What OS to use?

By jesusaves4180 ยท 8 replies
Aug 3, 2009
  1. This is not a gripe but more of a general question. Lets take a minute and look at today's OS options. They go as follows, you have the top dog Microsoft, then you have MAC OS and you also have the freebie Linux (We won't mention Google OS beings it is not out yet). With each on of these options you can always find good points and bad points. Lets start with Microsoft. Microsoft has been around so long that the majority of applications are proprietary to their OS, that too can be the achilles tenon of an operating system. There are two major factors dealing with Microsoft OS, Viruses and a.k.a. Windows Rot (degradation of the OS over time) hence the yearly reformat of the OS. Other than that for the most part I like the OS.

    Lets look at MAC OSX, Rock solid, stable, clean environment and next to none when it comes to virus threats but an absolute nightmare to any new user. Hands down, it takes some getting used to if you are an old school windows user. On another note, Proprietary hardware and software, this can be a huge hurdle for any new comer that wishes to take on MAC. Once you make it past the cost of hardware though it is easy sailing when it comes to OS updates, IE very low cost updates.

    Lets look at Linux (i use Linux loosely) now, very similar to MAC in the essence of Rock solid, stable depending on your choice of distribution you use. Very clean environment, and one strong point, it is free forever. Linux has improved by leaps and bounds over the last 10 years and I can only imagine where it will be in another 10. To give you some incite on it's success, lets look at Dell Corporation, they are offering Ubuntu OS on certain machines as an option in lieu of Microsoft. I will say this as a down side, extremely proprietary when it comes to the applications that you are used to running. They offer open office as a office package replacement that in my opinion is pretty awesome free choice but you have to be willing to give up the apps you use today. For the record, my parents have been using ubuntu now for 4 years... they love it.

    Now if we can have Windows hardware, with MAC OS for the price of Linux... I would be happy. Give me some time though, i might find something to complain about.

    Doug Gentry
  2. Algoz

    Algoz TS Rookie Posts: 20

    I think it depends on your circumstances....

    Windows... if you know no better, its the defacto choice. Most hardware will come preinstalled with some version of windows, and most 'new' and naive buyers will think it 'comes with' the hardware and is therefore free. You can get most apps for Windows, some shareware, some open source, some full-up paid for. It is possible to build and maintain a pretty usable system with very little further outlay. But yes, virus and rot are certainly 2 issues that users will have to face.

    OSX... if you are a little more discerning and have the extra cash for the initial outlay. Does take some getting used to if you're switching from Windows, but in my experience, solutions were easier than I was expecting having been 'trained' to jump through hoops my Microsoft.

    Linux... if you want totally free, but you need to be a little 'geeky' to get it all to work. But if you have the patience, the temerity and the desire, it makes a pretty robust and very usable system.

    My vote goes to OSX, but I know that my route to that decision wasn't exactly a product of reasoned logic. I was a die-in-the-wool Windows user who bought a Mini-Mac 'because I could'. I worked on the Windows system, and 'played' a bit on OSX. Then I dropped my laptop and was forced to use OSX. 48 hours of pain later and I was converted. I was then given an old 'it-doesn't work' laptop and installed Ubuntu... and have maintained it ever since. My wife uses and prefers OSX because it just works. As she puts it "when I hit the light switch, I expect to be able to see, I really don't care about the switch mechanism, the cables, the flow of electricity, the gas and fillament, the wattage, etc, etc. Same applies to my computer". And she is right!

    So its OSX for us, but not to say its the right choice, but only its OUR right choice.
  3. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    some good points,,

    im a die hard windows user, why...? simple...

    Ive always used windows, since its inception in the form of windows 3.1 ( i was a dosser before that) providing you keep it clean, back up regularly, and avoid ,,ahem ahem sites then your windows PC will run fine.

    My Dad bought a PC many many years ago (windows 95) , he used it for his accounts and printing things off, not having a need for internet he never bothered (apart from which it wasnt as widely available then), this PC lasted for many years without so much as a defrag and it was actually a hardware fault that finally bought the PC down several years later.

    The point is this, we are constantly forced as windows user to believe that we need this program and that program in order to make our PC better and faster, more and more programs are forced on us by magazines as floppy's were exceeded by CD's and then DVD's, when in actual fact we dont,,same as were made to believe we should lose weight and give up smoking, why if your happy why spoil it.

    Windows user are a prime choice for viri being the most widely used OS at the moment, however i feel that if MAC became the main OS in use writers of such things would quickly turn their attention towards it and so on and so forth.

    Linux/Unix and whatever else it likes to call itself, whilst free isnt something you can use out of the box, yes ive had a look at it, i even bought an Acer Aspire One with it on and i tried it for a few days, however my lack of knowing soon had me reaching for the XP disk and getting rid of ubuntu for ever...am i tempted to go back to it...maybe, im getting on in my years and i dont need or want to start learning how to get round ubuntu any more than i want to learn to speak swahili.

    MAC OS, again i had a look at it for a few days when someone gave me a macbook for repair and i did like it, however it lacked the ability to make me go ...wooooo....thats nice, i like that etc etc, not like Windows 7 which i just installed on a laptop a few weeks ago, that made me go wooooo thats nice, i like that.....

    See im a windows user thats my choice...it works simple as that
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I've barely used MAC, and used linux a bit too.
    I personally like XP32 because it has all the programs I could need (linux and MAC certainly have more compatibility issues, and I guess i'm just not familiar with them, but bottom line, the vast majority of softeware is developed for windows XP), it runs more games, and i'm used to it.
    Maybe this should be a poll?
  5. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    Windows basically controls the market, it may not be the best, but it works, the support is good, the price is reasonable, and any software out there will work with it...
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    If you need to do some work, pick up a tool you understand.

    If you want to learn something new, intentionally start a project with something you've never tried before.

    What's {best, fastest, most reliable} depends more upon YOU than the object being observed --- see Heisenburgs Principle of Uncertainty.
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    As most of you that read any of my posts in news/meeting spot/alt os/ and even misc software sometimes I have several computers with a variety of operating systems.

    I think now more than ever (heh, found a way to use that cliche'd phrase) you can't group Windows into its own group, I would say XP and before should be grouped and Vista and 7 should be, but probably a lot of people will argue that Vista and 7 shouldn't be in the same. But thats beside the point I'm trying to make. Vista and 7 bring a lot of features that XP didn't have, you could say that about XP and 2k, ME, 9x but IMO that is kind of like comparing OS X vs Mac OS 9, 8, 7, 6.

    With that said, for anyone that lives paycheck to paycheck I would say Windows (Vista/7) is your best choice, the hardware is dirt cheap for a decent machine, and pretty much everyone you know with a computer will also have some knowledge of your OS.

    Mac OS X is a pretty solid OS, but the hardware is a fair bit more expensive for 'comparable' PC parts. I don't think it is that difficult to learn, its just that you either launch programs from the dock or through a "window" rather than a menu like in Windows and most popular GUIs of Linux. Installing/Uninstalling is much easier, and it actually seems to deal with my Vista shares better than any other non-vista/7 Windows OS.

    Linux, I like this in theory, but for me, in practice, I'm always frusterated. I suppose if you were giving a computer to someone who has limited experience with Windows, or has never used one at all (parents/grandparents depending on your age) and all they want to do is email, light word processing, possibly chat, and browse the internet - then this OS will be great for them. But if they run into any problems its difficult for us (unless we know it well) to help them. For me, always fight my graphics drivers, Pidgin looks like **** compared to ANY IM client for Windows or OS X, and whatever other problems come up. I'm sure someone with more experience with it wouldn't find these to be big issues.

    I guess overall, it just depends on the user and the needs of that user.

    /also, its Mac OS X, or OS X, or Macs. Not MACS or MACs, that is Media Access Control and a hex number associated with your NIC.
  8. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    Thats a definate, i ran from Vista but walked hand in hand with 7
  9. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    IMO Vista really got shorted, I think its a fantastic feature rich OS if you had the hardware to run it. the thing about Vista is that it continually got lambasted more often than not by people who did not even use it, but regurgitated what they heard others who had not used it regurgitate. (not speaking of anyone in this thread, so don't start :) and 7 imo is even better, an optimized Vista, well its not even considered a 'major revision' by Microsoft so that would seem to be accurate.
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