Linux vs Windows vs Mac OS? If you have ever asked yourself the question “Which is the best Operating System for me if I want to become an IT professional?”, here is the answer.
I will give you a brief overview of the main differences of the most common Operating Systems “Linux”, “Windows” and Mac OS. And finally you may decide for yourself, which is the best Operating System for you.
Why do people argue about the best Operating System?
When you read on social media or watch youtube videos, you will notice it: People always argue about operating systems. Some say “Linux is just better than Windows because it’s for Pros”, or “Mac OS is just for stupid fanboys”. To be fair, some arguments may have a small truth in it. But overall, people are just complaining about things, they don’t like.
Trust me, I will not try to convince you to choose a specific system or any specific product. Let me tell you about my personal experience, based on many years working in the IT industry and enterprise companies.
You will find a lot of people, who even complain about different distributions or everything that is not open-source. I respect them for being very enthusiastic and usually, they have decent technical knowledge. But I also believe thinking in stereotypes doesn’t help your IT career.
If you are that kind of person, consider changing your mindset!
Linux, Windows, and Mac OS are all just amazing!
Believe me or not, but Linux, Windows, and Mac OS all are just amazing Operating Systems! They are very solid, secure, and flexible. And they all are working very well out of the box and can suit anyone, from beginner to professional. They may have some major differences in certain areas, but overall you can work with anyone of them.
In my years of working in the IT industry, I have worked with Linux, Windows, and also Mac OS. And I’ve gone through lots of issues on every one of them. But you will also find really cool and positive things. It doesn’t really make such a huge difference which Operating System you are using.
What is the difference then?
Although all three Operating Systems are good in all areas, they have some strengths and weaknesses in specific ones. I don’t want to list all things here, because I won’t meet all the advantages or disadvantages that are existing. But I just try to give you a brief overview of things I have come across in my IT career.
Undoubtedly, Linux is the most used Operating System when it comes to servers, cloud applications, and running services like Websites, Web applications, etc. If you want to become an IT professional you definitely need to learn Linux.
When you can prove good Linux skills, it will definitely help you in your IT career. It may be worth looking into some Linux distributions and working with them will help you to improve your knowledge.
But that doesn’t mean that you need to use Linux as your main Desktop Operating System. To be honest, Desktop Environments can be very frustrating on Linux. The splitting and forking of them are just confusing and sometimes it seems everybody wants to run his own thing or is reinventing the wheel. There are a million ways of configuring your desktop experience on Linux and this is not always an advantage. Sometimes you just want to get things done and don’t want to spend hours and hours to configure your main Operating System.
On the other hand, if you just love to configure and tweak things the way you like. If you want to be able to configure every single bit of your desktop experience. You don’t complain about some issues or trouble you may run into, Linux can be much more fun than Windows or Mac OS!
Windows might be the most commonly used Operating System on Desktop Computers. That is because it is very easy and intuitive, can run almost every software on it, and has the best support for new hardware. Most things are just Plug-and-Play and are supported already by Windows drivers.
In the last past years, Microsoft has also been much more open to open-source. You will find lots of great tools like the WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) or smaller projects like “Windows Terminal” which are fully open-source. Although it is nothing compared to Linux, it’s nice to see, that Microsoft finally changed its philosophy about open-source.
Some people might say that Windows is less secure than Linux or Mac OS, but in my opinion, this is not true anymore. Windows, these days, comes with many improved security features like Windows Defender, a built-in Firewall, Windows Sandbox, etc. And don’t let anybody tell you that there are no viruses for Linux or Mac OS. Although security vulnerabilities on Windows are much more often abused, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist for Linux or Mac OS as well. It just gives you a false sense of security. Always be aware of the fact that malware can hurt you much more on a system like Linux or Mac OS when it’s not protected by any kind of antivirus software!
Although many people hate Windows it sill outperforms Linux and Mac OS in usability and compatibility.
If you want to use Mac OS as an Operating System really depends on if you get in love with Apple’s ecosystem. That doesn’t mean you have to buy all Apple’s products, but it can make sense because they have some great integration features. On the other hand, it can be sometimes frustrating to break out of it.
You will also notice that many highly skilled people in software development, security companies are using Mac OS. That is because Mac OS is a Unix based system, and you can combine the advantage of using Unix based tools and also use business applications that run on Mac OS. You will also find lots of great software and applications, often they cost a small amount of money.
It also is very accepted in any creative industry, such as graphic design, music production, or video editing. A lot of powerful applications in these areas focus on Mac OS.
The main disadvantage is, that you are completely bound to Apple’s hardware. Although the devices all have their unique and beautiful design, they are often expensive compared to personal computers. You may also need to accept Apple’s repair terms and conditions.
Which Operating System works best for me?
I’m a very creative and enthusiastic person. I like to learn new things, like to try new things out. I’m not committed to any specific Operating System. It is just a tool for me to just get my work done.
The best advice I can give you is: “Don’t overcomplicate it“.
Choosing the best Operating System for you is just a matter of choosing the most efficient system to achieve your goal. You should ask yourself, what is my workflow? What am I supposed to do with an Operating System?
And don’t think you need to stick with it forever. I always encourage people to try new things, watch trends in the IT industry, and learn new skills. Many people just like me are also using all three of them. You can even use different devices or virtual machines to experiment with them.
Summary and additional thoughts
You can see, saying something like “Linux is better than Windows” or “Mac OS is better than blabla” is just stupid. Because it is just a general statement from someone who might have a completely different workflow, he has completely different skills, and that being said we are all human. We all have our personal favorites, our personal opinions, and that is okay.
Accept that other people might not like what you like, and don’t judge them for using a different Operating System than you!
I hope this helped you to answer the question, which is the best Operating System as an IT professional.