Windows vs Mac vs Linux (2020)
After reading the fifth debate on my Facebook posts about why “Windows Sucks” and everyone should “Install Linux”, I decided to tackle this issue head-on. It’s officially 2020, let’s discuss the current state of operating systems. Today we discuss the battle of the giants: Windows vs Mac vs Linux in 2020.
In my experience, Linux has a very specific niche market. Each operating system has benefits and drawbacks. Linux is amazing in terms of focus. It does not include many features pre-installed, so you can customize it to your very specific needs. This focus makes it the best for very specialized tasks and needs.
Know The Cost
Even though removing Windows software can be extremely easy to do, many Linux advocates claim this is the reason no one should use Windows. I strongly disagree.– Craig The Tech Teacher
This focus, however, comes at a cost. Many people are unsure of what they need. They also may be uncomfortable with the Linux shell or the extra steps necessary to install Linux software. There is where Windows comes in…
Windows is an exceptional operating system package, especially when you dial it in. It has a user-friendly UI, performance stability, decent security and is by far the most flexible. Why is it the most flexible? Because Windows allows users to select from a plethora of available software options that may fit their needs. Many software developers write for Windows first and expand to other operating systems later.
Windows allows users to safely “remove” unnecessary software they do not need. This means it ships with more software than someone may want. Even though removing Windows software can be extremely easy to do, many Linux advocates claim this is the reason no one should use Windows. I strongly disagree.
A Disagreement Between Philosophies
At the end of the day, both users can end up with very similar results but through a separate path.– Craig The Tech Teacher
This is a disagreement between philosophies. Windows adopts the philosophy of “perhaps our users don’t know what they need yet”, and allows the user to remove software and services as they see fit. In other words, you start out with a swiss army knife of everything and remove the tools you don’t need.
Linux, on the other hand, adopts the philosophy of “our users know exactly what they need”. This is essentially letting the user start out with a basic shell of a knife and insert the tools they need.
At the end of the day, both users can end up with very similar results but through a separate path. Many Windows users eventually become Linux users because they leverage the flexibility of Windows to discover their specific needs. Then the user installs a Linux OS focused exclusively on those needs.
Where Does Mac Fit?
While this may sound like it makes Mac “the best choice”, the opposite can be true. Since Mac does not have the flexibility of Windows nor the efficiency of Linux, it can sometimes be the “worst of both worlds”.– Craig The Tech Teacher
Where does Mac fit into all of this? The Mac operating system attempts to balance the two worlds. It ships with pre-installed software used by the majority of users. It makes the removal of this software extremely easy. But it also allows for the installation of focused Unix / Linux software.
While this may sound like it makes Mac “the best choice”, the opposite can be true. Since Mac does not have the flexibility of Windows nor the efficiency of Linux, it can sometimes be the “worst of both worlds”. The UI and security from Linux can leave “Windows” style users frustrated by it’s inflexbility. At the same time, bloatware and unnecessary services can make the “Linux” style users disappointed in the performance.
A Breakdown Of Windows vs Mac vs Linux in 2020:
- Linux – Extremely focused. It allows the user to essentially extend the operating system to precisely fit their needs. The drawback is the configuration and extension process can be clumsy, buggy or rely on 3rd party documentation.
- Windows – Extremely flexible. Allows the user to extend the operating system to fit their needs, but requires the removal of everything they do NOT need. This is basically the opposite of Linux. Windows comes pre-packaged with software and services many users do not need. The philosophy is “it is easier to remove than it is to add”. This philosophy is absolutely true if you are not tech-savvy or don’t have the time to learn how to extend your operating system functionality.
- Mac (Unix) – Extremely balanced. Mac has found a way to leverage the focus of Unix with the flexibility of Windows. It launches with significantly less bloat than Microsoft. However, Mac can feel clumsy when extending its functionality with more software packages. The primary benefits of Mac are the security and stability of a Unix based operating system with the value-added of a less “Linuxy” clumsy UI and installation experience.
So Who Wins?
You will notice that no operating system is great at everything. This is why the operating system you choose should revolve around the user’s needs and experience. There technically is no “best” operating system, there is only an operating system that “best fits” the user’s needs.