Windows vs Mac vs Linux: The Pros and Cons

Windows vs Mac vs Linux

You’re here because you’re considering an upgrade from your current operating system (OS). Or you recently acquired a laptop, and it didn’t come with an OS at all. Good on you. Because the choice you make can have far-reaching effects on your ability to communicate with your system. In this post, we’re taking a comprehensive look at each of today’s three major operating systems: Windows vs Mac vs Linux. We’ll be breaking up their strengths and weaknesses so you can find the best system for your work needs and lifestyle. Which will win the victory in the final coup-degras for your affinity? Let’s find out.

Windows vs Mac vs Linux: An In-Depth Comparison

An operating system (OS) is the foundation on which any computer runs, with Windows, Mac, and Linux being the most prominent.

How do these three operating systems differ from one another? What are their pros and cons? Which one is better for your computing needs? Let’s find out.

Security

Here’s how each OS fares when it comes to warding off cyber-attacks and hackers.

Windows

Microsoft developed Windows OS in 1985. Since then, it’s come a long way in terms of its security standards.

For starters, Microsoft established ML models that scan for possible threats continuously. It also features the biggest malware signature database for its OS to ensure its users are guarded against cyber scams and attacks.

Plus, its Anti-Malware default software is quite capable of sniffing out malware. Don’t forget the sandbox that Windows has installed in its stores. It protects PCs from potential threats that may have not been detected by other security systems.

Another feature that caught our eye is the way Windows makes use of code signing checks. This reduces the risk of data tampering and keeps your data well-protected.

Other key features are Microsoft’s regular Windows updates. They help repair any weak areas as quickly as possible.

Mac

The ‘classic’ version of macOS was first released by Apple, Inc. in 1984 as part of the original Macintosh software system. It focuses on Graphical User Interface (GUI) to improve and enhance user experience.

macOS is known for being secure by default. Many of the newer Mac models even come embedded with the Apple T2 Security Chip.

This revolutionary silicon chip fits on the tip of your finger. Yet, it’s capable of securing the Mac system even for the lowest levels of software. Its Secure Enclave coprocessor is the basis for secure booting, Touch ID, and encrypted storage capabilities.

As a result, Mac users don’t have to deal with as many viruses and malware compared with the Windows OS. That doesn’t mean that Mac is 100% malware-free. It just means there are fewer of them to deal with.

Another security feature we like on the macOS is its System Integrity Protection (SIP). It was first released in 2015 to protect against unwanted process modification.

Linux

Launched in 1991, Linux is a Unix-like OS. In terms of market share, it takes up less than 5% of the world’s OS market. It’s used by a select group of people for niche applications.

Yet, because it’s open-source, it could be the most secure of them all. When you have hundreds of users analyzing the Linux source code, vulnerabilities are easily spotted and addressed.

Another plus is that Linux understands the benefits of having security policies that complement each other. This could be why a growing number of users and analysts are switching to Linux.

Software

While security may be important, it’s the software that can make or break an OS. Check out some of the software features offered by each system.

Windows

Windows software options offer just about everything you could hope for. However, the lack of a unified store combined with the abundance of options can make some users feel overwhelmed, especially since there’s no guidance or support to walk them through it.

Then, there’s the hassle of installing and uninstalling software on your PC, which can turn into a hot mess if you don’t know what you’re doing.

That being said, Microsoft is now trying to smooth any rough patches. It’s launched its own uniform set up with the Microsoft Store in Windows 10.

The bright side of having too many choices is the freedom that comes with it. While you’re mainly left to fend for yourself, you learn as you go along. Plus, who can deny the wide range of customizable software available to Windows users?

PC gamers, as well as gaming developers and publishers, are also favoring Windows. This is largely due to its wide user base. Another reason is that Microsoft makes it a point to be directly involved in the gaming industry.

Mac

The macOS depends on Apple’s mesh of integrated software. Everything within the Apple enterprise is exclusive to this ecosystem.

Monopolizing users’ experiences and options is either Apple’s strongest suit or their worst invention. It depends on who you talk to.

Yet, we can’t deny that everything inside the ecosystem is pro-grade creative and top-of-the-line. Not only that, but they complement each other to provide users with a seamless experience. Some of this software includes Logic Pro, iBook Author, Final Cut Pro, and much more!

Linux

Linux comes with a unified install setup system. Its smaller user base means fewer options. Yet, its open-source nature is opening up new possibilities.

One of these is in the gaming industry. For game developers, Linux is easy to code for and there’s not as much competition. This makes it the perfect OS to launch a variety of top-selling games and creative software.

Also, being free and accessible means a higher level of control and customization. Still, its software options don’t quite cut it when compared with the diversity of options offered by Windows and macOS.

Drawbacks

Read ahead for some potential disadvantages of each operating system.

Windows

Windows is known to suffer more from security breaches and hackings. Why?

Simple. More people use Windows worldwide than any other operating system. This is a hacker’s dream come true. After all, with more users, there’s a wider collection of marks to choose from.

Mac

There are vulnerabilities in the macOS that pop up from time to time. Especially now since over 10% of the market share is Mac users. This is making cybercriminals wake up and take notice of this system.

Linux

Being open-source is a two-sided sword. Having that joint effort and cooperation makes some people feel their data might be exposed.

Because anyone can access the Linux source code, some organizations are wary and a bit skeptical of its level of security. They feel it’s not dependable enough, especially in this day and age. Plus, it lacks add-on security measures, such as sandboxing and code signing.

The Verdict

After reading our Windows vs Mac vs Linux comparison, do you have a new favorite? We’ve run through the pros and cons of each OS. Their differences are what make them strong contenders in the computing market. It also allows them to cater to a wider user base. So, are you choosing an OS for your organization or personal use? Either way, make sure you pick the one that best aligns with your needs for work and play. More importantly, it should continually work to meet, and even surpass, all your security goals.