In addition to political preference, this choice may also be made for practical reasons, especially when the system needs to be tailored for a specific purpose, without the need for a cast imposed by large corporations.
It’s not piracy or copyright infringement to mess with the Linux “entry”, so it’s fine if you give it the purpose you want. Currently, there are thousands of people all over the world who have released versions of systems called distros, each one aimed at, specialized in or specialized in performing certain tasks, ranging from general purpose to people who just want a lightweight system wanting to go online ; the most complex can handle the entire infrastructure of a home network.
Assignment for Specific Purposes
If it wasn’t clear until now: there is no such thing as a “Linux OS”, but a variant of the system, the so-called distribution. Each of them is designed, designed and programmed for one or more specific purposes.
For example, OctoPi, a Raspberry Pi distribution focused on managing 3D printers; in addition to Raspbian, there is a Debian variant that can be installed on the Raspberry Pi for various purposes, such as simulating games with RetroPie and RetroArch. If we’re talking exclusively about desktop-oriented distributions, it’s the famous Ubuntu, which has a huge community and serves the most diverse purposes, and Linux Mint, which is the most popular for those migrating to Linux from Windows and macOS Friendly distro.
This is no coincidence. For years, Linux was considered an operating system inaccessible to the average user, arguably reserved for the nerdy crowd. Much of this perception has to do with older distros where the text interface worked based on black screens and green text. But for some time now, we’ve seen these distros implement great graphical interfaces designed to serve the public. In the case of Linux Mint, even those who have never used Linux will feel familiar with the system, as it has a start menu and an interface very similar to Windows File Explorer and macOS Finder.
Contrary to what many people think, this distro’s spray doesn’t pose any risk to users. The fact that Linux is far more secure than its two competitors doesn’t mean it doesn’t have security holes. Malware, security holes, backdoors and exploits exist on the platform, but at around 2% of the operating system market, the platform is not that “profitable” or “attractive” to cybercriminals. So you can sit back and relax.
If you’re looking for a new computer with factory Linux installed, there are few options at retail. Of the major brands, almost only Dell sells desktops and laptops with Ubuntu installed. However, most of the time, users choose to breathe new life into old/old computers by installing a distro. Linux, which requires less computer hardware than any other version of Windows, does a very good job of “taking away” and giving these machines new uses. If you have a computer in this state, give pets and Linux a try: the installation process is very simple, in most cases just download and copy the installation files to a USB stick. The process is usually very simple, less than an hour, and is well documented and explained on the sales website. All you have to do is find the right distribution for you.
While it’s easy to install a Linux distribution on your computer, as a beginner, you might get lost and not find the apps you’re used to from Windows or macOS. Photoshop, Premiere, 3ds Studio or even Office (in this case Office 365 in the cloud, but it doesn’t have the same functionality as the desktop version) are not available on that platform. But don’t despair, almost every software you know has alternatives that offer similar functionality and features.
GIMP, PiTiVi, Blender, and LibreOffice are some good options for these programs (all free and open source), but they may not include all the features users are used to. Then another option is to resort to WINE or CrossOver, which apply a compatibility layer to run Windows applications on Linux. In either case, however, you’ll have to settle for alternatives or find a solution that suits your needs – an important consideration when deciding on an operating system.
The same happens with drivers for computer components. Although most manufacturers already provide official versions of Linux drivers, these drivers are usually not installed automatically and you have to find them yourself. In this search, you may come across not only official releases, but also open source alternatives created by the community. Finding the ideal computer to get the whole set to work can be a challenge, especially when computers are thicker, more personalized, and assembled piece-by-piece from scratch.
Speaking of mainframes, if your goal is to build a gaming PC that runs Linux, it’s good to stick with it. While there have been some recent efforts to bring good titles to the system, the truth is that it and macOS are light years behind Windows in terms of gaming offerings. So, it’s worth investigating whether the games you want to enjoy on PC are compatible with the distros you’ve adopted/planned to adopt – or wait for the popularity of streaming games to come with Stadia might gain strength.
Consistent is an adjective that defines macOS well. For more than 30 years, Apple’s operating system has remained largely unchanged. Just compare the original system released in 1984 with the system we use today in macOS Catalina to see the similarities: the file system is the same; the menu bar looks the same; even the recycle bin is actually the same . Sure, we have richer, more explicit, and more colorful user interfaces today, but it’s worth noting that the design guidelines of three years ago still have a significant impact on the system.
And that level of consistency isn’t just for macOS’ visual interface, no. Behind the scenes, despite all the evolution of Apple’s platforms over the years, from 68000 processors to PowerPC to current Intel chips, the system still manages to remain stable and secure – and soon, the brand’s own chips will look like everything to users. Continues as before, with little paradigm shift as it affects users from Windows 7 to Windows 8 to Windows 10, for example.
It also helps macOS become one of the safest systems available today, relatively far from malware and other threats. Recently, however, it has become popular and has been one of the most targeted targets of cryptocurrency wallet scams.
Is this expensive? not completely
This continuity and consistency of macOS goes hand in hand with Apple’s decision to make the system exclusive and exclusive to the Mac. Unlike Windows, which is available on nearly all computing platforms, macOS is only available on Apple hardware. Sure, so-called Hackintosh exist, but they require a lot of work, effort, and resources to work properly – which will eventually become an article.
Because of this decision, people have the impression that buying a Macintosh is much more expensive than a PC. This statement is very relative, because the 800 reais computer we talked about earlier has very, very different specs and uses than a Mac. To make this comparison fair, you’d have to compare the Apple machine to a PC with at least similar equipment — for example, a SurfaceBook or Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon would be correct. The prices match here, and we have a pretty good idea that if you need a device with this kind of firepower, the MacBook might end up not being that expensive.
If you still think Macs are expensive, it’s worth taking a different approach: IBM published a few years ago what caused workstations to switch from desktops to Macs. Big Blue came to an end and found that over a four-year period, Macs cost $543 less to maintain than PCs — representing savings of more than $54 million, according to the company’s financial statements.
For us home users, especially the most attentive and attentive, that means we don’t have to worry about renting an antivirus solution every year, taking the device to tech support, etc.
Everyone who owns a Mac boasts that macOS is very easy to install, update, and use. Unlike Windows, system updates are more consistent – when they cause problems, they stay away from hardware incompatibilities and/or software that stops working. A few beta versions were released to the public for testing before the official release, and the system is usually fully serviced for everyone, with at most a few edges to crop.
Having said that, macOS already includes a lot of very competent free programs so you don’t have to buy a license. It offers GarageBand, Pages word processor, Numbers spreadsheet software, and Keynote presentation software for those dabbling in sound. If you use video editing, you can also use iMovie. If none of this meets your needs, there are paid applications like the Microsoft Office suite and the excellent Final Cut Pro X that, while expensive, can easily serve all video professionals.
If you have an iPhone and/or iPad, you can enjoy macOS even more. The system is tightly integrated with iOS and can even share clipboards with each other without any problems. Would you like the photos you take with your gadget to be transferred directly to your computer? You can also do this without the help of an intermediary.
Unlike Windows, macOS is also very flexible. Apple’s system is limited to its small world and runs smoothly with virtual machines running Windows and Linux. Of course, this comes at a price: your Mac should have at least a Core i5, 16 GB of RAM, and an SSD, not a hard drive.
It’s important to know in advance if you have this need, as you won’t be able to update your Mac in the future. It’s true that you can add more RAM with the Mac mini released in 2018, but the convenience of doing so is a far cry from what we’ve seen on PCs, requiring handing over your computer to a professional technician. So, the Mac you buy is usually the one you’ll have until you decide to swap it out for something else, which requires more planning on your part.
Either way, the point is that depending on your Mac’s settings, not only macOS, but Windows and Linux can all run satisfactorily. This brings all the benefits of accessing apps from three platforms in one place, which was unthinkable for the other two.
But don’t get me wrong: while this is attractive, it’s expensive, especially if you use more Windows or Linux applications. If so, spending less money on a PC might end up being worth it.
What is the best operating system for you?
A few years ago, Windows, Linux, and macOS were very different, which ultimately contributed to the wars we see today. Fortunately, choosing one of these operating systems is essentially a matter of preference these days. Generally speaking, anything you do in one, you can do in the other. What has changed is the effort and time it takes to get used to the user interface, apps, features, etc.
While the final decision is yours, you may find yourself in scenarios where one of these operating systems stands out over the others. They are:
- Choose Linux if you have an older PC and you don’t want to miss out on new features
- Choose Windows if you want to choose your PC settings yourself without worrying about compatibility
- Choose macOS if you want to run Windows, Linux, and macOS applications on the same computer
- Choose macOS if you want to fully integrate your system with your mobile device (it’s an iGadget)
- If you want a simple and cheap computer, choose Windows or Linux (for better performance)
- Choose Linux if you want to go back to the old computer you saved
- Choose Windows if you want to play the latest games
So what is the best operating system for you? Tell us in the comments and let us know why.