Pros and Cons of the Major Operating Systems

There are several options for choosing an operating system for your computer. Of course, Windows is the overwhelming heavyweight in the marketplace, and it isn’t a bad choice in some ways, especially for those not interested in the nuts and bolts of things. Also looking for users are Linux, BSD, and Leopard.

1. Windows

The good side of Windows is that it is made to operate programs. The wide variety of software that works here is a huge selling point. You don’t have to be a programmer or techie to be a user. Everything comes from a disc or a download. Click the install button, and away you go. Word processors, Spreadsheets, Games, Synthesizers, Photo Editors, Art Creators, Email Handlers, Bookkeepers, and Website Makers are some of the most common. Then there are the not-so-popular yet intriguing out-of-the-mainstream volumes such as File Converters, Iso File Makers, Virus Hunters, Adware Killers, and endless utilities you may discover once you start looking. A small utility saves clips (as many as you want) that can be posted anywhere, so you don’t have to retype all the time.


That’s the good side of Windows. So that you know, it’s not all roses and candlelight; you should know there are some drawbacks, too. Everything you do on Windows should be backed up regularly. Why? Because just about the time your five-week project is within a few paragraphs of completion, Windows will have a hiccup and lose the whole thing, or some virus will erase your hard drive, or you’ll press the delete button accidentally. Boom, it’s all toast. Another thing about Windows is that it’s already programmed; you must accept it as it is. You’re out of luck if it doesn’t have a feature you need. You must adapt if the button arrangement is inconvenient (although there is some flexibility). Don’t need all the bells and whistles? You stuck with them. Then there are the slow days when it seems to sit there and mock you, taking its sweet time. It’s no wonder someone occasionally tosses one out the 10th-story window.

2. Leopard

So, what are the other options? Well, first is Leopard, which is the Macintosh operating system. Apple Computers make Macintosh. If you don’t know who Steve Jobs is, you must live in a dark and depraved world. As they are known, Macs cost a little more than other systems (about twice the price of a Windows machine). I will tell you that I have yet to meet a Mac user who has bad words about their device. If you get one, you are practically guaranteed to love it. They are the choice of graphic artists almost universally. The local ad sheet for the city is made on them, so they make commercially viable tools.

The negative side. Not a lot. There isn’t as much software for them, but the ones you get are extremely well-made. A lot of the less popular stuff doesn’t exist for Macs. That, along with the higher price, are the main hitches.

3. Linux

Another option is Linux. The Linux operating system is free now, so the price is right. Linux has many flavors (versions), so you don’t have to use the same thing everyone else has. Some that I know of are:

* Red Hat
* Ubuntu
* Suse
* Damn Small

Each has advantages and limitations because they are geared toward a certain area, such as games, the internet, or servers. They have ways to become popular, yet they are making great strides in market share. Also, if you can do the programming, Linux offers wonderful access to the code. It has become quite easy to obtain and install Linux on any computer in the last year or so. It will coexist alongside Windows, so there is little excuse for not trying it out. They offer a GUI similar to Windows and Leopard, which is fairly intuitive. Some software is quite comparable to the bigger fish. OpenOffice will take Office on and come through looking pretty good. Gimp has a learning curve but can do much of what Photoshop does for free.

The downside is that Linux is just not as developed. It is a terrific platform for geeks who love swimming through code and troubleshooting glitches. The creative potential is unlimited, which is the main drawback at the same time. Most people want something ready to go, not something they must create before operating. The number of programs (though growing) is quite limited.

4. BSD

The last of our operating systems to consider is BSD. Like Linux, it is free (though there is a commercial version). The major selling point is that it is the most modern system. It doesn’t have backward compatibility issues with Windows. Since Windows was introduced, so many advances in hardware have been made that you wouldn’t believe some of them. BSD was created to take advantage of these advances. It has the most potential of all these systems because of its modern design. It is quite compatible with and similar to Linux, just more modern.

That, at the same time, is the largest problem. Most accessories with an operating system (software and interface) are lacking. It’s like having a Ferrari engine and framework without the rest of the drive train.

Dean Walden is an avid internet user, watcher, promoter, website builder, and researcher. The Ubuntu version of the Linux operating system is easy to use if you can use Windows.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.