What are some Common Operating Systems and their Pros and Cons?

By Om Gautam2 min read · Posted Jan 4, 2023

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What is an Operating System?

An operating system is a software on your computer that manages all of your computer's memory and processes. The operating system in your laptop or smartphone allows your devices to complete tasks and provide utility; for example, they manage all of the apps on your phone while creating the graphic user interface on devices. Understanding the specifics of operating systems means understanding the two components operating systems use: kernels and shells. A kernel is the core of an operating system, and it helps users access the resources of their system (CPU, RAM, disks). On the other hand, a shell is a command line interpreter that allows users to connect with their device's kernel. Shell commands allow the user to request the operating system to complete specific tasks.

Types of Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows is an operating system created by Microsoft and is one of the most popular operating systems in the world. One of the pros of Windows goes hand in hand with its popularity: this operating system is usually pre-downloaded on most PCs. One con of Microsoft Windows is that there are limits to its compatibility with mobile devices.

MacOS

MacOS is an OS created by Apple that is mainly used for operating MacBooks, iMacs, and Mac Minis. Apple's operating systems are well-liked by their customers due to their capacity to ward off hackers and prevent faults. However, you can use macOS by purchasing an Apple computer, a product many cannot afford.

Linux

Linux is a series of open-source operating systems, meaning anyone worldwide can edit them – from updating to fixing bugs in software, Linux’s open-source design allows for a better user experience. Rather than being owned by one company like Windows or macOS, Linux is a free, open-source OS with various versions to provide for your needs. Some pros of Linux include security, speed, and low system specifications. The cons of Linux include the hassle of installing the operating system, learning how to use Linux, and the lack of hardware drivers.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu, a Linux distribution based on Debian, is an open-source, free-to-download library. This operating system has a wide variety of devices that it is compatible with and offers a variety of applications that would be provided on large operating systems like macOS. In addition, it can be customized to the consumer's needs and has active members working on fixing bugs and making updates. Some cons of Ubuntu are that it does not have professional hardware support, there is a learning curve if you are switching from a large OS, and rather than installing applications from an app store, you might have to install straight from the command line interpreter (CLI).

Overall, there are a variety of operating systems available on the market that will fit your specific needs!

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Om Gautam

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