Windows vs. Linux vs. Mac OS: Features

Hey guys! How are you all doing today? We started a debate over various types of Operating Systems we can use inside our computers or laptops but we were inconsistent and if you stick with us, we will be going to help you decide which one would be best for you for your next upgrade.

Now, this is a multiple post series with this being the second post and it will be continued until we get over to a conclusion.

What we are going to do is we will be taking different aspects every week to compare these three of them - whether it is based on software, hardware or peripherals or even security. Today, we will be taking some key features in mind while doing the comparison.

So let us get ahead and compare!!!!


  • As on date Microsoft holds about 90% of the PC and laptop market share worldwide. It means that out of every ten laptops/PCs sold in the market, nine are compatible with Windows. It is because Windows has the hardware and software variety.
  • Windows is available worldwide and has a long life. Also, Windows has the largest software library in the world. Every Windows user might not get access to all the new applications that come into the market. However, Windows is the OS to have on your computer/laptop if you are into activities like media, gaming, multimedia, enterprise, and general consumer use.
  • Do you need to run enterprise software at work? Don't try it with Mac OS X or Linux—most likely they won't work. How about games? Again, Windows rules. There simply aren't nearly as many games that run on the Mac or Linux. The same holds true for many other kinds of software.
  • Customisation Options: Don't like the way Windows looks or works? No problem; change it. From the transparency of windows down to almost every level of the operating system, there's a way to customise it. And there's plenty of free and cheap software for further tweaking.
  • Windows OS is also compatible with almost all types of accessories like mouse, keyboards, storage drives, graphics tablets, printers, scanners, monitors, microphones, and so on.
  • As far as updates are concerned, Windows does them regularly. You get timely updates with advanced features.


  • As compared to Windows, Mac OS has restricted use. You can use the Mac OS only on Apple devices. Therefore, buying an Apple machine is the only legitimate way to access Mac OS.
  • When it comes to integration, no other operating system can boast the unity of purpose and results that exist on the Mac platform. While the competition is busy mashing feature after feature into poorly designed products, Apple Inc. focuses on what's important: creating a software/hardware ecosystem that gets out of the way so you can do what you bought a computer to do—work, make movies, build Web sites, communicate or crunch data.
  • Apple's relentless attention to detail has created a world where hardware and software are equally polished—so polished, in fact, that a wireless mouse, an iPod or an iPhone feels more like a natural extension of the Mac than a separate device.
  • As Mac OS can run on a relatively small variety of computers and parts, it is easy to control the system as compared to Windows. Therefore, it allows Apple to do intensive testing of their products and optimise software for a few appliances alone.
  • It also allows Apple to offer targeted services to diagnose and fix problems with a higher degree of accuracy and speed than Windows.
  • Mac OS is also compatible with third-party software like Google’s Chrome Browser. Microsoft has also produced its version of the Office application suite exclusively for Apple hardware. Design and media production businesses prefer the Mac OS as many art-focussed applications are available only on Mac. One such application is Apple’s Final Cut Pro video editing suite.
  • Mac OS is not very popular among gaming enthusiasts because most of the new games are not available on this platform. Usually, the games release on the Windows platform because of its greater reach.
  • Apple's switch to the Intel architecture, along with today's impressive virtualization software, means Macs can now run other operating systems—at full speed. That gives you access to software across all three platforms, letting you work and play without walling yourself off from the rest of the computer world.


  • Linux is an open source OS as compared to the Windows or Mac OS. Hence, anyone can tweak the OS according to their usability. Compared to Windows, Linux has a complex version structure.The open-source nature of Linux has resulted in the introduction of hundreds of Linux-based OS known as ‘distros’. Choosing between them is difficult.However, distros have their benefits as well. You can get an OS that suits your style effortlessly.
  • If running Adobe Premiere is the most important thing in your life, or you want to play Halo, Linux isn't going to do it for you, at least right at the moment. While most Windows software can run under Linux in one fashion or another, applications that make extensive use of hardware drivers or high-end graphics may not work right. But for everything else, Linux is definitely the way to go.
  • Linux is the lightest thing you'll ever install on your computer. While the minimum required hardware for Windows has been bloating, and Macs need more and more horsepower to run, you can still dig out your old computer and fire up Linux without problems.
  • Linux is not only small, but it's also stable. Linux has all the configuration data and libraries right out where you can see them, in files. You can see what's changed and make edits manually. Even the system-configuration tools that have nice graphical user interfaces (GUI) end up generating human-readable and editable files at the end of the day.
  • It's much easier to move your Linux system to new hardware or clone an existing system because there's no licensing. I've never had a problem moving a Linux system disk to a new computer, even when the hardware was drastically different.
  • Installing Linux is also very easy. The advantage of Linux OS is that you can ‘live’ boot them. You need not install the OS in the machine. You can boot your device from a DVD or USB image.
  • Linux is the most secure OS of all. Hence, the IT community prefers to have a Linux OS as compared to Windows. The most significant advantage of Linux OS is that it does not grant full administrator or root access to the users like Windows does.The open source code works to its benefit because you have more people scanning the OS for flaws. Secondly, there is the compatibility issue. As all software is written for Windows, the same is the case with malware as well. Therefore the incompatibility with specific software helps it remain free from virus attacks.
  • OpenOffice is a mature replacement for Microsoft Office, and there are good (and free) tools for video and photo editing, audio editing, and many other common applications. More importantly, more and more applications are transitioning to Web-based versions.
  • Finally, the Linux desktop experience is now the match of any other desktop GUI in existence. The user interface is intuitive and clean, but still powerful. Performance wise, Linux is capable of outperforming Windows over a more extended period. Windows tends to bloat. It is not the case with Linux. But Linux is not a widely used OS. Hence, there is a need to train users to operate Linux.

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