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A word about computers and their OS…

Todays’ market mainly consists of three good OSses, namely Windows, MacOSX
and Linux. Probably you may wonder why I am speaking of these today and what
I have noticed during the last 20 years in which I have worked with computers so
far. My insight shall clearly state that I am not favoring only one of these!

So let’s talk about all of these OSses and why I hate fights in forums from those who think that only “THEIR” OS, they believe in, is the best and all others are trash and the answer to all questions!

Let’s dive into the different worlds

Windows 7:

Released on October 22nd, 2009, it became Microsoft’s second real successful OS together with Windows XP. XP itself was released on October 25th, 2001 and will be 10 years old this October!

Has the surface changed between 98 and XP, so has it again with XP and Vista/Seven. The main advantages of Windows are that Microsoft has made a de-facto standard for game developers using DirectX.

Windows 7 can be described as the most advanced windows version that is even able to deal with upcoming hardware very well (such as SSD and modern multicore processors) as the 64Bit version is also no longer a hassle concerning drivers, program compatibility and the like. the interface itself looks much more clean compared to XP, 200 and 98 and has a modern touch (Aero surface). The downside is that hardware requirements have also dramatically increased… a recent research has shown, that at least 80% of all windows users have at least heard of Seven, 50% have tested it and as for recent statistics (May, 2011), nearly 30% are actually using Windows Seven. But why is Windows so successful and still dominating the market with approx 80% of all users?

One important factor is, that Windows, as we know it, exists from the late DOS times in 1993. There the revolution was to handle multiple programs at the same time and having al under a convenient graphical user interface. Significant steps were: Windows 95 C, Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Seven.

Why do I skip Windows 95(B), Windows ME, and Windows Vista, you may ask?

Because they were never that successful as the upper mentioned ones. ME could be described as the worst try to mix NT with classical Windows 98 (DOS). Gaming simply stank on ME, DirectX made much trouble and having no DOS at all to run older programs, which were still present at that time, let ME fall into the ungrateful rank of the must unsuccessful OS release of Microsoft. Windows 96 as initial release had much problems with drivers and setup programs tended to f**k off your OS very easily (could myself remember to many times where a new program interfered with some important system libraries that made Explorer.EXE crash during bootup… very annoying!!! – Also bluescreens due to many Interrupt violations of soundcard&co could make you go crazy!)

Another important factor might be that Windows is inluded with almost all sold PCs from bigger resellers such as Dell, HP, Gateway & Co.

And last but not least, Windows is easy to use, however is also insecure if not taken care of properly!

Disadvantages? Sure: It is by far the most hacked OS and probably the one you can make many mistakes on to either screw the OS or at least involuntarily spreading your private data either through spyware, scareware or real viruses/trojans. I think, it has also to do with the fact, that Windows users tend to see themselves in big security and loosing the ability to decide correctly on OS messages that deal with administrative rights or security concerns. Also Browsers my have easy game to bring in malware that harms your computer or can even cause economic losses (by Credit card ID theft). So if Windows is used, the user should also know of what to do and what not,

MacOS X:

Now into the Apple district: With Mac OS 9 (Classic) Apple had a sole position within the DTP scene and also Graphic designers and Printing studios have always relied on the solidity of MacOS. Yet there were some downsides on the OS such as incompatibilit with certain files, network exchange, a proprietary network protocol, called AppleTalk which could only bemoved to talk to other TCP-based networks using expensive hardware or network translation devices.

In 2001 Apple has announced to bring MacOSX which is so far the most successful OS of Apple. With 10.3, Apple began migrating the hardware to intel-based systems as the Motorola-driven architecture not only brought up some issues on programs and coding these, it also was a cost efficiency factor. This step should not have been regretted as todays stats show that Apple is selling PCs like hell. With it’s most actual Version 10.7 (Lion), Apple also brought the AppStore marketing system to MacOS X and this way melted iPhone, iPad and the home computer more together.

But what makes MacOS X so successful in the recent time?

I think the sleek design and the stability make MacOS X very successful. the hardware also is a very important factor. Their devices have cult state, as you can notice by the large lines in front of the Apple store when a new device is being released to public. And among us: The new MacBook Air 13″or the MacBook Pro 17″ are some Mobile computers I’d like to own myself, too! (And this comes from a plain Windows user!)

Other advantages is the simplicity of the OS and how to process workflows in the everyday business of a private user. Connect your mobile companions to a MacOS X driven computer and synchronization is being processed without one simple click! Automatism at its best. Even device installation is almost as simple as that.

Also very interesting: Windows can be also booted using BootCamp. So if you’re new to Apple’s computers and may miss the Usability of Windows and do not want to miss the elegance of an Apple product, you can use your Apple computer with Windows also. And it seems to work pretty well as sales of Apple computers have risen significantly with the first introduction of BootCamp.

And last but not least it’s Apple’s policy of usability #1: Unpack, plug in, start up, start working! Simple as that, no joke!

So what’s the disadvantage, you may ask?

Well, such stability and simplicity has it’s price. You are simply not able to customize the OS completely to your needs. Many things you can do in Windows or Linux are still not available to MacOS (sometimes good, sometimes annoying). This may be very handy for an averade PC user but not for IT pros who need to customize settings so that the computer might properly fit into their home network environment.

Second disadvantage and probably hindering Apple to gain more publicity is, that you cannot use MacOSX on your already existing (Windows) PC .

All in all you can say, that MacOSX is a real dangerous warrior to Windows Seven and was aple to take market shares away from Microsoft. I, myself, will give it a try for sure. But first I need the compatible hardware ;)

Linux:

Finally let’s have a look on Linux, which is also a very interesting OS and a hot discussed topic in every forum. Mostly Windows users and Linux users seem to fight each other. Windows users say, it is srewing ware (you have to do lots of stuff yourself to get devices or functions to work and it seems to be a real pain in the a*s), the Linux users say that Windows is swiss cheese concerning security and privacy.

Let me have a word especially on security: Okay, one fact is that Linux is a real fortess when you follow the guide and not using root user for internet&co., and also virusses have no chance taking your system down if they have no root rights. But if you follow the rules on Windows not using an administrator account for Internet access and not installing every crap from the web, your Windows system is also secure. I happen to know because in the past 5 years I had never to reset my Windows system due to a virus!

The Usability, as a next point of my advantage list of

One vast advantage of Linux is  that security leaks (if they exist) or new hardware implementations are relatively quickly implemented into a new kernel version of Linux as a real large community is permanently updating the Linux kernel. The other fact is that Linux and most of its applications are free for personal use and even in commercial use, Linux only costs a fraction of a Windows Server license…

So what are the disadvantages then? Most of all you can say that Linux is not for the average user and also not for the beginner as configuration of some elements and drivers or functions may become a real adventure for the IT-Pro and a real frustration for the beginner although Linux comes with a very good documentation. Also there are 3 major Window Managers (KDE, GNome, fnsx) to choose from and each one has it’s own characteristics. So before your Linux system is really ready to use and fitting your needs, you may spend lots of time!

Conclusion:

Each of the three big OSses have their right to exist. Every one of these have their area where they best at and where they have flaws. I see it this way: All OSses are equal good. So you should use the OS you can best work with or that fits your personal needs best. Except with Apple’s MaxOSX you can use your existing hardware and use either Windows or Linux. For MacOSX an Apple PC is mandatory.

The three big ones!


August 5, 2011 Netspark - 1472 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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