Windows, Mac or Linux... Which operating system best suits your business?

operating system

With all the options out there, organizations may be having a hard time deciding which operating system to go with. The three most common are Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. But which is the best for your business?

An OS should have a robust set of characteristics to serve the diverse needs of a busy office. It should be reliable and secure, yet flexible enough to scale with business demands. The user interfaces should be feature-rich and easy to navigate for both end-users and IT administrators. Windows remains by far the most popular, used in around 85 percent of businesses, with Mac a distant second and Linux operating systems hanging in at over 5 percent.



You won't find it difficult to obtain software or support. The Windows OS has undergone many changes and versions, and for the advanced user it also has more management features than you may need.

On the downside, it is still relatively costly, and some older versions like Vista will run terribly slowly on newer machines. Since it is so common, many hackers are familiar with it, so updated security features are important.


The Mac OS is designed to run only on Apple computers, and is less subject to hardware and software errors. It's also much less prone to viruses. Mac has superior graphics in both visual appeal and capabilities; it's always been the standard for professional graphic artists.

On the "cons" side, it's only available on Apple computers, which tend to cost more than a comparable Windows model. And there are relatively few applications available that will run well on Mac systems.


Linux is a free alternative. Apart from the zero-cost factor, it's still less prone to viruses than Windows. Most Linux machines start out as Windows computers that are reformatted. Linux is also adaptable -- Linux is an OS kernel, not a full system, but is the heart of software distributions such as Ubuntu or Fedora.

As for cons, Linux is more complex to learn and use. There are also far fewer programs written for Linux systems. Of course, someone with an advanced online computer science master’s degree will help you make the most of a Linux system by supplying the skills needed to innovate and implement custom solutions for your business environment.

No operating system is really superior -- most mid- to large-sized businesses will use more than one OS. It all depends on your needs.

Image source: Shutterstock/irin73bal

Published under license from, a Future plc Publication. All rights reserved.

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