Well, I've recently upgraded both my laptop and tablet to Windows 8.1 (well, 8.1 update 1 but as we all know it's a service pack so nice try Microsoft) and I'm finding that I'm liking the revision that they did. It brought back more of the desktop experience which is what a lot of people like and missed with the original Windows 8. So to me Microsoft, with the latest update, turned it into Windows 7 with a brand new start menu interface.
Now don't get me wrong I am by no means a Microsoft fanboy but I will give props where props are due. Over the past couple of years I've used all three desktop operating systems (Linux, Windows and OSX) and two major mobile systems (Android and iOS) and have found pros and cons with them all to which this blog is about (I'm feeling super geeky today haha). So this blog is going to be all about the desktop operating systems:
Most common operating system used and allows a seamless transition in terms of knowing how to use it, from one computer to another IF they're using the same version of Windows
Going from desktop system to a mix of cloud and desktop (one drive)
Most software and peripherals are designed with Microsoft in mind
Heavily used in large corporate environments, medical fields and government areas
Heavy integration now with Office 365 and Windows to make it seamless
Many MANY games are designed to be used with Windows
Has its own App store for windows compatible software
Unless you have a good Security Software system you're more susceptible to viruses
Does not play well with other operating systems unless you know how to 'make it work' (heh Tim Gunn reference)
Media store (like iTunes, Amazon or eMusic) is just plain horrible. Even naming it zune just shows how bad it is (and for those who don't know or even heard of Zune, it was a media player that Microsoft made to compete with the iPod and its now dead but the name lives on UGH!)
Heavy and professional music editing software, while able to work on Windows doesn't play well at times and many professionals prefer to use Apple for that reason
Internet explorer, one of the worst internet browsers to exist in my opinion, and should have never been allowed to exist (if you have it I implore you to use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox!)
Has its own App store for windows compatible software running in the Metro/Start Menu interface
A very stable system needing very little attention and extremely user friendly
At the forefront with a lot of new technology and ideas
While security software should be installed, it's not as susceptible to viruses like windows is
Excellent and pretty much designed for editing media such as movies, pictures and music
Safari proves to be a pretty good contender for a built in web browser
Excellent built in media player with access to iTunes (one of the most popular places to buy and purchase media)
Uses Sandbox to prevent non-signed applications from being installed unless it is directed by the user
Has its own App store for apple compatible software which can be installed on any apple computer that is linked with your apple ID
Uses a lot of peripheral technology which makes a lot of things incompatible with other operating systems until they are released (e.g. Thunderbolt, lightning connector, 30pin designed only for iPods and tablets
Not a lot of software compatibility between the two and cannot run windows applications without either having a OSX compatible release or running or running Bootcamp or inside a virtual machine
Until apple started using Intel, it was nearly impossible to get any windows applications used thanks to the PowerPC processor they used instead
Apple's version of office leaves much to be desired with when compared to Microsoft Office
Heavy integration with iCloud with provides Windows users and Android users a portion of the power that it provides those with out iOS devices or OSX
Uses it ownership of iTunes to market the latest and nicest apps on the Apple App store
Cannot easily change your apple ID
Not a lot of games are compatible with Apple but most gaming companies are fixing this
Follows the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) doctrine which allows users with the heavy tech knowledge to go in to the actual operating system, tweak it to their needs or improve it
Uses a community based ideal to allow people from all over the world to use and modify it easily
Easier to set up for server applications (many companies use enterprise versions of Linux to run websites, servers and backbone infrastructure to allow communication between all operating systems using the SAMBA suite (open source implementation of SMB protocols)
Just like OSX, it is not as susceptible to viruses and malware but still like I mentioned its always good to have a good security software system enabled
There is a variety of 'flavors' to use for the interface. Everything from graphic oriented to minimalist design
Some companies (like Dell and HP) offer it as an alternative to Windows and offer support with it as well
Offers app stores on some Linux systems that contain the FOSS
Most software used by OSX and Microsoft are not compatible with Linux unless use an emulator like WINE and even then it might not work
Updates and security fixes depend on the different Linux flavor you use and how often it can be updated
Some companies have chosen the path to offer two types of their Linux product, one that is entirely FOSS and the other that costs money due to proprietary drivers that cost money to include to play various media, drivers and other items.
Some streaming media companies do not support Linux (Netflix is one example) while some do (Hulu and Pandora are the two that I know of)
Cross-compatibility with documents and media sometimes result in either corruption or messed up formatting.
Integrated media sales platforms are either non-existent or provide a very limited selection (best one to use is either amazon or eMusic)
So as you can see there are many pros and cons to the various desktop systems while my lists provide a brief glimpse into the pros and cons, of them it is by no means a comprehensive list and I could be wrong on some points so if I am or you have something to add, please feel free to add your comments in this blog. I also want to add that the next blog will deal with Android, iOS and Windows mobile operating systems which should be just as interesting if your technosavvy.
The last thing I add, because there are people who feel strongly about the systems individually, I do not want flame wars appearing in the comments. Any that do will be deleted and reported per the GA rules. One final point if you have questions or need help with something with any of the systems listed above please let me know by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll help you best I can. I do this for a living as a band 1 technician for a very big company (which means help desk and troubleshooting).
Cheers and thanks!
Eric aka Phantom
**edit to add: Thanks to an anonomyous reader for pointing out errors and edits that I missed **
My PC monitor isn't built to read something super long. It's for photo editing, so the resolution is high which makes text super small (no I won't increase text size because it screws up format). There is a story I want to read and the chapter is just long enough that it's not going to work, so I have to resort on my iPodTouch (that's my main reading medium actually, stories on Kindle). But the thing you see, I tried to browse GA under Safari, it's really hard to find the specific story because I don't know how to move around.... Authors are arranged by names and only navigation is prev and next.... Can't do direct name search, or at least I don't know how.... Browse by story title is the same....
By the way, is there an easy way to send the story directly to email, so I can read it offline whenever I go? (sorry, don't have iPhone. My brother gave me the iPod). Sitting on a train or BART is usually where I do most reading anyways.... Or better, can I send it in format that can be read by Kindle app?