Windows vs. Linux vs. Mac: the Comparison

When choosing an operating system, there are many different factors to consider. Power, security, and desirability are all important characteristics. Windows, Linux, and Mac are the three most commonly used operating systems, and they are all vastly different. In general, Windows is an all-purpose and popular system, Linux is a highly technical and powerful system, and Mac is a specialized but somewhat niche system.

Power: Systems and Applications

In terms of raw power, each operating system is evenly matched; the processing and memory capabilities are determined solely by the build of the hardware rather than the operating system. But that doesn’t mean that their effective power is identical. Each OS is generally used for different applications.

Windows systems are significantly broader in scope; the vast majority of software produced today is for a Windows environment. Because of this, most users will find themselves with more options when using a Windows system, especially in terms of software integration.

Linux systems tend to be easier to manage on a lower level. They give greater flexibility to the user, allowing for access to machine-level programming. This openness makes Linux more powerful in the hands of power users, as it is easier for them to customize and alter their system.

Mac systems are heavily utilized in the areas of graphic design, architecture, video, and 3D rendering. For these specific purposes (the development of visual media), they have a wider variety of software. Their systems tend to come designed for these types of applications. Mac systems are unique in that they are a combination of the operating system and the hardware itself.

Security: Viruses and Vulnerability

The vast majority of viruses released and vulnerabilities taken advantage of are targeting Windows systems. There are few, if any, popular viruses for either Linux or Mac computers. But that doesn’t mean that they are entirely secure. With cloud storage systems becoming popular, both Windows and Mac systems can become vulnerable to attack. Though Linux systems are highly secure, they are also highly technical; those who aren’t familiar with advanced Linux usage could easily make mistakes that lead to the sharing of their confidential and personal information. Overall, many now consider the Mac operating system the most generally secure.

Desirability: Employment and Specializations

Windows-based systems are highly desirable in terms of employment, but by the same token, most tech savvy professionals are experienced with Windows environments. So while it is a desirable skill to have, it may not necessarily set a candidate apart from others. Even technologies such as Windows Server tend to be fairly often used by office workers, especially tech specialists.

On the other hand, Linux skills are incredibly rare. If a business owner is looking for someone experienced in Linux, they usually have a far smaller pool of candidates to select from. Conversely, there are fewer employers today looking for Linux expertise. The market share for Linux is now 2.11%, with Mac weighing in at slightly more than twice that number. Naturally, Mac skills are more often in demand in industries that are focused on graphics. Graphic designers, architects, and video editors will all find Mac skills nearly essential.

The best system for you depends on the type of work you intend to go into. Even programmers often work on Windows-based systems today, but those who are going into security-based industries may want to consider Linux instead. Those who are in the design field could instead benefit from a focus on Mac systems. If you’re looking to make use of your operating system knowledge, contact the Software Specialists today.

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