Windows, Mac, Linux (etc.), which version, and why?
Personally, I want to try Google OS, but I don't think it is really great at the moment.
asked May 31 '10 at 21:41
It really all depends on what your needs are, your price range, and what you want to do with the computer in general. Personally I recommend Windows 7 because of the price, reliability, and ease of use. But I also think that if you know what you are doing that you should take the linux plunge, too.
I am so glad to be rid of VISTA 64 bit. I installed Windows 7 64 bit on 2 laptops, and one desktop.. huge improvement... in speed. install went so smooth!
answered May 31 '10 at 23:17
Mac is better for a novice: Viruses? Spyware? Malware? Nope, not on Mac. Jump right in and start browsing, playing music, watching movies--not a problem. On the other hand, jump right in and try to play a .wmv file, or write to NTFS: which most large external HDDs are formatted to these days--not going to happen without some work. Mac is a little more closed, but its a Window's world, making it seem that way.
Windows is good for a novice, but this novice must learn to take caution with certain endeavors. Most new Windows-based machines come with an antivirus, but a trial version that a lot of people don't update or re-subscribe with. Malware is a constant threat if you're webpage, click-happy. Most new machines might come with an antivirus, but often a lot of bloatware that is just unneeded, slowing the system down, and usually runs smoother without! Windows has a slightly higher learning curve than a Mac, but also tends to be more flexible and open.
Linux tends to have a lot of similarity to OS X (Mac), but that's because of what's "under the hood." They both are UNIX based, so you're bound to see the similarities. Just open the Terminal in both operating systems and learn a few strings--you'll quickly see what I mean. Windows is based on DOS, completely different from UNIX.
PS. The UNIX base of both OS X and Linux distros tend to be their strength for security; nothing is really written for them since they have such a small user-base. Security through obscurity!
Which is better? It depends on what you want to do. Games? Windows. Video editing? Mac. Higher level of security? Mac/Linux. A more open (and more widely written for) OS? Windows. It's all about your needs and choice.
Mac tends to cost the most, starting at $1,000. Windows-based machines typically cost less, and tend to use more up-to-date hardware. Linux is finicky about hardware sometimes (even the more well known distros), but is normally free! Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
D. J. Moore
answered Aug 31 '10 at 02:25