The other day my wife and I were talking and she asked me, ‘What operating system would you recommend for users?’ Good question, actually. These days you have more options, and people might be unsure what is truly right for them. Windows, Mac OS, Linux – which one should you go with? In my opinion, I think the decision weighs on how much the user really wants to deal with the disadvantages of each OS, or if it’s even a disadvantage at all. Anyway, I decided to write about it and compare the pros and cons of the most common OS’s – Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. This will be divided in to three parts, one for each operating system so be sure to drop by for the next two articles. That said, let us start with what seems like the most popular OS (and yet, most troublesome) – Windows.
I have been a Windows user since Windows 95. But don’t worry, this posting will be completely unbiased. Windows comes with many advantages, but just like a reaction to every action, Windows has just as many disadvantages! We will start with the advantages:
Ease of use: I think a lot of people choose Windows because it is rather simple and easy to understand. Windows 8 tried to test this user friendliness advantage, but I think Windows 10 worked out all the confusions. The Windows Graphics User Interface is very user friendly, so you don’t need to be a wizard or have a lot of computer language knowledge to navigate.
Piracy: This has become a huge issue these days. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on who you ask), Windows 10 is now capable of detecting and uninstalling counterfeit programs on your computer. Though there is a big discussion if Microsoft broke some privacy law. Again, this is either great for users or rather depressing for others.
Gaming: Without a doubt, Windows has the upper hand when it comes to gaming support due to the great number of supported games. Windows 10 is apparently (and I quote…) ‘the best’ Windows for gaming and allows you to stream games from your Xbox one. Although a lot of reviews say the performance base is no different than gaming on Windows 8.1. Unfortunately for Windows 7 users, DirectX 12 is only capable on Windows 10. But Windows 7 is capable of the Vulcan graphics API, which is almost the same thing. When it comes to graphics and performance, I would say Windows is your best bet for gaming.
Software and hardware compatibility: Most companies make software for Windows based operating systems. And Windows has the best compatibility when it comes to hardware and software. You can run Windows on just about any processor out there. And if you’re curious or unsure then you can check out Windows Compatibility List to make sure if you’re hardware and software work with your version of Windows.
And now let me cover some of the disadvantages: (possible venting)
Malware: This has to be one of the biggest pains in my a**. Sometimes just installing a simple program can end up installing two other programs on your system that you didn’t ask for. Just the other day I installed a program to burn ISO images to disk, and it ended up installing programs to remove malware without letting me know. So really, it installed malware… to remove malware. Luckily my virus protection notified me of the newly installed start-up programs. Malware through downloads or software distribution is easily capable of digging deep holes in to the root of your Windows system if you are not paying attention.
Resource Hog: This is the other pain in my a**. I use Windows 7 (64-bit). Right now I have one instance of Google Chrome open for research, yet my task manager says I have freaking five (!!) instances open. This is in no way bogging down my CPU right now, but what a waste! What is this foolish debauchery?! Windows 10 on the other hand likes to compress your data and old pages of memory, and the longer you keep your computer on accessing program after program, the next thing you realize is that your system is hogging 1GB of your RAM. And after a quick look at your task manager will see that your CPU is running in red at 95% while you’re playing Minesweeper.
Pay for Software: So you just bought a new computer. Depending on how great the rig is, it probably ran you somewhere between €700 – €1.100. A rough guestimate, of course. You are super excited because it came with all this sweet software as well, but, oh… hmm. A lot of these programs are only trial versions and you have to pay to take advantage of the whole thing. The thing with Windows is that you have to pay for just about everything. God forbid that Microsoft comes out with another operating system and then eventually force you to migrate to it because they no longer support previous operating systems.
… wait a minute.
Sound familiar? Alright, I was a little dramatic there. That scenario is really not as realistic as what happened because Windows10 was free to everyone in the beginning while it had all its major issues still in play. And previous versions of Windows are still supported… for now. But eventually we will all have to succumb to Windows 10, which means forking out another couple hundred euros. Here is a fun fact: just recently my wife was upgrading her macOS from El Capitan to Sierra – for free. Well played Apple. Well played.
Customer Service: If you do a Google search for Microsoft Windows customer service reviews, you will find some pretty entertaining stories from customers that could keep you busy for some time. From being put on hold for hours or not receiving call a back, to paying 150 euros and having more issues than you originally started with. Windows has a good reputation for having terrible customer service support. If you are seriously desperate, then God speed on your epic adventure with Windows tech support. Otherwise, please do yourself a favor and research the many, many forums regarding your issue because out there somewhere someone has had the same issue you have and they posted it online for all. Every solution to every problem is somewhere on the World Wide Web, you just have to do a little research. =)
So – Good, Bad, or downright Ugly: Like I said earlier, I’ve been a Windows user all my life. I’ve always stuck with it! Unfortunately, you always have to be careful about what you do when downloading, or even just surfing the internet because malware is just about around every corner. If you do go Windows, make sure you don’t cut the corner when it comes to memory. The more you have, the better, since Windows doesn’t like to share. If you love to play the latest games, build PC’s, or if you’re just an all-around hobbyist – Windows would be your best choice. As for me, I plan on sticking with Windows 7 Professional as my main operating system. But when stacked up against macOS and Linux, I would say Windows is just downright ugly.
Be sure to drop by for the next part of ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’ where I discuss the macOS!