Apple's Mac operating system is typically called MacOS and the core of the source is from Linux. The operating system, however, has made a lot of changes and strives to be completely different from its predecessor in various ways; such as utilizing their own specialized installation files called .dmg files and its versatile and user-friendly UI. The entire experience of using the system as well offers a very pristine and professional feeling and even its applications echo this; especially those applications unique solely to the operating system (such as xCode and iTunes).
Be that as it may, however; the operating system is not without its downs. In the company's vision to be innovative and set itself apart from its competitors, it uses some obscure, expensive, or unusual methods to perform other features which are already commonplace for users; such as their addition of a Command-key which seemingly replace a lot of shortcut commands the Control-key would typically do on a Linux or Windows system. Yet, the Control-key also still exists on the Mac itself and is instead used in different ways a new user must now learn. There is also the unusual way for how applications must now be installed by dragging-and-dropping an icon into the Applications folder which is unfamiliar to many; or its stubbornness to use unique I/O ports for third-party devices to connect to some machines; such as the lightning port. On top of that, there is also the issue of not all applications being built and usable on MacOS (especially PC games) because of different requirements for the operating system and then there is also the matter of hardware being more expensive, performance being throttled in the company's constant pursuit of slimmer devices and aesthetics, and keyboard malfunctions which currently plague the devices for the same reason. Premium applications for development purposes also come at a price on its app store, as is the case with most devices, but the problem with this is that enthusiasts who typically make freeware alternative to these devices may not do this because of the requirements needed to make them available to MacOS.
The OS also does such a great job of streamlining so many things for users that they're blocked out from actually doing and seeing a lot of their system's inner-workings and processes. Most of the core files for the machine is hidden to protect users from potentially ruining their system's software but at the cost of them not being able to truly understand what is happening in the background of the system nor how to access certain key files. For reasons like these, I consider the device to be used mainly for those who have money to spare without having a deep understanding of computers and tech; although, many would still say that it's the OS of choice for developers and professional workers which in fact, actually isn't true for a variety of reasons; namely of which is hardware performance and flexibility. Anyone who cares about performance for their work will instead purchase a device that they can upgrade easily without hassle and one that offers freedom and flexibility to allow any amount of software they choose on it. The rigidity of the MacOS offers security and a clean system that makes it seems professional, but the feeling of professionality is also something that one could achieve by simply getting any laptop or desktop that is pristine and fits the bill.
The Windows OS has been shunned upon after a slew of failed and botched updates to their software that results in problem after problem for its users. To this day, the October 2018 Windows Update still sees some users suffering some detriment because of some new issue the update presented with some other program on the machine. On top of that, Microsoft has a very notorious history for not only this type of thing but for also pricing their software somewhat high that made people steer clear of it. There is also the issue that because the OS isn't limited to one type of device like the aforementioned MacOS for Apple's Macs and MacBooks, machines with Windows can come from any brand of manufacturer with bloatware attached with it; software which is tediously annoying and takes up space on your HDD and can even cause it to malfunction after some updates.
Be that as it may, there is still a lot that Windows can offer which makes it a good choice to be considered. For starters; its UI is fairly intuitive and clean, making it easy for new users to pick up. Admittedly, they still try to force certain things on you (like using Internet Explorer over a different web-browser), the truth of the matter is that because Windows is the most common OS, it's the one that you can guarantee most programs work on it; meaning you have no worries about playing your PC games on the OS. Even in the case of pricey software you might want to use, there are countless freeware alternatives available by developers because of this. And despite the fact that the operating system isn't tied to one machine and as such, different laptop/desktop manufacturers can attach their own bloatware to their products to sell them, this also allows for users to be able to access the core files and processes of the operating system's process. Windows has put up some walls between you and the core of its software and the deeper you go, the stranger certain things make, but there is no denying that there is definitely a much greater amount of freedom with the OS than with MacOS; even if it comes at the risk of less security.
There is also the matter of being able to afford a multitude of different machines because of different manufacturers being able to create their own variants, which allows a great level of choice when choosing a desktop/laptop, and because of that, this would be the operating system I would recommend to most people. Yes, it can get a bit messy with a Windows update every now and then, but because the general public isn't likely to be able to afford Apple's devices whereas Windows devices can be significantly cheaper; it's a definite plus in my book. You'd also avoid the stress of finding alternatives to some key programs you wish to use or how to get certain games working on the system which you will likely face with the MacOS; it is already one task to find an alternative to some program, but to find an alternative to that program for a specific operating system only makes your task a bit more challenging. If a pristine and professional-look is more of what you're looking for, then there are devices within that vein for Windows as well; ranging from Microsoft's own Surface Books to any high-end machine offered by third-party manufacturers but be warned; those devices will start to enter the same price range as the Mac; albeit, with more flexibility and likely better performance anyway.
Linux can actually refer to a multitude of different operating systems because the core OS is open source; which is the key reason why they are so popular. These include Debian flavors of Linux such as Ubuntu and Red Hat distributions such as Fedora. Ubuntu is the most commonly used distribution however and as such, it will be the main one we focus on here.
The Linux Ubuntu operating system is still an open source operating system at its core and because of that, many things which it uses are free and available for anyone to use. This is the core reason why it's the operating system of choice for developers as it's freedom and flexibility is limitless; with every single aspect of the operating system being at the disposal of the user. It is however also for this same reason that the issues the operating system can encounter is also wide and vast as well; even though it has an active and thriving community who have most likely been through every problem you're now experiencing as well. For that reason, it's not the OS for those who don't have a developer background, and even developers would tell you that they do not just use it like you would any other operating system. They either have a second computer with Windows or MacOS on it for use; or have their machine dual-booted to use both Linux and another OS. Some even refrain from updating their current version of Linux for years because they know the risks of breaking changes that some updates can present in the operating system (which honestly varies from person to person in terms of frequency and depends on what core libraries are on the system that has been installed). Regardless of all these flaws, however; developers will still flock to it and its community because of its open-source nature.
On the other hand, for anyone else, this operating system is a curse. There are even fewer applications that run across both Windows and Linux than across Windows and Mac; meaning, you'll find that a very small percentage of games work without a hassle on the platform. There are some workarounds but in truth, they're not workarounds anyone without a computer science background will be able to utilize. On top of that, because the operating system gives you unbridled access to everything, it is quite possible for you to delete the entire root directory of everything on the system. Yes, everything. The UI has only recently seen some improvements, but because it has traditionally used its terminal window to do most things, there are still some kinks with the UI to be worked out. Even installing new applications can prove a bit of a challenge as you're more likely to find methods which involve typing some command into the terminal window than simply downloading a file.
In terms of price, it is only costly or expensive based on your taste and preferences after all; the operating software itself is entirely free. As such, cost is ultimately determined by the machine you choose to purchase to install it on and all of its applications are free as well. Granted; as I said before, because of its nature, it's hard to find good replacements (or alternatives) for key software from other operating systems, so it's not the OS I'd recommend to general public.
To put it into simpler words and to wrap this entire article up, Windows would be the operating system I would recommend to the general public. It's UI is clean enough and if you want to do more development-focused or professional-focused work on the system, there are some very easy to climb hurdles to get you on that path with relative ease for your money.
MacOS isn't really one I'd recommend unless you deeply care about the design and aesthetics of the machine you're using. But be warned, it'll come at a fair penny more and the Macbook variants will present to your issues with its keyboard and performance throttling as time goes by.
And finally; the Linux variants are truly only for software engineers and developers. Anyone else without a background in those areas is going to put themselves through hell learning those systems and how they work and the steep learning curve that will come with it along with all of the potential issues they could face while using it.
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