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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:25 pm
Most software programs are designed to work with just one company's operating system, like just Windows (Microsoft) or just macOS (Apple).
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:26 pm
The Pros and Cons of Linux, Windows, and OSX

From time to time I am asked which operating system is the best in my opinion. This is a tough question to answer as there is no definitive answer. All your choices have their technical merits but, you really shouldn’t select an operating system based solely on its technical merits. You should instead select one that best suits your usage case. To that end I have done my best to summarize the pros and cons of each operating system from the point of view of the average end user. This overview is intended to be part of a larger series of articles I am working on to help you determine which is the best computer for you. A question I get asked a lot more often.

Lets address your operating system choices in order of market share, just to be objective.

Windows LogoFirst we have Windows XP Windows 7. It’s about everything and nothing.

Update: Since I originally wrote this article Microsoft has introduced Windows 7 to the world. What a difference a few months makes. Windows 7 makes up for everything Vista did wrong and them some. It is certainly the best OS Microsoft has produced since XP and some might say Windows 2000.

And its not a disappointment this time around like it was with Vista. Besides improving the interface they have revamped most of the built in applications, simplified wi-fi networking management, gotten rid of the annoying security prompts, gave it better battery life, and made major improvements to the task bar. It will even run on lower powered hardware like netbooks.

Unlike the Vista launch most of the hardware compatibility problems have been resolved. Windows 7 is based on Vista so all the work manufactures put into updating their drivers to Vista will still apply.So most of the problems controlled by Microsoft that are outlined below have been resolved. The problems related to existing in the Windows based eco-system are still there.

What about Windows Vista? Stay away from Vista. But isn’t Vista the latest and greatest from Microsoft? Latest, true. Greatest, no.

There are two major reason to stay away from Vista. One, corporate America has pretty much passed on this operating systems due to software incompatibilities, cost, and lack of benefit. Second, a major lack off legacy hardware support. What business wants to buy a new computer for everyone just for a fancier interface and find out that they have to replace everything else, printers, digital cameras, scanners, just to make it all work together again? For that matter, why would you? Unless you don’t have any legacy hardware or software, just stay away.

If you need proof of all these problems, all you have to do is look at Microsoft’s support policy for Windows XP. Windows XP was suppose to reach end of life in the middle of 2007. Since then, due to the backlash from vendors and consumer problems, that support has been extend to June of 2008. Now the rumor is that support will be extended, again, to 2010. Why 2010? That’s when Microsoft plans to release its next version of Windows.

So why use Windows XP? Well Windows XP is still the most widely supported operating system and dare I say it, the most stable product in the Windows family. You’ll never have a problem finding hardware, software, or support for a Windows XP system. Windows XP also still has the most support for running your custom business applications. The last reason to select XP over other alternatives is gaming. If gaming is a major consideration you are practically locked into choosing Windows XP.

So, at this point, you are probably saying to yourself that Windows XP is for you but, hold on, being the biggest has its dark side. For one, Windows is targeted for malware more than the other operating systems. Due to the architecture of Windows, when that malware gets into your system, it can do more damage and be harder to remove than other systems. Windows is general more unstable than its counterparts. I’d love to lay the blame for this entirely at Microsoft’s feet but, that would be unfair. The sheer magnitude of configurations options means that there really can’t be rigorous quality of assurance testing for every scenario that might come up and they can’t be blamed for that. What they can be blamed for is continuing an architecture that allows the failure of one system to affect the rest of the system.

An example of Windows inherent instability might be when you accidentally unplug your camera, mouse, printer, whatever, from you computer while it is in use. Instead of just the programs using that device locking up, your whole computer locks up and needs to be rebooted. We have all had this experience. We also all blame Microsoft solely for the problem. That isn’t exactly fair. The root cause of the lockup was the device driver, written by the manufacturer, being unable to handle this unexpected event. Where Microsoft shares the blame is not being able to keep this single, poorly written, device driver from affecting the whole system.

If I made this same mistake in Linux, and I have, I would probably just lose the ability for the application I was using to talk to the device I had disconnected. It is a very rare event that the whole system would lock up. In any case, to fix it, all I would have to do is reconnect the device and restart the application. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t an example of better drivers being written for Linux. If, in this example, the driver was better than its Windows counterpart then my application wouldn’t need to be restarted. It is an example of the underlying architecture of Linux being able to handle this unexpected event better than Windows.

Pro’s

More then 80% of the desktop computers in the world run some sort of Windows operating system.
You won’t have any trouble finding hardware and drivers.
You won’t have any problems finding support.
Most widely supported operating system for games.
Large shareware and freeware application library.
Con’s

The most prone operating system for spyware and virus applications.
You are going to need support.
General instability due to the shear number of possible configurations.
Poor security.
Limited access to the library of free open source software.
OSX LogoSecond, we have Apple and its OSX operating system. It’s about the content baby.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit, that I am a recent Apple convert. After using Microsoft Windows since Windows 286, just over 20 years, both personally and professionally, I’ve had enough. Maybe I should do one of those switch commercials?

For most of Apple’s history there were two major reasons to stick with Windows over Apple. Hardware and software choices. Since Apple moved to Intel based system a few years back both of those reasons have been negated.

From Wikipedia:

Since Mac OS X is based on UNIX, most software packages written for BSD or Linux can be recompiled to run on it. Projects such as Fink, MacPorts and pkgsrc provide pre-compiled or pre-formatted packages. Since version 10.3, Mac OS X has included X11.app, Apple’s version of the X Window System graphical interface for Unix applications, as an optional component during installation.[13] Up to and including Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger), Apple’s implementation was based on the X11 Licensed XFree86 4.3 and X11R6.6. All bundled versions of X11 feature a window manager which is similar to the Mac OS X look-and-feel and has fairly good integration with Mac OS X, also using the native Quartz rendering system. Earlier versions of Mac OS X (in which X11 has not been bundled) can also run X11 applications using XDarwin.
So with OSX you have the entire open source catalog of software open to you plus the native OSX software library. Certainly, lack of software choice is no longer a problem.

The second reason, a lack of hardware support, has pretty much gone away with the introduction of common hardware interfaces such as USB and firewire. It use to be that hardware, such as scanners and digital cameras, all had different hardware interfaces, such as serial and SCSI connections, that required the manufacture to write a driver specifically for for each operating system. Since the introduction of common standards, like USB, the operating system vendor can now write a common driver for all these devices.

An example of this would be my first digital camera which had a serial interface and thus would only work in Windows. My second digital camera connected to my computer using USB. The camera presented itself to the computer as a USB hard drive, which every operating can use. Even though I have upgraded my camera several time since then, that old camera still works with my new Apple Macbook Pro laptop.

Of course you can still find Windows only hardware but, it is getting harder. If you bought your scanner, camera, camcorder, or printer in the last few years there is no technical reason not to consider Apple OSX.

So with the technical reason out of the way, why would you want to consider OSX over Microsoft Windows?

First, it’s just easier to use. Of course this is a subjective statement so I suggest you visit an Apple store and try it for yourself.

Two, it is more stable. Again that is a subjective statement as well but, it has been my experience and the experience of people who bought Apple systems based on my recommendations, that over all, they are having less support issues. I can personally state that these individuals don’t come to me with questions about how to fix their systems anymore. If they do ask me a question, it is more likely to be related to how to do something new like, how do I create a DVD of my kids using iMovie.

The reasons for this are probably two fold. One, Apple has a higher degree of control over the hardware design of its systems leading to a generally more stable product. Two, OSX’s UNIX base (which has been under development a lot longer than Windows) and UNIX security model lead to a much more stable operating system. You won’t have the virus and spyware problems you are probably use to by now on Windows.

Third, Apple’s core strength is content creation. Mostly people use a computer to create something else not just to play with the the computer itself. This is where Apple and OSX excel. In general, Apple systems come out of the box with more features and programs for creating content than any other system. There is a reason why most bands use Pro Tools on OSX to create their music, why every print application is created with Adobe Photoshop and Indesign on OSX, and why a lot of video is produced with Final Cut on OSX. Apple’s OSX just does a better job of helping to create and manage content.

Pro’s

Easier to use for the non technical.
Content creation is its strength.
More secure than Windows due to its UNIX base
More stable than Windows due to Apple’s tighter control over the configuration options and its UNIX base.
Almost no spyware or virus applications.
More powerful than Windows due to its UNIX base.
You have almost complete access to the enormous library of free open source applications.
Con’s

More expensive upfront than other choices. Some would say this is offset by less maintenance required over the life of the system.
Less support. You have to goto Apple for all your hardware problems.
Less hardware choices than Windows. For your average user this isn’t much of a problem. All the common hardware types will work.
More complex than Windows due to its UNIX base. This really isn’t a major con because OSX does a great job of hiding this complexity from the end user.
Linux LogoThird we have Linux. It’s all about choice man.

I know what you are thinking. Isn’t Linux that command line operating system my 15 year old and the technical support people at work rave about? That’s way too much of a learning curve for me. Well, that is true but, Linux also is that user friendly cable box under your T.V., that kiosk in the mall that tells you where the GAP is, and the operating system that runs your TomTom GPS navigation system in your car. Odds are you are already using Linux and don’t even know it.

For a long time Linux has had a two faced image problem. At one end you have the appliance like consumer gadget market that is using Linux to make extremely easy to use consumer electronics like your Tivo or TomTom. On the other end you have the majority of the world’s top ten super computers that also run Linux. It is this end that has gotten most of the main stream media attention over the years.

Linux still has room in the middle of these two extremes for you. Even here there are two ends of spectrum. At the low end, you have systems like the Asus Eee PC which, by default, runs a restricted version of Linux that even your grandmother can use. At the other end you have the web server that served you this page. You also have every option in between.

Typically you are going to want a Linux distribution (of which there are many) that approximates the ease of use of Windows and OSX. For the last couple of years the most popular choice has been Ubuntu. Ubuntu’s main focus, since its inception, has been to make Linux easier to use for the masses and I’d have to say, they have done a great job. If you have ever used a computer before then it won’t take you very long to get up to speed in Ubuntu. One of the great advantages of Linux over Windows or OSX has been its lower hardware requirements. If your current computer is less then five years old then I can pretty much guarantee that it will run Linux. Maybe not with all the fancy graphic options but, it will be usable.

Another great advantage of Linux is that you can try it on any hardware without actually installing it by using a live CD. With a live CD, you can run Linux on your current computer just by booting off the CD. The operating system is loaded into memory and run off the CD and it won’t affect anything else on your system. When you are done testing, you simply take the CD out of your drive and reboot. Go get the Ubuntu Live CD here and check it out. Of course, Ubuntu isn’t your only choice. Google Linux Live CD and check out the other options.

Pros

Runs on just about any hardware. It is a misnomer that Linux lacks the driver support of Windows and OSX. Linux actually has the broadest driver support of any system. I don’t see Windows running on your TomTom. What is true, is that the latest and greatest hardware doesn’t come to Linux first if the manufacture choose not write Linux drivers. For most things this isn’t a problem for the same reason it isn’t a problem for OSX. Just be aware of the issue before running out to buy the latest add on.
More options than any other system. This is a pro and a con. If you want to change anything in Linux you can. The only limiting factor is your desire to figure out how.
Way more secure than Windows XP and even OSX.
Everything is free. Although please donate a little something to your favorite projects.
If you choose to, you can always be on the cutting edge of computer science. All the new ideas in development on college campuses across the world are tried on Linux first and then the best of those filter down to Apple and Windows but, what’s best is subjective so Linux leaves you with a choice, while Apple and Windows limit you.
Full access to the free open source library of software. Great full featured, compatible, and free replacements for your proprietary software.
Linux management, for example patch management, is much easier. Typical one command or wizard has to be invoked in order to update everything vs. Windows where you have to get OS patches from Microsoft and third party patches from each individual vendor.
Cons

The latest and greatest hardware is typically slower to reach Linux.
The shear number of options can be daunting to a non-technical user. Although, like OSX, the distribution you select will determine the level of complexity presented or hidden from the end user. For instance, my mom would have no problem using Ubuntu but, only the uber techies among us would opt for the Gentoo Linux distribution.
Limited support for proprietary applications. Although you can use Microsoft Office for Windows on Linux by using an open source version of the Windows application programing interface called WINE, I wouldn’t recommend it for the non-technical user. Instead use Open Office, which comes with the Ubuntu distribution, for creating documents compatible with Microsoft Office.
Limited vendor support. This is getting better. Dell now offers systems with Ubuntu pre-installed and those sub $300 Walmart PC’s that they couldn’t keep in the stores were from Everex. As for software support, even though this is under cons, I can’t really say this is a bad thing. In 20 years Microsoft has never answered a question when I have bothered to call them. I may spend hours searching their knowledge base to find an answer to my question. On the other hand, Linux has a massive community of people willing to help. A quick search of the Ubuntu forums will generally reveal an answer, and if not, then a quick post to the forum normally gets a response.
Basically, for all its pros and cons, Linux comes down to choice. If you can think it, you can probably do it.

So which OS is the best?

Like I said at the beginning of this article it depends on your usage. If you want to be compatible with the office and play games, it is Windows. If you do nothing but content creation all day long, want general compatibility with the office, or are a less technical user, than it is OSX. Finally, if you have a budget, need both a restricted system for one user and a powerful system for another but, it has to be the same computer, than it is Linux.

Each one has it best use. I’m a perfect example. I wrote and developed this web site on OSX. I have a Mac Mini in my bedroom that I used to watch movies. I also have my entire home automation system running on OSX.

Then there is Linux. I have a Linux based VOIP (Voice Over IP, think vonage) server running my home phone, a Linux based DVR recording my T.V. and a Linux based file server to back it all up.

Finally, there is Windows. Well, I use Windows at work. I have a XBox for video games.

Easy enough?
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:27 pm
The war between Mac and Windows devotees has been raging for decades, and last week we asked you to weigh in. Today we're taking a look at the best arguments on both sides to offer a clear picture of why you might choose one platform over another.


This Post Represents How You Feel
We didn't write this post to share our opinions on the Mac versus Windows argument, but rather to aggregate what you, the readers, feel as a whole. This post attempts to represent both sides of the arguments equally, but may be weighted more towards Windows users as Windows is the operating choice for the majority of Lifehacker readers. Please keep this in mind as you read and share your thoughts in the discussions.

Mac Hardware Costs Too Much for What You Get


Many feel the cost of a Mac is too high for what you get, but others justify the heftier price tag by citing top-tier support, higher quality hardware, and the benefits of the Apple ecosystem. Whether or not you feel those points are accurate, Mac hardware does come with a number of limitations when it comes to specifications. If you want a machine you can upgrade beyond the drive, RAM, or sometimes anything at all, it'll cost you $2,499 for a Mac Pro. Reader (and systems administrator) Stego summarizes this problem nicely:

The kicker with Mac, however, is that only a limited selection of hardware is officially sanctioned, and they're no longer the powerhouse machines of yore; few include dedicated GPUs, and those that do cost thousands of dollars (in other words, you can forget about a good gaming experience).
If you want a cheaper Mac made by Apple, you're stuck with a computer you can't do much to upgrade and likely won't be able to use for gaming purposes. You can, of course, build a hackintosh to work around this problem. You can still use OS X, get more powerful hardware, and pay a lot less. That said, as Stego notes, the hardware isn't officially sanctioned by Apple meaning you handle the repairs and compatibility could break at any point.

Windows Has More Software


As reader Chris Vician mentions, Windows has "[t]ons of software. Just tons of it." If app stores offer any indication, he's right. The Windows Store already has over 50,000 apps despite its youth whereas the Mac App Store had a little under 14,000 at the end of its second year. Of course, the Windows Store is also a store for tablet apps, so those numbers may not be a perfect measurement. Mac users could also make a quality-over-quantity argument, but that's largely a matter of personal opinion. From our standpoint, as bloggers who sift through many downloads on each platforms, you'll find plenty of crappy downloads regardless of your platform. While what software you love and use may matter the most when choosing a platform, Windows unquestionably offers more options, at least when it comes to bigger apps like music players, video players, IM clients, and other things of that nature.

Of course, both Windows and OS X have their own standout apps that aren't available on the other.

Windows Offers Greater Flexibility


Although OS X doesn't suffer from Apple's "walled garden" philosophy as its mobile counterpart iOS, it's hard to argue that Macs offer as much flexibility as Windows PC. From a hardware standpoint, most Windows PCs let you upgrade whatever you like whereas Macs do not. Windows users also have the benefit of everything being made specifically for them. With software, you'll find Apple drops compatibility with old applications far faster. Reader Stego explains:

Windows is the mainstay of PCs everywhere. 98% of us grew up on PCs, or use PCs on a daily basis, either at home or at work. Windows is flexible in that regard, running everything from the latest games to ancient DOS Payroll software for corporations. You can buy a pre-built PC with Windows from hundreds of vendors, or build your own from scratch with thousands of different parts. Given time, you can build a PC that fits all of your needs perfectly. That flexibility, though, comes at a price.
That price is, of course, higher maintenance.

Macs Have Fewer Viruses and Require Less Maintenance


People used to argue that Macs had no viruses. Some still do, although that statement is no longer true. Nevertheless, far fewer viruses exist for Mac and most Mac users get by just fine without any antivirus protection. While this may not last forever, and Apple doesn't have the best reputation when handling security issues, fewer viruses is a current and legitimate perk of OS X. Windows, on the other hand, suffers from more than just a few security exploits as reader Stego explains:

With Windows, you have to stay on top of driver updates, security patches, Anti-Virus software (still recommended for the Mac, mind, but it's a particular problem with Windows), etc. Windows is easily bogged down with clutter, bloatware, and memory munchers.
Even though Windows can require a bit of maintenance, not every PC features bloatware (such as the ones you build yourself) and requires more updates than a Mac. Microsoft also handles security issues better and created Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows Defender in Windows Cool to combat viruses easily. While we feel Microsoft's offering fell behind its competition, plenty of free antivirus software exists and works great. Additionally, viruses don't account for some of our primary security concerns nowadays. As reader Strife Caecus points out, social engineering attacks and browser-based traps largely contribute to the overall problem:

What about social engineering attacks—where people are tricked into clicking on a link to install something malicious? Or installing extra browser toolbars? Or how about phishing sites? Is it assumed that the average Mac user is less likely to be duped by a social engineering attack?
From our standpoint, Mac users aren't more or less likely to fall for social engineering attacks and don't know of an accurate way of measuring that likelihood. While viruses still offer a considerable threat to Windows, security issues may become platform-agnostic in the future and render this argument irrelevant.

Both Platforms Work Well for Designers


Back in the 80s and 90s, Macs had a legitimate reputation as the first choice for designers because the selection of design applications was superior to what you could get on Windows PCs. Nowadays you often see Macs in design firms likely due to their aesthetic or just out of habit. Both Windows and OS X feature plenty of great design apps, and high file compatibility between both platforms. As a result, you'll find more people who prefer designing on Windows despite the stereotype. Reader Scruffy Kitty prefers Windows for design due to its speed, device compatibility, and better multi-monitor support:

[I'm a p]rofessional graphic designer who weirdly prefers Windows. I often find with my Mac that I use at work slow and not fantastic at multitasking. It is an iMac, fairly new, and it chugs through things my similarly priced laptop (currently running Windows Cool does with ease. I had to buy a $30 adapter so I could use my Cintiq with my iMac at work, and god help me if I wanted to switch between the screens with iMac one running Photoshop and the Cintiq running Illustrator without having to wait an endless amount of time for it to stop stalling. I've lost a lot of time at work waiting for my computer to start working and have learned that if I'm going to work on any hi-res art I should just bring my laptop in and transfer the files over when I'm done.
Many designers still prefer Apple hardware and OS X for their workflow. Because Macs are stereotypically seen more as the choice for artists (regardless of whether or not that's actually accurate), software companies often target Macs for design-related tools. Additionally, OS X offers excellent font management out of the box and other built-in tools like Preview for quick conversion and other tasks. Both platforms have their pros and cons, but when it comes to the design argument you won't find a clear winner on either side. Like with most things, personal preference will dictate your choice here.

Windows Offers a Better Gaming Experience

As mentioned earlier, official Apple hardware offers a paltry selection of graphics cards. While you'll find more and more popular games—including several unique titles—available for OS X, if you want a bleeding edge gaming experience you won't get it from a Mac. Few people elaborated on this argument, likely because it speaks for itself: You'll find fewer gaming options, hardware, and tools to fine-tune performance when using a Mac. Even if you build a hackintosh and get a powerful GPU, you're still fairly limited in regards to what you can do with it when running OS X. Oftentimes, the same game will just run better in Windows than it will in OS X.

Neither Operating System Is Easier to Learn


Macs have a reputation of being the more intuitive choice. Apple would certainly like us to believe that, but if you ask a handful of Windows users you'll find that they consider the platform more intuitive in many ways. We believe it comes down to more what you're used to, or—if new to you're a brand new computer user—how your personal sensibilities affect your approach to either operating system. Reader Strife Caecus offers a detailed explanation:

Learning the GUI [Graphical User Interface] for either operating system didn't seem to be any more difficult. My assumption is if a user barely knows how to turn on a computer, they're going to go through the same growing pains learning what and how to click on things. And if learning a UI [User Interface] is a struggle to begin with, then one will definitely have some issues switching from one OS to another.

I've spent most of my years in Windows' UI. However, switching to a Mac or Linux UI wasn't difficult considering I already understand the operations of a UI. Were there some Mac-specific functions that annoyed me? Sure. Such as the one-button approach compared to the two-button PC approach. However, that's been resolved several years ago as now you can right-click on Mac for context menus. Sometimes, I accidentally open the Mac Dashboard, but aside from that, I do like using the gestures on the Mac Magic Mouse or the Trackpad.

In my opinion, if you can learn the [Windows] UI, you can learn any UI. Many users are now used to the familiar Start Menu and taskbar icons. The right-mouse button opens an extra menu of options and the scroll-wheel scrolls the page in various applications. With the advent of Windows 8, came the Start Screen. I approached the interface willing to learn since people in the future will be asking me how to use it. Many others have approached it much like Sweet Brown's famous meme statement..."Ain't nobody got time for that!" Nowadays, I switch between it and the Desktop. Yes, I do spend most of my time on the Desktop. Much of my productivity is done here compared to the Start Screen. While I don't have the hatred for the Start Screen like many others do, I do understand the frustration of such an interface if you're a keyboard and mouse user (with or without a touch screen).
So why does OS X get such a great reputation for having an intuitive user interface? Some may claim Apple's hype and marketing as the reason, but multi-platform user and reader jamescobalt explains why he prefers OS X's approach:

Personally, after about a decade of using both side by side, I find the user experience of OS X to be substantially more intuitive than that of Windows 7 and 8. There are some things that were confusing to me, but namely because I grew up on Windows. For example, if I wanted to change the name of a file I had open, I assumed I needed to Save As or close and rename in the file manager. Someone not familiar with this Windows-specific workflow might instead see the name of the file at the top of the window and double click on it to make it editable. That's how it works in OS X. It's more naturally intuitive, but it's not intuitive at all of you live in a Windows ecosystem.
No readers who argued a user interface preference for either operating system found it without fault, and you'll find plenty of apps on both platforms that try to offer missing features provided by the other. Yet again, personal preference wins out when you're used to a certain way of getting things done. New computers should try both and see what they prefer, as both require a learning curve and one may feel more intuitive than the other based on their own sensibilities.

What About Linux?


Although we're focusing on Macs and Windows PC in this post, we'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge that Linux exists. In the initial discussion, many readers noted that they liked OS X because it provided a UNIX-like experience without the lack of commercial software they found on Linux. Some readers still preferred Linux, however, because it offered more customizability but many turned to Windows to find power user features. Basically, those of you who preferred Linux tended to fall into a niche that desired total control and didn't require commercial software.

The Bottom Line

You can discuss the pros and cons of Macs versus Windows PCs in great detail, but here's what it comes down to according to you. Most of you recommend Macs for the following reasons:

Macs offer a more straightforward approach to computing with fewer maintenance tasks
Macs have fewer viruses and security issues (with the caveats mentioned in the relevant section above, of course)
Macs can provide a UNIX-like experience and also have commercial applications
Macs software, on average, focuses more on its user interface and making your experience enjoyable than Windows software does
Other Apple devices work best with Apple computers
Conversely, you recommended Windows PCs for these reasons:

Windows PCs provide lots of flexibility and customization (with both hardware and software)
Windows PCs offer support for cutting-edge hardware
Windows has more software available than any other platform
Windows offers great backwards-compatibility
Windows provides a great gaming experience thanks to great hardware support and lots of games
Windows offers better options for music production
Windows is the same platform most of the world uses
On average, you felt both platforms were equal in the following categories:

Ease of learning
Good for designers
And with that, we end our first official Flame War. We'll be back next month with a new topic, so stay tuned. As reader Frank Fusco pointed out, this was one of the most civil flame wars he's ever seen. We agree. A big thanks goes out to everyone who contributed so much by keeping it both civil and interesting. While we couldn't included everyone's opinion in this post, we spent quite awhile looking at what you had to say. For those of you who missed the initial discussion, it's a fascinating read and we highly recommend you check it out.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:28 pm
In this article, I will be outlining the pros and cons of the three major operating systems: Linux, Mac and Windows (commonly referred to as "PC"). Keep in mind that there are many other operating systems, but I will not be reviewing them because of their very small market share.

Let's start with the most popular: Windows

With almost 90% of the operating system market share, you can't miss Windows. It's in commercial buildings, industrial facilities, as well as home computers.
Windows, having been introduced in 1985, is a very mature and complete piece of software. Yet, it has it's flaws...

Pros:

Compatibility: Almost every application, driver or game will work on Windows.
Technical support: Having so many users, you can always find someone (either online or offline) who can help you with Windows.
Huge quantity of function: When you get to know Windows well, you'll find out that there are so many functions that you can do almost anything quite easily.

Cons:

Viruses: You may need to buy an antivirus program, although free ones exist.
Slow: Windows, especially Vista and 7, requires a lot of computer resources (memory, processor, disk space), and thus, runs slower.
Price: It easily costs over a hundred dollars.
Another big player: Macintosh

Apple's Macintosh OS is even older than Windows. It is the first ever successful graphical-based operating system, being released one year before it's Microsoft counterpart.


Pros:

Viruses: Apple Macs get almost no viruses. This is mostly due to Window's superior market share.
Reliability: Macs only run on Apple computers, and are thus less prone to hardware and software crashing.
Looks: Let's face it, most of the time, Mac just looks better than Windows.
Cons:

Expensive: Mac costs even more than Windows.
Only available on Apple computers: If you already have a computer, you cannot install MAC on it unless it's an Apple. Otherwise, you must buy a new computer.
Compatibility: Only a few programs will run on Mac, and almost no games.
Smaller but growing: Linux

Linux is GNU's answer to Mac and Windows. Yes, this means that Linux is FREE! By free, you can download, modify and redistribute it without spending a dime! . Linux is a younger player in the OS world, having been written in 1991, and is optimized for modern use (well, more than Windows and Mac). Unfortunately, it has some disadvantages also...

Pros:

Price: Linux is F-R-E-E. You can download it, install it, use it, modify it... All for a whooping 0$.
Variety: Linux is not a full operating system. It is just a kernel. To use the kernel, additional software needs to be bundled with Linux. Several hundreds of these bundles (called "distributions" or simply "distros") exist. The most popular ones include Ubuntu, Mint and Fedora. The good thing is, with so many different flavours of Linux, there is always one to suit your needs!
Viruses: Although being more vulnerable to viruses than Mac (because it is open source), Linux still has very, very, very few viruses.
Cons:

Complicated: Although some distros are quite easy to use, most of them will required a good deal of computer knowledge in order to get them to work.
Compatibility: Like Mac, representing only a few percents of the market share, Linux does not have as many programs and games as Windows.
Vendors: You won't find a lot of vendors selling Linux computers. Usually, you'll just end up having to buy Windows computer, reformatting the hard drive, and installing Linux yourself.
Bottom line

In conclusion, no operating system is really better, the choice is up to you. If you're a gamer, then you have no choice, go for Windows. Programmers might prefer Linux and video/graphics producers will probably tend towards Mac. The best thing to do is probably to try each OS and see which is best for you!
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:28 pm
OPERATING SYSTEM

An operating system or OS is a software program that enables the computer hardware to communicate and operate with the computer software.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:29 pm
Linux Operating System:

It is an operating system assembled under the model of open source software development and mostly used for server purpose. It supports many programming languages like C,C++,JAVA,PHP and many more.

Advantages:

Low cost: You need not spend much money to obtain license as its softwares come from GNU General Public License. You can also download high quality software whenever you want, free of cost and you need not worry that your program may stop due to trail version. You can also install it in many computers without paying.
Performance: Linux provides high performance on workstations and on networks. It also helps in making old computers sufficient and usable again and also can handle many users at a time.
Stability: You don’t have to reboot periodically to maintain performance. It can handle large number of users and does not hang up or slow down due to memory issues. Continuous up time upto a year or so is common.
Flexibility: It is used for high performance applications, desktop applications and embedded applications. You can save disk space by installing components required for a particular use. You can restrict specific computers instead of all computers.
Security: The security aspect of the linux is very strong as it is very secure and it is less prominent to viruses, even if there is an attack there would be immediate step taken by the developers all over the world to resolve it.
Choice: Choice is one of the greatest advantage of Linux. It gives the power to control every aspect of the operating system. Main features that you have control is look and feel of desktop by Windows Manager and kernel.
Disadvantages:

Understanding: To become familiar with Linux you need to have a lot of patience and desire to read and explore about it.
Software: Linux has a limited selection of available softwares.
Ease: Even though Linux has improved a lot in ease of use but windows is much easier.
Hardware: Linux doesnot support many hardware devices.
Windows Operating System:

It is family of operating system from Microsoft. Programming languages such as Visual Home Page, The Official Microsoft ASP.NET Site, Visual C#, Visual C++ are used then it is better to opt windows hosting.

Advantages:

Ease: Microsoft Windows has made much advancement and changes which made it easy to use the operating system. Even though it is not the easiest, it is easier than linux.
Software: Since there are more number of Microsoft users there are more software programs, games and utilities for windows. All most all games are compatible to windows, some CPU intensive and graphic intensive games are also supported.
Hardware: All hardware manufacturers will support Microsoft windows. Due to large number of Microsoft users and broader driver, all the hardware devices are supported.
Front Page Extension: When using a popular web design program having windows hosting makes it lot more easier. You don’t have to worry if it supported or not.
Development: If you plan to develop windows based applications then windows platform is most suggested as linux does not support windows applications.
Disadvantage:

Price: Microsoft windows is costly compared to Linux as each license costs between $50.00-$100.00.
Security: When compared to linux it is much more prone to viruses and other attacks.
Reliability: It needs to be rebooted periodically else there is a possibility of hang up of the system.
Software Cost: Even though the windows have softwares,games for free most of the programs will cost more than $200.
Conclusion: Both Windows and Linux Hosting have advantages and disadvantages. Based on your requirements you need to opt which hosting suits better.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:30 pm
Examples of computer operating systems

Microsoft Windows 10 - PC and IBM compatible operating system. Microsoft Windows is the most common and used operating system.
Apple macOS - Apple Mac operating system. Today, the only Apple computer operating system is macOS.
Ubuntu Linux - A popular variant of Linux used with PC and IBM compatible computers.
Google Android - Operating system used with Android compatible phones and tablets.
iOS - Operating system used with the Apple iPhone and iPads.
Chromium - Google operating system used with Chromebooks.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:31 pm
Can’t decide if you should buy a Mac or PC? It’s a tough decision because both platforms have different advantages and disadvantages. It really also depends a lot on external factors like what other devices you own and what kind of software you use.

For example, if you own an Xbox One, a Windows Phone, a Surface tablet and all the other computers in your home are Windows PCs, then it might be more convenient to stick with a PC. On the other hand, if you own an iPhone, an iPad, an Apple TV, and an AirPrint enabled printer, then a Mac would fit in really well with those other devices.

Additionally, even if you end up with a mixed environment with Windows and Mac devices, it’s pretty easy to share data across devices. It’s also fairly easy to access Mac files from a Windows PC and vice versa. You can even connect a Mac-formatted drive to a Windows PC and view the files directly. If you’re new to Mac, you’ll be happy to know that OS X has an equivalent for pretty much every feature in Windows.

So, without further ado, let’s go into the pros and cons for each platform, which includes the hardware and software. Obviously, this is a very biased and opinionated article, so feel free to share your thoughts if they are different.

Mac Pros and Windows Cons
macs

Macs have a built-in program called BootCamp, which allows you to install Windows, Linux or other operating systems in addition to OS X. Setting up a dual boot system in OS X is infinitely easier than it is in Windows. It’s also super easy to switch between the two operating systems.
bootcamp

Macs work better with other Apple products in terms of software. This includes features like Handoff, iMessage, iCloud, iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Keychain, Find My iPhone, etc. Microsoft has tried to copy this, but only partially.
icloud

Macs are less complicated and more intuitive to use. This is a very debatable point and the reason why I also list it as a con in the section below. If you’ve always been a Windows user, it can initially be counter-intuitive to use, however, I’ve found that it’s more logical once you get used to it.
Even though Macs can get viruses or malware, the number of threats is still significantly less than for Windows just because the Windows base is so much larger.
Almost all new PCs come installed with loads of bloatware from PC manufacturers, which requires manual removal. Mac computers have pre-installed software, but only from Apple and they don’t slow down your system. If you’re technically savvy, this is a non-issue, otherwise it can be a major nuisance.
Apple has excellent customer support, AppleCare warranty programs, and exclusive Apple Stores where you can take your Mac or other Apple products for repairs, training or other issues.
apple care

Macs are sleek and visually appealing. To get something close from PC manufacturers usually ends up negating the higher cost factor for Apple products.
Speaking of cost, Macs are more expensive than PCs, but they also hold their resale value far better than PCs.
Apple computers have some of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the industry. When you purchase a Mac, you are getting a high-quality machine. This can be true for PCs also, but with so many manufacturers and configurations, getting the best quality can be more difficult.
Macs tend to be a bit more innovative in design and features. For example, Macs include Thunderbolt, USB Type C ports, multi-touch trackpads, force touch, keyboard backlighting and more.
force touch mac

Macs can read NTFS or FAT formatted hard drives. Windows cannot read Mac formatted drives unless you install a third-party program.
The iMac, the only Mac desktop other than the Mac Pro, is an all-in-one computer that you can get with a 4K or 5K display, something that really doesn’t exist in the Windows market at all unless you get an ultra-expensive custom rig. There is the HP Envy, but it isn’t as good as the iMac.
PC Pros and Mac Cons
windows 10 laptop

PCs are manufactured by many different companies, resulting in a huge selection of devices with a wide variation in prices. With Apple, you have only a few choices with set prices. In terms of desktops, Apple has only one geared towards consumers, so if the cost is prohibitive, a Windows desktop will be a much better choice.
PCs are more up-gradable and configurable. On Macs, you can usually only upgrade the RAM or hard drive and that’s it. Pretty much every component on a desktop PC can be switched out. When purchasing PCs, you also have a lot more options that you can configure including processors, cases, memory, hard drives, ports, displays, etc.
pc components

Overall, there is a lot more software available for Windows than for PC. The opposite is true when you look at smartphones, but we’re talking about computers here. There is usually an equivalent Mac program for every Windows app, but they are not always as good.
Windows based PCs may have greater backwards compatibility. A five year old PC can easily run Windows 10 without any issue. A five year old Mac can run the latest version of OS X, but half the features will be missing and things don’t run as smoothly. For some reason, you always need the latest Mac in order to utilize all the new features in OS X.
PCs are the absolute best option when it comes to gaming. Macs simply do not come with as powerful graphics cards, even high-end machines like the Mac Pro.
pc gaming

Worldwide, most computers are PCs and Windows is the most popular operating system by far. This means the community is much larger and you can get more support for software and hardware.
In terms of accessories, PCs have a lot more options and those options are usually cheaper.
Though OS X is simpler, that’s not always the best for some people. Windows is more complex and powerful than OS X.
PCs can be configured with hardware that Apple considers obsolete. Some newer Apple machines don’t even come with CD/DVD drives. It also seems Apple keeps reducing the number of ports on each newer machine. The new Macbook has one USB port and one headphone jack and that’s it.
PCs work great with a whole slew of other products too. For example, you can stream your Xbox or PlayStation games to Windows.
These are some of the major pros and cons when it comes to Mac and PCs. There are a ton of other smaller pluses and minuses, but I don’t think those warrant that much attention when discussing this topic in general terms. Obviously, if you’re a professional graphics designer, then looking at specific compatible hardware and software would make more sense.

The point of this article is not to say one platform is better than the other, because that is simply not true. If you are a college student and the only thing that matters to you is your budget, then a Mac will probably not be best choice, regardless of the other benefits. In my opinion, if you have never tried a Mac, you should ask a friend or family member to loan you a device to see how you feel about it. Just about everyone has used Windows, so you pretty much know what you are getting in terms of software.

Let us know your opinions about why Mac or PC is better for you in the comments. Enjoy!
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:33 pm
How to find what operating system is on a computer

Knowing what operating system is running on your computer, smartphone, or tablet can help you troubleshoot issues and know your computer's or device's compatibilities. Below are the steps on how to determine what operating system is running on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Tip: If you are not sure what type of computer you have, start with our steps on identifying your computer. You can also use our system information tool to automatically detect your operating system.
IBM compatible (PC) users
Apple users
Apple iPhone and iPad users
Android device users
IBM compatible (PC) users

Microsoft WindowsThe majority of all IBM compatible (PC) users have Microsoft Windows installed on their computer. A good method of determining if you are running Microsoft Windows 95 or later is to look for the "Start Button" in the bottom left corner of your screen. If you see the Start button, you are running Microsoft Windows.
If you do not see a Start button, it is likely you are running a different operating system. Below are some different visual indications to determine what operating system you are using. If you do not have any graphics or a GUI (only text), skip to the command line section.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:34 pm
irst, Microsoft Windows is an operating system, MacBook is a brand of laptop. This question is equivalent to asking "What is the advantage of Dell Inspiron over Windows?" It makes no sense.

Normally, I would read this question as "What is the advantage of MacBooks over other laptops?". In this case however, since this question is categorized as "Operating Systems" and not any kind of hardware category, I'm going to interpret this as "What is the advantage of OS X over Windows?"

OS X offers a number of advantages and disadvantages with respect to Windows.

Advantages:

First, OS X is based on FreeBSD and Nextstep (which itself is based on BSD 4.3). This means two things.

1: Most of the non-GUI stuff has publicly auditable source code. This means a huge number of people have looked at it and it appears to be reasonably in order. Problems in open tend to get found and reported faster than on closed platforms.

2: The BSD family of operating systems have a well-deserved reputation for stability and security.

Second, OS X only runs on Apple computers. This provides an advantage in that the operating system can be written specifically for the exact hardware. Windows' biggest problem is that it needs to run on billions of potential machine configurations. Any given release of OS X is only designed to run on about 100 or so possible systems. Apple can literally try it out on every possible machine it will run. They just take one of each computer they've built back about 5 years or so and make sure it works.

Big Disadvantage:

Windows has a much larger ecosystem of available software than OS X. This is especially true with games. This gap is closing, especially recently with Steam putting pressure on developers to support Linux (Linux software is much easier to port to OS X than Windows software.)

In the unlikely event you WERE asking about the advantage of MacBooks vs other laptops, then I would say the advantage is the fact that a MacBook can have both Windows and OS X installed, getting the best of both worlds... if you can pay the premium price.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:34 pm
CONTINUATION :

GUI operating system visual indicators

A Microsoft Windows logo or Microsoft Windows flag but no start button often indicates an earlier version of Microsoft Windows, such as Microsoft Windows 3.11.
A red hat in the corner of the screen - Computer is running Red Hat Linux.
A green or blue "L" in the corner of the screen - Computer is running Lindows or Linspire.
A gray or black foot print in the corner of the screen you have GNOME running on a Linux or Unix variant.
A purple background with any visual indication of "Sun" or "Solaris" is an indication of the Sun Solaris operating system being used with X.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:35 pm
What is an operating system?
An operating system is the most important software that runs on a computer. It manages the computer's memory and processes, as well as all of its software and hardware. It also allows you to communicate with the computer without knowing how to speak the computer's language. Without an operating system, a computer is useless.

Watch the video below to learn more about operating systems.


The operating system's job

Your computer's operating system (OS) manages all of the software and hardware on the computer. Most of the time, there are several different computer programs running at the same time, and they all need to access your computer's central processing unit (CPU), memory, and storage. The operating system coordinates all of this to make sure each program gets what it needs.

Types of operating systems

Operating systems usually come pre-loaded on any computer you buy. Most people use the operating system that comes with their computer, but it's possible to upgrade or even change operating systems. The three most common operating systems for personal computers are Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Modern operating systems use a graphical user interface, or GUI (pronounced gooey). A GUI lets you use your mouse to click icons, buttons, and menus, and everything is clearly displayed on the screen using a combination of graphics and text.

the windows GUI
Each operating system's GUI has a different look and feel, so if you switch to a different operating system it may seem unfamiliar at first. However, modern operating systems are designed to be easy to use, and most of the basic principles are the same.

Microsoft Windows
Microsoft created the Windows operating system in the mid-1980s. Over the years, there have been many different versions of Windows, but the most recent ones are Windows 10 (released in 2015), Windows 8 (2012), Windows 7 (2009), and Windows Vista (2007). Windows comes pre-loaded on most new PCs, which helps to make it the most popular operating system in the world.

Windows 7
Check out our tutorials on Windows Basics and specific Windows versions for more information.

Mac OS X
Mac OS is a line of operating systems created by Apple. It comes preloaded on all new Macintosh computers, or Macs. All of the recent versions are known as OS X (pronounced O-S Ten), and the specific versions include El Capitan (released in 2015), Yosemite (2014), Mavericks (2013), Mountain Lion (2012), and Lion (2011).

According to StatCounter Global Stats, Mac OS X users account for less than 10% of global operating systems—much lower than the percentage of Windows users (more than 80%). One reason for this is that Apple computers tend to be more expensive. However, many people do prefer the look and feel of Mac OS X over Windows.

Mac OS X Lion
Check out our tutorials on OS X Basics and specific OS X versions for more information.

Linux
Linux (pronounced LINN-ux) is a family of open-source operating systems, which means they can be modified and distributed by anyone around the world. This is different from proprietary software like Windows, which can only be modified by the company that owns it. The advantages of Linux are that it is free, and there are many different distributions—or versions—you can choose from.

According to StatCounter Global Stats, Linux users account for less than 2% of global operating systems. However, most servers run Linux because it's relatively easy to customize.

Ubuntu Linux
To learn more about different distributions of Linux, visit the Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Fedora websites, or refer to our Linux Mint Resources. For a more comprehensive list, you can visit MakeUseOf's list of The Best Linux Distributions.

Operating systems for mobile devices
The operating systems we've been talking about so far were designed to run on desktop and laptop computers. Mobile devices such as phones, tablet computers, and MP3 players are different from desktop and laptop computers, so they run operating systems that are designed specifically for mobile devices. Examples of mobile operating systems include Apple iOS and Google Android. In the screenshot below, you can see iOS running on an iPad.

screenshot of Apple iOS running on iPad
Operating systems for mobile devices generally aren't as fully featured as those made for desktop and laptop computers, and they aren't able to run all of the same software. However, you can still do a lot of things with them, like watch movies, browse the Web, manage your calendar, and play games.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:36 pm
Operating Systems



When a brand new computer comes off the factory assembly line, it can do nothing. The hardware needs software to make it work. Are we talking about applications software such as word processing or spreadsheet software? Partly.

Figure 1: The Operating System in a Hierarchy
But an applications software package does not communicate directly with the hardware. As shown in Figure 1, between the applications software and the hardware is a software interface - an operating system. An operating system is a set of programs that lies between applications software and the computer hardware. Conceptually the operating system software is an intermediary between the hardware and the applications software. Incidentally, the term system software is sometimes used interchangeably with operating system, but system software means all programs related to coordinating computer operations. System software does include the operating system, but it also includes the BIOS software (see the CPU chapter), drivers, and service programs, which we will discuss briefly in this chapter (see Figure 2).














Figure 2: System Software


Note that we said that an operating system is a set of programs. The most important program in the operating system, the program that manages the operating system, is the supervisor program, most of which remains in memory and is thus referred to as resident. The supervisor controls the entire operating system and loads into memory other operating system programs (called nonresident) from disk storage only as needed.

An operating system has three main functions: (1) manage the computer's resources, such as the central processing unit, memory, disk drives, and printers, (2) establish a user interface, and (3) execute and provide services for applications software. Keep in mind, however, that much of the work of an operating system is hidden from the user; many necessary tasks are performed behind the scenes. In particular, the first listed function, managing the computer's resources, is taken care of without the user being aware of the details. Furthermore, all input and output operations, although invoked by an applications program, are actually carried out by the operating system. Although much of the operating system functions are hidden from view, you will know when you are using an applications software package, and this requires that you invoke-call into action-the operating system. Thus you both establish a user interface and execute software.

Operating systems for mainframe and other large computers are even more complex because they must keep track of several programs from several users all running in the same time frame. Although some personal computer operating systems-most often found in business or learning environments-can support multiple programs and users, most are concerned only with a single user. We begin by focusing on the interaction between a single user and a personal computer operating system.

Operating Systems for Personal Computers: An Overview
If you peruse software offerings at a retail store, you will generally find the software grouped according to the computer, probably IBM (that is, IBM compatible) or Macintosh, on which the software can be used. But the distinction is actually finer than the differences among computers: Applications software-word processing, spreadsheets, games, whatever-are really distinguished by the operating system on which the software can run.

Generally, an application program can run on just one operating system. just as you cannot place a Nissan engine in a Ford truck, you cannot take a version of WordPerfect designed to run on an IBM machine and run it on an Apple Macintosh. The reason is that IBM personal computers and others like them have Intel-compatible microprocessors and usually use Microsoft's operating system, called MS-DOS (for Microsoft disk operating system) on older computers, and Windows95 or Windows98 on more modern computers. Computers that have come out since the year 2000 often come with Windows ME (Millennium Edition), or Windows2000. Macintoshes use an entirely different operating system, called the Macintosh operating system, which is produced by Apple. Over 75 percent of personal computers use a versions of Windows as their operating systems. Macintosh comprises about 15 percent of the market, with other operating systems such as Linux comprising the rest.

Users do not set out to buy operating systems; they want computers and the applications software to make them useful. However, since the operating system determines what software is available for a given computer, many users observe the high volume of software available for MS-DOS machines and make their computer purchases accordingly. Others prefer the user-friendly style of the Macintosh operating system and choose Macs for that reason.

Although operating systems differ, many of their basic functions are similar. We will show some of the basic functions of operating systems by examining MS-DOS.

A Look at MS-DOS
Most users today have a computer with a hard disk drive. When the computer is turned on, the operating system will be loaded from the hard drive into the computer's memory, thus making it available for use. The process of loading the operating system into memory is called bootstrapping, or booting the system. The word booting is used because, figuratively speaking, the operating system pulls itself up by its own bootstraps. When the computer is switched on, a small program (in ROM-read-only memory) automatically pulls up the basic components of the operating system from the hard disk. From now on, we will refer to MS-DOS by its commonly used abbreviated name, DOS, pronounced to rhyme with boss.

The net observable result of booting DOS is that the characters C> (or possibly C:\>) appear on the screen. The C refers to the disk drive; the > is a prompt, a signal that the system is prompting you to do something. At this point you must give some instruction to the computer. Perhaps all you need to do is key certain letters to make the application software take the lead. But it could be more complicated than that because C> is actually a signal for direct communication between the user and the operating system.

Although the prompt is the only visible result of booting the system, DOS also provides the basic software that coordinates the computer's hardware components and a set of programs that lets you perform the many computer system tasks you need to do. To execute a given DOS program, a user must issue a command, a name that invokes a specific DOS program. Whole books have been written about DOS commands, but we will consider just a few that people use for ordinary activities. Some typical tasks you can do with DOS commands are prepare (format) new diskettes for use, list the files on a disk, copy files from one disk to another, and erase files from a disk.

Microsoft Windows: An Overview
Microsoft Windows started out as a shell. Windows uses a colorful graphics interface that, among other things, eases access to the operating system. The feature that makes Windows so easy to use is a graphical user interface (GUI-pronounced "goo-ee"), in which users work with on-screen pictures called icons and with menus rather than with keyed-in. They are called pull-down menus because they appear to pull down like a window shade from the original selection. Some menus, in contrast, called pop-up menus originate from a selection on the bottom of the screen. Furthermore, icons and menus encourage pointing and clicking with a mouse, an approach that can make computer use both fast and easy.

To enhance ease of use, Windows is usually set up so that the colorful Windows display is the first thing a user sees when the computer is turned on. DOS is still there, under Windows, but a user need never see C> during routine activities. The user points and clicks among a series of narrowing choices until arriving at the desired software.

Although the screen presentation and user interaction are the most visible evidence of change, Windows offers changes that are even more fundamental. To understand these changes more fully, it is helpful at this point to make a comparison between traditional operating systems for large computers and Windows.

In addition to adding a friendly GUI, Windows operating systems added another important feature to DOS - multi-tasking. Multi-tasking occurs when the computer has several programs executing at one time. PCs that ran under DOS could only run one program at a time. Windows-based computers can have multiple programs (e.g. a browser, a word processor, and several Instant Messaging instances) running at the same time. When programs are executing at the same time, they are said to be executing concurrently.

As we learned, personal computers have only one CPU that handles just one instruction at a time. Computers using the MS-DOS operating system without a shell are limited not only to just one user at a time but also to just one program at a time. If, for example, a user were using a word processing program to write a financial report and wanted to access some spreadsheet figures, he or she would have to perform a series of arcane steps: exit the word processing program, enter and use and then exit the spreadsheet program, and then re-enter the word processing program to complete the report. This is wasteful in two ways: (1) the CPU is often idle because only one program is executing at a time, and (2) the user is required to move inconveniently from program to program.

Multi-tasking allows several programs to be active at the same time, although at an instant in time the CPU is doing only one instruction for one of the active programs. The Operating System manages which instructions to send to the CPU. Since computers are so fast, the operating system can switch the program that gets to execute on the CPU so quickly, the user can not tell. This is what allows your computer to be "listening" for incoming instant messages, for instance, while you use a word processor to write a paper.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:37 pm
What are the three main purposes of an operating system?

To provide a convenient environment for users to execute programs on computer hardware.
To allocate, fairly and efficiently, the computer resources needed to execute the program safely (without adversely affecting other users or the OS itself).
To provide a foundation for evolution to future services, while still supporting existing services.
Note that "convenience," "efficiency," etc. are not acceptable answers, since they don't explain "convenient/efficient for whom to do what."
1.4. In a multiprogramming and time-sharing environment, several users share the system simultaneously. This siguation can result in various security problems.
(a) What are two such problems?
(b) Can we ensure the same degree of secutiry in a time-shared machine as we have in a dedicated machine? Explain your answer.

Stealing or copying a user's files; writing over another program's (belonging to another user or to the OS) area in memory; using system resources (CPU, disk space) without proper accounting; causing the printer to mix output by sending data while some other user's file is printing.
Probably not, since any protection scheme devised by a human can also be broken -- and the more complex the scheme is, the more difficult it is to be confident of its correct implementation.
1.6. What are the main differences between operating systems for mainframe computers and personal computers?

PC OS's are not concerned with fair use or maximal use of computer resources. Instead, they try to optimize the usefulness of the computer for an individual user, usually at the expense of overall efficiency. Mainframe OS's need more complex scheduling and I/O algortihms to keep the various system components efficiently occupied.
1.7. Define the essential properties of the following types of operating systems:
Batch
Interactive
Time-sharing
Real-time
Distributed
Batch: Jobs with similar needs are batched together and run through the computer as a group, by an operator or automatic job sequencer. Performance is increased by attempting to keep CPU and I/O devices busy at all times through buffering, off-line operation, spooling, and multiprogramming.
Interactive: Composed of many short transactions with input and output read/written on the screen; the results and timing of the next transaction may be unpredictable. Note that a purely interactive system (no time-sharing) only has one user; e.g., a PC).
Time-sharing: Uses CPU scheduling and multiprogramming to provide economical interactive use of a system. The CPU switches rapidly from one user to another.
Real-time: The system must respond to inputs/commands within a fixed amount of time to ensure correct performance. Input is typically read from sensors.
Distributed: Divides computation up among several computers. The computers do not share memory or a clock; they communicate with each other over communication lines (e.g., high-speed bus, telephone line).
1.10. Describe the differences between symmetric and asymmetric multiprocessing. What are three advantages and one disadvantage of multiprocessor systems?

Symmetric processing treats all processors as equals; I/O can be processed on any of them. Asymmetric processing designates one CPU as the master, which is the only one capable of performing I/O; the master distributes computational work among the other CPUs.
advantages: Multiprocessor systems can save money, by sharing power supplies, housings, and peripherals. Can execute programs more quickly and can have increased reliability.
disadvantages: Multiprocessor systems are more complex in both hardware and software. Additional CPU cycles are required to manage the cooperation, so per-CPU efficiency goes down.
2.3. What are the differences between a trap and an interrupt? What is the use of each function?

An interrupt is a hardware-generated signal that changes the flow within the system. A trap is a software-generated interrupt.
An interrupt can be used to signal the completion of I/O so thatthe CPU doesn't have to spend cycles polling the device. A trap can be used to catch arithmetic errors or to call system routines.
2.5. Which of the following instructions should be privileged?

Set value of timer
Read the clock
Clear memory
Turn off interrupts
Switch from user to monitor mode
Should be privileged.
Doesn't need to be.
Should be privileged.
Should be privileged.
Should be privileged.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:37 pm
Microsoft Windows

Microsoft created the Windows operating system in the mid-1980s. Over the years, there have been many different versions of Windows, but the most recent ones are Windows 10 (released in 2015), Windows 8 (2012), Windows 7 (2009), and Windows Vista (2007). Windows comes pre-loaded on most new PCs, which helps to make it the most popular operating system in the world.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:37 pm
Answer the following questions about policies and mechanisms:
(a) What is an advantage of separating policy from mechanism in designing any piece of software (including OSs)?

(b) Give three examples of software policies versus mechanisms.

Clean separation makes systems easier to modify and port. Another answer: Clearer thinking allowing you to differentiate the desired properties of a solution from the best solution you've thought of so far. Another answer: Mechanisms can be changed without affecting the policy.
Hint: You should always be able to name at least 2 different mechanisms that could be used to implement a so-called policy. Some examples:
policy: share CPU resource fairly among processes. mechanism: timer interrupts. alternate mechanism: enforce a limit on how long programs can be.
policy: some processes are more important or more critical than others. mechanism: base scheduling upon process priority. alternate mechanism: force processes to use "nice()" values.
policy: data values must be kept in order of priority. mechanism: heap. alternate mechanism: priority-sorted vector.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:38 pm
Operating systems are there from the very first computer generation and they keep evolving with time. In this chapter, we will discuss some of the important types of operating systems which are most commonly used.

Batch operating system
The users of a batch operating system do not interact with the computer directly. Each user prepares his job on an off-line device like punch cards and submits it to the computer operator. To speed up processing, jobs with similar needs are batched together and run as a group. The programmers leave their programs with the operator and the operator then sorts the programs with similar requirements into batches.

The problems with Batch Systems are as follows −

Lack of interaction between the user and the job.
CPU is often idle, because the speed of the mechanical I/O devices is slower than the CPU.
Difficult to provide the desired priority.
Time-sharing operating systems
Time-sharing is a technique which enables many people, located at various terminals, to use a particular computer system at the same time. Time-sharing or multitasking is a logical extension of multiprogramming. Processor's time which is shared among multiple users simultaneously is termed as time-sharing.

The main difference between Multiprogrammed Batch Systems and Time-Sharing Systems is that in case of Multiprogrammed batch systems, the objective is to maximize processor use, whereas in Time-Sharing Systems, the objective is to minimize response time.

Multiple jobs are executed by the CPU by switching between them, but the switches occur so frequently. Thus, the user can receive an immediate response. For example, in a transaction processing, the processor executes each user program in a short burst or quantum of computation. That is, if n users are present, then each user can get a time quantum. When the user submits the command, the response time is in few seconds at most.

The operating system uses CPU scheduling and multiprogramming to provide each user with a small portion of a time. Computer systems that were designed primarily as batch systems have been modified to time-sharing systems.

Advantages of Timesharing operating systems are as follows −

Provides the advantage of quick response.
Avoids duplication of software.
Reduces CPU idle time.
Disadvantages of Time-sharing operating systems are as follows −

Problem of reliability.
Question of security and integrity of user programs and data.
Problem of data communication.
Distributed operating System
Distributed systems use multiple central processors to serve multiple real-time applications and multiple users. Data processing jobs are distributed among the processors accordingly.

The processors communicate with one another through various communication lines (such as high-speed buses or telephone lines). These are referred as loosely coupled systems or distributed systems. Processors in a distributed system may vary in size and function. These processors are referred as sites, nodes, computers, and so on.

The advantages of distributed systems are as follows −

With resource sharing facility, a user at one site may be able to use the resources available at another.
Speedup the exchange of data with one another via electronic mail.
If one site fails in a distributed system, the remaining sites can potentially continue operating.
Better service to the customers.
Reduction of the load on the host computer.
Reduction of delays in data processing.
Network operating System
A Network Operating System runs on a server and provides the server the capability to manage data, users, groups, security, applications, and other networking functions. The primary purpose of the network operating system is to allow shared file and printer access among multiple computers in a network, typically a local area network (LAN), a private network or to other networks.

Examples of network operating systems include Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, UNIX, Linux, Mac OS X, Novell NetWare, and BSD.

The advantages of network operating systems are as follows −

Centralized servers are highly stable.
Security is server managed.
Upgrades to new technologies and hardware can be easily integrated into the system.
Remote access to servers is possible from different locations and types of systems.
The disadvantages of network operating systems are as follows −

High cost of buying and running a server.
Dependency on a central location for most operations.
Regular maintenance and updates are required.
Real Time operating System
A real-time system is defined as a data processing system in which the time interval required to process and respond to inputs is so small that it controls the environment. The time taken by the system to respond to an input and display of required updated information is termed as the response time. So in this method, the response time is very less as compared to online processing.

Real-time systems are used when there are rigid time requirements on the operation of a processor or the flow of data and real-time systems can be used as a control device in a dedicated application. A real-time operating system must have well-defined, fixed time constraints, otherwise the system will fail. For example, Scientific experiments, medical imaging systems, industrial control systems, weapon systems, robots, air traffic control systems, etc.

There are two types of real-time operating systems.

Hard real-time systems
Hard real-time systems guarantee that critical tasks complete on time. In hard real-time systems, secondary storage is limited or missing and the data is stored in ROM. In these systems, virtual memory is almost never found.

Soft real-time systems
Soft real-time systems are less restrictive. A critical real-time task gets priority over other tasks and retains the priority until it completes. Soft real-time systems have limited utility than hard real-time systems. For example, multimedia, virtual reality, Advanced Scientific Projects like undersea exploration and planetary rovers, etc.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:38 pm
Mac OS X

Mac OS is a line of operating systems created by Apple. It comes preloaded on all new Macintosh computers, or Macs. All of the recent versions are known as OS X (pronounced O-S Ten), and the specific versions include El Capitan (released in 2015), Yosemite (2014), Mavericks (2013), Mountain Lion (2012), and Lion (2011).

According to StatCounter Global Stats, Mac OS X users account for less than 10% of global operating systems—much lower than the percentage of Windows users (more than 80%). One reason for this is that Apple computers tend to be more expensive. However, many people do prefer the look and feel of Mac OS X over Windows.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:39 pm
Process
A process is basically a program in execution. The execution of a process must progress in a sequential fashion.

A process is defined as an entity which represents the basic unit of work to be implemented in the system.
To put it in simple terms, we write our computer programs in a text file and when we execute this program, it becomes a process which performs all the tasks mentioned in the program.

When a program is loaded into the memory and it becomes a process, it can be divided into four sections ─ stack, heap, text and data. The following image shows a simplified layout of a process inside main memory −

Process Components
S.N. Component & Description
1
Stack

The process Stack contains the temporary data such as method/function parameters, return address and local variables.

2
Heap

This is dynamically allocated memory to a process during its run time.

3
Text

This includes the current activity represented by the value of Program Counter and the contents of the processor's registers.

4
Data

This section contains the global and static variables.

Program
A program is a piece of code which may be a single line or millions of lines. A computer program is usually written by a computer programmer in a programming language. For example, here is a simple program written in C programming language −

#include <stdio.h>

int main() {
printf("Hello, World! \n");
return 0;
}
A computer program is a collection of instructions that performs a specific task when executed by a computer. When we compare a program with a process, we can conclude that a process is a dynamic instance of a computer program.

A part of a computer program that performs a well-defined task is known as an algorithm. A collection of computer programs, libraries and related data are referred to as a software.

Process Life Cycle
When a process executes, it passes through different states. These stages may differ in different operating systems, and the names of these states are also not standardized.

In general, a process can have one of the following five states at a time.

S.N. State & Description
1
Start

This is the initial state when a process is first started/created.

2
Ready

The process is waiting to be assigned to a processor. Ready processes are waiting to have the processor allocated to them by the operating system so that they can run. Process may come into this state after Start state or while running it by but interrupted by the scheduler to assign CPU to some other process.

3
Running

Once the process has been assigned to a processor by the OS scheduler, the process state is set to running and the processor executes its instructions.

4
Waiting

Process moves into the waiting state if it needs to wait for a resource, such as waiting for user input, or waiting for a file to become available.

5
Terminated or Exit

Once the process finishes its execution, or it is terminated by the operating system, it is moved to the terminated state where it waits to be removed from main memory.

Process States
Process Control Block (PCB)
A Process Control Block is a data structure maintained by the Operating System for every process. The PCB is identified by an integer process ID (PID). A PCB keeps all the information needed to keep track of a process as listed below in the table −

S.N. Information & Description
1
Process State

The current state of the process i.e., whether it is ready, running, waiting, or whatever.

2
Process privileges

This is required to allow/disallow access to system resources.

3
Process ID

Unique identification for each of the process in the operating system.

4
Pointer

A pointer to parent process.

5
Program Counter

Program Counter is a pointer to the address of the next instruction to be executed for this process.

6
CPU registers

Various CPU registers where process need to be stored for execution for running state.

7
CPU Scheduling Information

Process priority and other scheduling information which is required to schedule the process.

8
Memory management information

This includes the information of page table, memory limits, Segment table depending on memory used by the operating system.

9
Accounting information

This includes the amount of CPU used for process execution, time limits, execution ID etc.

10
IO status information

This includes a list of I/O devices allocated to the process.

The architecture of a PCB is completely dependent on Operating System and may contain different information in different operating systems. Here is a simplified diagram of a PCB −

Process Control Block
The PCB is maintained for a process throughout its lifetime, and is deleted once the process terminates.


Last edited by uvero jerico on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:40 pm
Batch processing
Batch processing is a technique in which an Operating System collects the programs and data together in a batch before processing starts. An operating system does the following activities related to batch processing −

The OS defines a job which has predefined sequence of commands, programs and data as a single unit.

The OS keeps a number a jobs in memory and executes them without any manual information.

Jobs are processed in the order of submission, i.e., first come first served fashion.

When a job completes its execution, its memory is released and the output for the job gets copied into an output spool for later printing or processing.

Batch Processing
Advantages
Batch processing takes much of the work of the operator to the computer.

Increased performance as a new job get started as soon as the previous job is finished, without any manual intervention.

Disadvantages
Difficult to debug program.
A job could enter an infinite loop.
Due to lack of protection scheme, one batch job can affect pending jobs.
Multitasking
Multitasking is when multiple jobs are executed by the CPU simultaneously by switching between them. Switches occur so frequently that the users may interact with each program while it is running. An OS does the following activities related to multitasking −

The user gives instructions to the operating system or to a program directly, and receives an immediate response.

The OS handles multitasking in the way that it can handle multiple operations/executes multiple programs at a time.

Multitasking Operating Systems are also known as Time-sharing systems.

These Operating Systems were developed to provide interactive use of a computer system at a reasonable cost.

A time-shared operating system uses the concept of CPU scheduling and multiprogramming to provide each user with a small portion of a time-shared CPU.

Each user has at least one separate program in memory.

Multitasking
A program that is loaded into memory and is executing is commonly referred to as a process.

When a process executes, it typically executes for only a very short time before it either finishes or needs to perform I/O.

Since interactive I/O typically runs at slower speeds, it may take a long time to complete. During this time, a CPU can be utilized by another process.

The operating system allows the users to share the computer simultaneously. Since each action or command in a time-shared system tends to be short, only a little CPU time is needed for each user.

As the system switches CPU rapidly from one user/program to the next, each user is given the impression that he/she has his/her own CPU, whereas actually one CPU is being shared among many users.

Multiprogramming
Sharing the processor, when two or more programs reside in memory at the same time, is referred as multiprogramming. Multiprogramming assumes a single shared processor. Multiprogramming increases CPU utilization by organizing jobs so that the CPU always has one to execute.

The following figure shows the memory layout for a multiprogramming system.

Memory layout
An OS does the following activities related to multiprogramming.

The operating system keeps several jobs in memory at a time.

This set of jobs is a subset of the jobs kept in the job pool.

The operating system picks and begins to execute one of the jobs in the memory.

Multiprogramming operating systems monitor the state of all active programs and system resources using memory management programs to ensures that the CPU is never idle, unless there are no jobs to process.

Advantages
High and efficient CPU utilization.
User feels that many programs are allotted CPU almost simultaneously.
Disadvantages
CPU scheduling is required.
To accommodate many jobs in memory, memory management is required.
Interactivity
Interactivity refers to the ability of users to interact with a computer system. An Operating system does the following activities related to interactivity −

Provides the user an interface to interact with the system.
Manages input devices to take inputs from the user. For example, keyboard.
Manages output devices to show outputs to the user. For example, Monitor.
The response time of the OS needs to be short, since the user submits and waits for the result.

Real Time System
Real-time systems are usually dedicated, embedded systems. An operating system does the following activities related to real-time system activity.

In such systems, Operating Systems typically read from and react to sensor data.
The Operating system must guarantee response to events within fixed periods of time to ensure correct performance.
Distributed Environment
A distributed environment refers to multiple independent CPUs or processors in a computer system. An operating system does the following activities related to distributed environment −

The OS distributes computation logics among several physical processors.

The processors do not share memory or a clock. Instead, each processor has its own local memory.

The OS manages the communications between the processors. They communicate with each other through various communication lines.

Spooling
Spooling is an acronym for simultaneous peripheral operations on line. Spooling refers to putting data of various I/O jobs in a buffer. This buffer is a special area in memory or hard disk which is accessible to I/O devices.

An operating system does the following activities related to distributed environment −

Handles I/O device data spooling as devices have different data access rates.

Maintains the spooling buffer which provides a waiting station where data can rest while the slower device catches up.

Maintains parallel computation because of spooling process as a computer can perform I/O in parallel fashion. It becomes possible to have the computer read data from a tape, write data to disk and to write out to a tape printer while it is doing its computing task.

Spooling
Advantages
The spooling operation uses a disk as a very large buffer.
Spooling is capable of overlapping I/O operation for one job with processor operations for another job.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:41 pm

An operating system has three main functions: (1) manage the computer's resources, such as the central processing unit, memory, disk drives, and printers, (2) establish a user interface, and (3) execute and provide services for applications software.
An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. All computer programs, excluding firmware, require an operating system to function.

What are the three main purposes of an operating system?
To provide a convenient environment for users to execute programs on computer hardware. To allocate, fairly and efficiently, the computer resources needed to execute the program safely (without adversely affecting other users or the OS itself).
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:43 pm
Windows

The most widely used operating system for desktop and laptop computers. Developed by Microsoft, Windows primarily runs on x86-based computers (the ubiquitous PC), although versions have run on Intel's Itanium CPUs. Windows provides a graphical user interface and desktop environment in which applications are displayed in resizable, movable windows on screen.

Windows comes in both client and server versions, all of which support networking, the difference being that the server architecture is designed for dedicated server hardware. Although they can easily share their data with other users on the network, the client versions of Windows are geared to running user applications. While Windows is the dominant desktop OS, Linux is the leading server OS. See Linux, operating system, smartphone operating system and embedded OS.

Thin Windows Clients
In many organizations, Windows runs in a thin client environment, whereby the user's PC functions like a terminal to a central server. For more details, see Remote Desktop Services.

Windows Versions
Starting with Windows 1.0 in 1985, the OS evolved into numerous incarnations. It originally was a graphical extension to the DOS operating system but was integrated with DOS as of Windows 95. For version history, see Windows versions. See Microsoft Bob.

Windows How to's
All the Windows "how to's" in this encyclopedia have a "Win" prefix in front of their name in order to group them together; for example, Win Change Windows appearance and Win Desktop search. For fundamentals on how to work with Windows, see Win abc's, Win8 abc's and Win10 abc's.
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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:44 pm
Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems. We look at the history of Microsoft's Windows operating systems (Windows OS) from 1985 to present day.
Play SlideshowThe Windows operating systems (Windows OS) are more formally called Microsoft Windows and is a family of operating systems for personal computers. Windows dominates the personal computer world, running, by some estimates, more than 90 percent of all personal computers – the remainder running Linux and Mac operating systems.
Windows provides a graphical user interface (GUI), virtual memory management, multitasking, and support for many peripheral devices. In addition to Windows OS for personal computers, Microsoft also offers operating systems for servers and personal mobile devices.
windows operating system marketshare
Source: Market Share Statistics for Internet Technologies
The Challenges of Cloud Integration
Download
Windows OS Quick Links
MS-DOS
Windows 1.0 - 2.0
Windows 3.0 – 3.1
Windows 95
Windows 98
Windows ME - Millennium Edition
Windows NT 31. - 4.0
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10
Windows Server
Windows Home Server
Windows CE
Windows Mobile
Windows Phone 7-10
Microsoft Windows Operating Systems for PCs
The following details the history of MS-DOS and Windows operating systems designed for personal computers (PCs).
MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System)
Originally developed by Microsoft for IBM, MS-DOS was the standard operating system for IBM-compatible personal computers. The initial versions of DOS were very simple and resembled another operating system called CP/M. Subsequent versions have become increasingly sophisticated as they incorporated features of minicomputer operating systems.
Windows OS MS-DOS
Windows 1.0 – 2.0 (1985-1992)
Introduced in 1985, Microsoft Windows 1.0 was named due to the computing boxes, or "windows" that represented a fundamental aspect of the operating system. Instead of typing MS-DOS commands, windows 1.0 allowed users to point and click to access the windows.
In 1987 Microsoft released Windows 2.0, which was designed for the designed for the Intel 286 processor. This version added desktop icons, keyboard shortcuts and improved graphics support.
Windows 3.0 – 3.1 (1990–1994)
Windows 3.0 was released in May, 1900 offering better icons, performance and advanced graphics with 16 colors designed for Intel 386 processors. This version is the first release that provides the standard "look and feel" of Microsoft Windows for many years to come. Windows 3.0 included Program Manager, File Manager and Print Manager and games (Hearts, Minesweeper and Solitaire). Microsoft released Windows 3.1 in 1992.
Windows 95 (August 1995)
Windows OS - Windows 95
Windows 95 was released in 1995 and was a major upgrade to the Windows operating system. This OS was a significant advancement over its precursor, Windows 3.1. In addition to sporting a new user interface, Windows 95 also includes a number of important internal improvements. Perhaps most important, it supports 32-bit applications, which means that applications written specifically for this operating system should run much faster.
Although Windows 95 can run older Windows and DOS applications, it has essentially removed DOS as the underlying platform. This has meant removal of many of the old DOS limitations, such as 640K of main memory and 8-character filenames. Other important features in this operating system are the ability to automatically detect and configure installed hardware (plug and play).
Windows 98 (June 1998)
Windows 98 offers support for a number of new technologies, including FAT32, AGP, MMX, USB, DVD, and ACPI. Its most visible feature, though, is the Active Desktop, which integrates the Web browser (Internet Explorer) with the operating system. From the user's point of view, there is no difference between accessing a document residing locally on the user's hard disk or on a Web server halfway around the world.
Windows ME - Millennium Edition (September 2000)
The Windows Millennium Edition, called "Windows Me" was an update to the Windows 98 core and included some features of the Windows 2000 operating system. This version also removed the "boot in DOS" option.
Windows NT 31. - 4.0 (1993-1996)
A version of the Windows operating system. Windows NT (New Technology) is a 32-bit operating system that supports preemptive multitasking. There are actually two versions of Windows NT: Windows NT Server, designed to act as a server in networks, and Windows NT Workstation for stand-alone or client workstations.
Windows 2000 (February 2000)
Often abbreviated as "W2K," Windows 2000 is an operating system for business desktop and laptop systems to run software applications, connect to Internet and intranet sites, and access files, printers, and network resources. Microsoft released four versions of Windows 2000: Professional (for business desktop and laptop systems), Server (both a Web server and an office server), Advanced Server (for line-of-business applications) and Datacenter Server (for high-traffic computer networks).
Windows OS - Windows 2000
Windows XP (October 2001)
Windows XP was released in 2001. Along with a redesigned look and feel to the user interface, the new operating system is built on the Windows 2000 kernel, giving the user a more stable and reliable environment than previous versions of Windows. Windows XP comes in two versions, Home and Professional. Microsoft focused on mobility for both editions, including plug and play features for connecting to wireless networks. The operating system also utilizes the 802.11x wireless security standard. Windows XP is one of Microsoft's best-selling products.
Windows Vista (November 2006)
Windows Vista offered an advancement in reliability, security, ease of deployment, performance and manageability over Windows XP. New in this version was capabilities to detect hardware problems before they occur, security features to protect against the latest generation of threats, faster start-up time and low power consumption of the new sleep state. In many cases, Windows Vista is noticeably more responsive than Windows XP on identical hardware. Windows Vista simplifies and centralizes desktop configuration management, reducing the cost of keeping systems updated.
Windows 7 (October, 2009)
Windows 7 was released by Microsoft on October 22, 2009 as the latest in the 25-year-old line of Windows operating systems and as the successor to Windows Vista (which itself had followed Windows XP). Windows 7 was released in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7's server counterpart. Enhancements and new features in Windows 7 include multi-touch support, Internet Explorer 8, improved performance and start-up time, Aero Snap, Aero Shake, support for virtual hard disks, a new and improved Windows Media Center, and improved security.
Windows 8
Windows OS - Windows 8
Windows 8 was released on August. 1, 2012 and is a completely redesigned operating system that's been developed from the ground up with touchscreen use in mind as well as near-instant-on capabilities that enable a Windows 8 PC to load and start up in a matter of seconds rather than in minutes.
Windows 8 will replace the more traditional Microsoft Windows OS look and feel with a new "Metro" design system interface that first debuted in the Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. The Metro user interface primarily consists of a "Start screen" made up of "Live Tiles," which are links to applications and features that are dynamic and update in real time. Windows 8 supports both x86 PCs and ARM processors.
Windows 10
Windows 10 is Microsoft's Windows successor to Windows 8. Windows 10 debuted on July 29, 2015, following a "technical preview" beta release of the new operating system that arrived in Fall 2014 and a "consumer preview" beta in early 2015. Microsoft claims Windows 10 features fast start up and resume, built-in security and the return of the Start Menu in an expanded form. This version of Windows will also feature Microsoft Edge, Microsoft's new browser. Any qualified device (such as tablets, PCs, smartphones and Xbox consoles) can upgrade to Windows 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows.
Microsoft Operating Systems for Servers and Mobile Devices
Aside from operating systems designed for use on personal computers (PCs) and laptops, Microsoft has also developed operating systems for services, handheld devices, and mobile phones.
Windows Server (March 2003)
Windows Server is a series of Microsoft server operating systems. Windows servers are more powerful versions of their desktop operating system counterparts and are designed to more efficiently handle corporate networking, Internet/intranet hosting, databases, enterprise-scale messaging and similar functions. The Windows Server name made its debut with the release of Windows Server 2003 and continues with the current release, Windows Server 2008 R2, which shares its codebase with Windows 7. Windows Server 2008 R2 debuted in October 2009.
Windows Home Server ( January 2007)
Announced in January 2007, Windows Home Server (WHS) is a "consumer server" designed to use with multiple computers connected in the home. Home Server allows you to share files such as digital photos and media files, and also allows you to automatically backup your home networked computers. Through Windows Media Connect, Windows Home Server lets you share any media located on your WHS with compatible devices.
Windows OS - Windows Home Server
Windows CE (November 2006)
A version of the Windows operating system designed for small devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) (or Handheld PCs in the Microsoft vernacular). The Windows CE graphical user interface (GUI) is very similar to Windows 95 so devices running Windows CE should be easy to operate for anyone familiar with Windows 95.
Windows Mobile (April 2000)
A mobile operating system for smartphones and mobile devices from Microsoft based on the Windows CE kernel and designed to look and operate similar to desktop versions of Microsoft Windows. Windows Mobile has largely been supplanted by Windows Phone 7, although Microsoft did release, in 2011, Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, a mobile OS compatible with Windows Mobile 6.5 that's designed for enterprise mobile and handheld computing devices.
Windows Phone (November 2010)
Windows OS - Windows Phone
A mobile operating system for smartphones and mobile devices that serves as the successor to Microsoft's initial mobile OS platform system, Windows Mobile. Unlike Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7 (also referred to as WinPhone7) is targeted more to the consumer market than the enterprise market, and it replaces the more traditional Microsoft Windows OS look and feel with a new "Metro" design system user interface.
Windows Phone 7 features a multi-tab Internet Explorer Mobile Web browser that uses a rendering engine based on Internet Explorer 9 as well Microsoft Office Mobile, a version of Microsoft Office that’s tailored for mobile devices. Its successors include Windows Phone 8 and Windows 10 Mobile.

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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:44 pm
Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems. We look at the history of Microsoft's Windows operating systems (Windows OS) from 1985 to present day.
Play SlideshowThe Windows operating systems (Windows OS) are more formally called Microsoft Windows and is a family of operating systems for personal computers. Windows dominates the personal computer world, running, by some estimates, more than 90 percent of all personal computers – the remainder running Linux and Mac operating systems.
Windows provides a graphical user interface (GUI), virtual memory management, multitasking, and support for many peripheral devices. In addition to Windows OS for personal computers, Microsoft also offers operating systems for servers and personal mobile devices.
windows operating system marketshare
Source: Market Share Statistics for Internet Technologies
The Challenges of Cloud Integration
Download
Windows OS Quick Links
MS-DOS
Windows 1.0 - 2.0
Windows 3.0 – 3.1
Windows 95
Windows 98
Windows ME - Millennium Edition
Windows NT 31. - 4.0
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10
Windows Server
Windows Home Server
Windows CE
Windows Mobile
Windows Phone 7-10
Microsoft Windows Operating Systems for PCs
The following details the history of MS-DOS and Windows operating systems designed for personal computers (PCs).
MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System)
Originally developed by Microsoft for IBM, MS-DOS was the standard operating system for IBM-compatible personal computers. The initial versions of DOS were very simple and resembled another operating system called CP/M. Subsequent versions have become increasingly sophisticated as they incorporated features of minicomputer operating systems.
Windows OS MS-DOS
Windows 1.0 – 2.0 (1985-1992)
Introduced in 1985, Microsoft Windows 1.0 was named due to the computing boxes, or "windows" that represented a fundamental aspect of the operating system. Instead of typing MS-DOS commands, windows 1.0 allowed users to point and click to access the windows.
In 1987 Microsoft released Windows 2.0, which was designed for the designed for the Intel 286 processor. This version added desktop icons, keyboard shortcuts and improved graphics support.
Windows 3.0 – 3.1 (1990–1994)
Windows 3.0 was released in May, 1900 offering better icons, performance and advanced graphics with 16 colors designed for Intel 386 processors. This version is the first release that provides the standard "look and feel" of Microsoft Windows for many years to come. Windows 3.0 included Program Manager, File Manager and Print Manager and games (Hearts, Minesweeper and Solitaire). Microsoft released Windows 3.1 in 1992.
Windows 95 (August 1995)
Windows OS - Windows 95
Windows 95 was released in 1995 and was a major upgrade to the Windows operating system. This OS was a significant advancement over its precursor, Windows 3.1. In addition to sporting a new user interface, Windows 95 also includes a number of important internal improvements. Perhaps most important, it supports 32-bit applications, which means that applications written specifically for this operating system should run much faster.
Although Windows 95 can run older Windows and DOS applications, it has essentially removed DOS as the underlying platform. This has meant removal of many of the old DOS limitations, such as 640K of main memory and 8-character filenames. Other important features in this operating system are the ability to automatically detect and configure installed hardware (plug and play).
Windows 98 (June 1998)
Windows 98 offers support for a number of new technologies, including FAT32, AGP, MMX, USB, DVD, and ACPI. Its most visible feature, though, is the Active Desktop, which integrates the Web browser (Internet Explorer) with the operating system. From the user's point of view, there is no difference between accessing a document residing locally on the user's hard disk or on a Web server halfway around the world.
Windows ME - Millennium Edition (September 2000)
The Windows Millennium Edition, called "Windows Me" was an update to the Windows 98 core and included some features of the Windows 2000 operating system. This version also removed the "boot in DOS" option.
Windows NT 31. - 4.0 (1993-1996)
A version of the Windows operating system. Windows NT (New Technology) is a 32-bit operating system that supports preemptive multitasking. There are actually two versions of Windows NT: Windows NT Server, designed to act as a server in networks, and Windows NT Workstation for stand-alone or client workstations.
Windows 2000 (February 2000)
Often abbreviated as "W2K," Windows 2000 is an operating system for business desktop and laptop systems to run software applications, connect to Internet and intranet sites, and access files, printers, and network resources. Microsoft released four versions of Windows 2000: Professional (for business desktop and laptop systems), Server (both a Web server and an office server), Advanced Server (for line-of-business applications) and Datacenter Server (for high-traffic computer networks).
Windows OS - Windows 2000
Windows XP (October 2001)
Windows XP was released in 2001. Along with a redesigned look and feel to the user interface, the new operating system is built on the Windows 2000 kernel, giving the user a more stable and reliable environment than previous versions of Windows. Windows XP comes in two versions, Home and Professional. Microsoft focused on mobility for both editions, including plug and play features for connecting to wireless networks. The operating system also utilizes the 802.11x wireless security standard. Windows XP is one of Microsoft's best-selling products.
Windows Vista (November 2006)
Windows Vista offered an advancement in reliability, security, ease of deployment, performance and manageability over Windows XP. New in this version was capabilities to detect hardware problems before they occur, security features to protect against the latest generation of threats, faster start-up time and low power consumption of the new sleep state. In many cases, Windows Vista is noticeably more responsive than Windows XP on identical hardware. Windows Vista simplifies and centralizes desktop configuration management, reducing the cost of keeping systems updated.
Windows 7 (October, 2009)
Windows 7 was released by Microsoft on October 22, 2009 as the latest in the 25-year-old line of Windows operating systems and as the successor to Windows Vista (which itself had followed Windows XP). Windows 7 was released in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7's server counterpart. Enhancements and new features in Windows 7 include multi-touch support, Internet Explorer 8, improved performance and start-up time, Aero Snap, Aero Shake, support for virtual hard disks, a new and improved Windows Media Center, and improved security.
Windows 8
Windows OS - Windows 8
Windows 8 was released on August. 1, 2012 and is a completely redesigned operating system that's been developed from the ground up with touchscreen use in mind as well as near-instant-on capabilities that enable a Windows 8 PC to load and start up in a matter of seconds rather than in minutes.
Windows 8 will replace the more traditional Microsoft Windows OS look and feel with a new "Metro" design system interface that first debuted in the Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. The Metro user interface primarily consists of a "Start screen" made up of "Live Tiles," which are links to applications and features that are dynamic and update in real time. Windows 8 supports both x86 PCs and ARM processors.
Windows 10
Windows 10 is Microsoft's Windows successor to Windows 8. Windows 10 debuted on July 29, 2015, following a "technical preview" beta release of the new operating system that arrived in Fall 2014 and a "consumer preview" beta in early 2015. Microsoft claims Windows 10 features fast start up and resume, built-in security and the return of the Start Menu in an expanded form. This version of Windows will also feature Microsoft Edge, Microsoft's new browser. Any qualified device (such as tablets, PCs, smartphones and Xbox consoles) can upgrade to Windows 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows.
Microsoft Operating Systems for Servers and Mobile Devices
Aside from operating systems designed for use on personal computers (PCs) and laptops, Microsoft has also developed operating systems for services, handheld devices, and mobile phones.
Windows Server (March 2003)
Windows Server is a series of Microsoft server operating systems. Windows servers are more powerful versions of their desktop operating system counterparts and are designed to more efficiently handle corporate networking, Internet/intranet hosting, databases, enterprise-scale messaging and similar functions. The Windows Server name made its debut with the release of Windows Server 2003 and continues with the current release, Windows Server 2008 R2, which shares its codebase with Windows 7. Windows Server 2008 R2 debuted in October 2009.
Windows Home Server ( January 2007)
Announced in January 2007, Windows Home Server (WHS) is a "consumer server" designed to use with multiple computers connected in the home. Home Server allows you to share files such as digital photos and media files, and also allows you to automatically backup your home networked computers. Through Windows Media Connect, Windows Home Server lets you share any media located on your WHS with compatible devices.
Windows OS - Windows Home Server
Windows CE (November 2006)
A version of the Windows operating system designed for small devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) (or Handheld PCs in the Microsoft vernacular). The Windows CE graphical user interface (GUI) is very similar to Windows 95 so devices running Windows CE should be easy to operate for anyone familiar with Windows 95.
Windows Mobile (April 2000)
A mobile operating system for smartphones and mobile devices from Microsoft based on the Windows CE kernel and designed to look and operate similar to desktop versions of Microsoft Windows. Windows Mobile has largely been supplanted by Windows Phone 7, although Microsoft did release, in 2011, Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, a mobile OS compatible with Windows Mobile 6.5 that's designed for enterprise mobile and handheld computing devices.
Windows Phone (November 2010)
Windows OS - Windows Phone
A mobile operating system for smartphones and mobile devices that serves as the successor to Microsoft's initial mobile OS platform system, Windows Mobile. Unlike Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7 (also referred to as WinPhone7) is targeted more to the consumer market than the enterprise market, and it replaces the more traditional Microsoft Windows OS look and feel with a new "Metro" design system user interface.
Windows Phone 7 features a multi-tab Internet Explorer Mobile Web browser that uses a rendering engine based on Internet Explorer 9 as well Microsoft Office Mobile, a version of Microsoft Office that’s tailored for mobile devices. Its successors include Windows Phone 8 and Windows 10 Mobile.

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Re: Pros and Cons

on Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:39 pm
Linux OS
The Linux open source operating system, or Linux OS, is a freely distributable, cross-platform operating system based on Unix that can be installed on PCs, laptops, netbooks, mobile and tablet devices, video game consoles, servers, supercomputers and more. Just like Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS X, Linux is an operating system. An operating system is software that manages all of the hardware resources associated with your desktop or laptop. To put it simply – the operating system manages the communication between your software and your hardware. Without the operating system (often referred to as the “OS”), the software wouldn’t function.

Pros
- Runs on just about any hardware. It is a misnomer that Linux lacks the driver support of Windows and OSX. Linux actually has the broadest driver support of any system. I don’t see Windows running on your TomTom. What is true, is that the latest and greatest hardware doesn’t come to Linux first if the manufacture choose not write Linux drivers. For most things this isn’t a problem for the same reason it isn’t a problem for OSX. Just be aware of the issue before running out to buy the latest add on.
- More options than any other system. This is a pro and a con. If you want to change anything in Linux you can. The only limiting factor is your desire to figure out how.
- Way more secure than Windows XP and even OSX.
- Everything is free. Although please donate a little something to your favorite projects.
- If you choose to, you can always be on the cutting edge of computer science. All the new ideas in development on college campuses across the world are tried on Linux first and then the best of those filter down to Apple and Windows but, what’s best is subjective so Linux leaves you with a choice, while Apple and Windows limit you.
- Full access to the free open source library of software. Great full featured, compatible, and free replacements for your proprietary software.
- Linux management, for example patch management, is much easier. Typical one command or wizard has to be invoked in order to update everything vs. Windows where you have to get OS patches from Microsoft and third party patches from each individual vendor.

Cons
- The latest and greatest hardware is typically slower to reach Linux.
- The shear number of options can be daunting to a non-technical user. Although, like OSX, the distribution you select will determine the level of complexity presented or hidden from the end user. For instance, my mom would have no problem using Ubuntu but, only the uber techies among us would opt for the Gentoo Linux distribution.
- Limited support for proprietary applications. Although you can use Microsoft Office for Windows on Linux by using an open source version of the Windows application programing interface called WINE, I wouldn’t recommend it for the non-technical user. Instead use Open Office, which comes with the Ubuntu distribution, for creating documents compatible with Microsoft Office.
- Limited vendor support. This is getting better. Dell now offers systems with Ubuntu pre-installed and those sub $300 Walmart PC’s that they couldn’t keep in the stores were from Everex. As for software support, even though this is under cons, I can’t really say this is a bad thing. In 20 years Microsoft has never answered a question when I have bothered to call them. I may spend hours searching their knowledge base to find an answer to my question. On the other hand, Linux has a massive community of people willing to help. A quick search of the Ubuntu forums will generally reveal an answer, and if not, then a quick post to the forum normally gets a response.

Basically, for all its pros and cons, Linux comes down to choice. If you can think it, you can probably do it.

References:
https://www.linux.com/what-is-linux
www.webopedia.com/TERM/L/linux_os.html
https://wi-phye.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-linux-windows-and-osx/
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