An operating system, or OS, is a software program that enables the computer hardware to communicate and operate with the computer software. The most well-known operating systems are Windows, Mac OS and Linux, all of which have different versions. Although Windows is a PC-based OS, it can be run on a Mac computer with the help of a programme called Parallels, for example. Generally speaking, here is a brief summary of pros and cons of each major operating system:
- Can be expensive, especially compared to Linux, which is in most cases free. - Easy to use, especially for new computer users, and plenty of help resources are available online. - Although Microsoft Windows has made great improvements in reliability with recent versions, it still lags behind its competitors. - It has a large library of available software, games and utilities, although many are expensive. - Hardware manufacturers all make drivers and support for Windows OS. - Openness to virus attacks is a major disadvantage.
- It is an open source OS, which in most cases is free.
- Inexperienced computer users may find it more difficult to get to grips with Linux. - It is very reliable and rarely freezes.
- Fewer computer programs, games and utilities are available for Linux. - Many programs are free or open source, even very complex ones. - There are still some manufacturers that do not offer hardware support for Linux OS, although there are fewer every year. - The open source nature of Linux allows more advanced users to customize the code as they wish. - Fewer people use Linux, therefore it is more difficult to find someone fully familiar with it, although there are vast resources online.
- MAC computers are more expensive generally than PCs.
- MAC is a much more secure OS, and is far less open to viruses and malware. - Stability is a major advantage - it very rarely crashes, loses data or freezes. - Fewer computer programs and games are...