This section of the Buying a Laptop Guide expands on the highlights we shared under the “Pick a Platform” heading of the first article with helpful Pros and Cons for the Operating System you may be considering for your new laptop.
The operating system is the resource management center of your laptop. It manages all software and hardware, including files, memory and connected devices.
But most importantly, it gives you the means by which to interact with your laptop and programs visually via the GUI system. Otherwise, you’d be left typing a bunch of commands to get any work done.
Because of the wide variety of hardware and software compatible with Microsoft’s Windows. This Operating System is on the lion’s share of laptops worldwide. One of the reasons why Windows so easily conquers its competitors is due to Microsoft’s “wide-open” approach to selling Window’s licenses.
If you want the widest array of capabilities. Windows has the best selection of software. This won’t mean that you’ll get absolutely every application as soon as it enters the market. But you can expect all that high-powered software to eventually come in Windows form. And, if you want direct control over what your software and OS are doing, this is the perfect operating system.
Even though most third-party accessories are universal thanks to the USB standard. Windows is compatible with more add-on hardware than the MacOs and Chrome OS.
Windows is more vulnerable to threats from viruses, malware and spyware than the MacOS and Chrome OS. And the reason why is simple. Since it’s the most widely used. It’s also the most easily targeted. But Microsoft and third-party tools are available to clean threats.
Microsoft and hardware manufacturers give Windows universal and updated drivers more frequently than the MacOS and Chrome OS. Which include major new feature updates. (The Insider program gives updates nearly every week.) But these scheduled updates can destroy software and devices the system doesn’t recognize.
Other compatibility issues Windows can have with hardware revolve around Microsoft’s wide-open approach. Since the hardware is produced by many manufacturers. Production quality can vary. Even if it’s from the same manufacturer. The complex driver system then causes system errors, which you’ll need to diagnose.
The MacOS runs exclusively on MacBooks and other Apple hardware, which is what makes devices within the Apple family so compatible. This top-down approach to licensing the operating system allows Apple much tighter control over quality, software optimization, and targeted service than Microsoft or Google.
Apple’s philosophy “It just works” is key to what makes the MacOS an appealing option for art-focused professionals. The interface simple and user-friendly even for beginners. And if you’re dedicated to Apple’s mobile products. The company’s synergistic approach delivers unified tools that work across functionality.
Yes. A MacBook can run Windows. Through Apple’s Bootcamp application, you can have access to all Windows applications and capabilities. This requires a separate Windows purchase. But you can run both operating systems simultaneously. And you can even run other third-party operating systems like Linux.
Though the MacOS seems simpler to use on first blush. The file explorer is not easy to understand. The company offers a suite of in-house programs for basic tasks. But Apple’s software market is nowhere near as broad as Windows. And the offerings are expensive.
While it may take some time for applications for business and games to make their way to Windows form. Extremely popular Windows titles may or may never get to the MacOS platform. Not only this. But no MacBook is set up with touchscreen support.
Product lines running the MacOs are few and expensive. Add to this that they’re not always up-to-date, and don’t always fit your needs. Recent updates aren’t all that impressive. High Sierra is designed to minimize web-annoyances. But these features work inconsistently with white-listed ad sets.
If you rely primarily on Web-access. And only occasionally use desktop software. The Chrome OS is a cloud-focused operating system that runs custom apps rather than traditional software. The simple browser-based interface expands the functionality of Google’s free Chrome browser into a full desktop platform.
Since it’s a Linux-based, open-source OS that revolves around its own browser. Chrome OS is the least complex major operating system. The interface is designed to get you on the internet with few barriers. Almost every app is a browser extension or a web tool.
This all-in-one approach gives the Chrome OS a distinct advantage over Windows and MacOS. Reliance on the internet to complete web tasks means hardware requirements can be lower and less-expensive than Windows and MacOS without a loss in performance – it can run on low-power.
The ChromeOS is notorious for its claustrophobic storage space. Since the web-focused setup doesn’t require local storage. Many Chromebooks are manufactured with only 16GB of space. (Usable space is less than that when you add the operating system.) It’s not enough for Windows or MacOS.
There are a few games made for the Chrome browser. But this operating system is all web, all the time. And with its heavy reliance on Google tools. There’s Virtually no stand-alone third-party applications. The programs offered on the MacOS are gargantuan compared to ChromeOS.
The ChromeOS offers poor compatibility with external software. Google has extended this by opening the Andriod apps Play Store to all Chromebooks as of 2017. More apps can run without internet connection. But advanced accessories and complicated add-ons won’t work. Google hasn’t provided the drivers.
Next up in the series, you’ll get to find which laptop types are the most lightweight. As well as how screen size will help you determine which laptop to buy.
Want frequent updates and more control? Go for Windows which is elegant and easier to understand than previous editions. If you’re already dedicated to the Apple ecosystem and ease of use, go for the MacOS’ premium experience. Go for the simplicity and focus of the ChromeOS if your primary interactions are on the Web.
Can you think of any pros and cons we didn’t mention for any of operating systems? Please let us know in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.