Assuming you don’t speak binary (you know, all the 1s and 0s), there’s a good chance an operating system is crucial to you getting your job done, but it’s all happening behind the scenes for you. How do we know? Because in a digital world, computers run everything, and operating systems run computers.
If you’re looking for more information on operating systems, you’ve come to the right place. You’ve probably got questions: What are operating systems? How do computer operating systems work? How do I choose the right operating system? What operating system do I currently have? Luckily, we’ve got answers (well except for that last question, to answer that, we’d need to audit your system to know).
At Axiom, we’re here to help you understand a little more about the inner workings of your devices and how to choose the best software to suit your business.
What Is an Operating System?
There are probably more computer operating systems in your life than you realize. An Operating System, or “OS”, is the most important software that runs on a traditional computer, as well as similar devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, gaming consoles, and smart TVs.
An OS is the software that manages memory, processing, and all the hardware and software on a computer. It is also the interface between a computer user and the computer hardware, allowing the user to communicate with the computer.
Operating systems change over time with updates that improve security, processing, stability, and more, which makes it important to update to the latest operating system as they’re released.
What Does an Operating System Do?
An operating system performs all of the basic tasks for a computer. Think of an air traffic controller, translator, and project manager all bundled into one. Here are some of the important functions of a computer operating system:
- Memory management
- File management
- Process management
- Application programming interfaces
- Control of input and output devices, like a keyboard, mouse, and display
- Control of external devices, like a printer or disk drive
There are also real time operating systems used in some phones, printers, etc.
How to Find the Best Operating System for Your Computer
The type of operating system you use is more than likely going to depend on the type of computers you’re using for your business — laptops vs. desktops and what brands. When it comes to OS’s, there is no “one size fits all” solution and you’ll have to do your due diligence to figure out what your business needs.
Types of Operating Systems
The three most common operating systems for computers are Microsoft Windows, macOS for Apple devices, and Linux. Though any of these three are going to be a good bet for your business, these aren’t the only options out there. Here are the most common OS’s we’ve seen:
- Microsoft Windows
- Chrome OS
Operating systems typically come with the computers you buy, so if you already have a specific device in mind, then there’s a good chance you won’t have to worry about choosing an OS. However, if you’re looking for an OS and device to fit your specific needs, you may want to upgrade or change your operating system, or buy a computer based on your needs.
If you’ve ever switched between using a Mac and a Windows computer before, you know that every operating system’s graphical user interface, or GUI, is different. Nevertheless, most modern OS’s are designed to be easy to use and many of the functions are the same.
Choosing the Right Operating System
There are pros and cons to every operating system and it all depends on what you’re using your devices for and what other software you need to run.
For example, Linux, while less well-known than macOS and Microsoft Windows, has one major pro: it’s free, unlike Windows and macOS. But, Linux may require more maintenance, and security updates and new features may be more difficult to install. With a great IT team behind you, however, these “cons” may not be an issue for you, so Linux is still on the table.
Windows has a ton of options, with a variety of device types and costs, and Macs are known for working well for a long time. One of the biggest downsides to Mac, however, is the cost. Apple devices tend to be more expensive than Microsoft and other brands.
Like we mentioned, choosing the best operating system really comes down to what you’re using your device for. If you aren’t running many specialty programs, there’s a good chance that any OS will do. However, there are plenty of cases where industry-specific applications are written for Windows.
If you’re still not sure what real time operating system is the best choice for your business, we can help. At Axiom Solutions, we are committed to providing our customers with the best IT support possible and reliable communication that will only enhance your business.
For advice on your next operating system or to learn more about Axiom Solutions and what our services like Managed IT can provide you, start a conversation with us today.