Laptop Buying Guide – Selecting the Operating System for Laptop

 

 
Today we will be discussing different Operating systems that come pre-installed with a desktop or a laptop or can be installed on these systems. But for the sake of article series, our focus will be on Laptop devices.

What is an Operating System (OS) ?

source: wikipedia

 

The Operating System (OS) works as an interface between computer hardware and software. It manages all software and hardware, includes files, memory and other connected devices. A smart and efficient OS is required by a computer to utilize system processor, RAM and other resources for their optimum performance.

Different OS in Laptops

Talking about different OS, a laptop can come with any OS pre-installed with them. An OS can be based upon an Open Source platform like Linux, Chrome OS or is available with a License purchasing such as Windows OS. Apple company uses only Mac OS for Apple exclusive laptops while other laptop vendors can include Windows, Chrome OS, Linux or DOS operating system.

 

 

At the end of Mar 2020, Windows OS share a market dominance with 77.1% systems operating on Windows OS. Next comes with Apple Mac OS X with 18.34% share, then Linux with 1.71%. (source: StatCounter)
 

1- Windows OS

In the area of desktop and laptops computers, Microsoft Windows is the most commonly used operating system. It has a market share or around 75 to 80%. In terms of user interface, it has a user-friendly Graphical Based Interface, which is highly customizable. Because of its popularity, all the apps and software for computers are built for Windows platform and later for other OS. Therefore it has the largest selection of different apps, software and games. However because of its huge reach among general users, it is prone to various modern cyber attacks. Almost all the internet viruses or malware are built for attack on Windows OS. If you are buying a new laptop you will get the latest Windows 10 version. But some users are still running their Windows computer on older Windows 7 or Windows 8. I would suggest to free upgrade your system to latest Windows 10 to get the latest security features provided by Microsoft.

Windows 10 OS version in consumer laptop

If we talk about different versions of Windows 10, we have Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro offering for general consumers. There are other versions like Windows 10 Enterprise, but that is provided by a company to their company laptop.

source: Microsoft

Generally in a laptop, all companies provide Window 10 Home OS preinstalled in their Laptops while some high end devices offer Window 10 Pro version. If you are wondering what is the difference between these two versions, I can simplify it for you. Between a Window 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, if you are a professional user or own a small business, then you can go for Window 10 Pro. Windows 10 Pro offers advanced security, connectivity and privacy features such as BitLocker for drive encryption, Hyper-V for virtualization and Remote Desktop support.

2- Mac OS

 

After Microsoft Windows, Mac OS by Apple shares the global market of around 15% to 20%. It is exclusively available for Apple iMac desktop and MacBook laptops. It is entirely built for Apple hardware and software ecosystem to provide a smooth lag free experience to its users. Mac OS code is based on the UNIX operating system and provides users a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to interact with applications. Because of its more secure UNIX roots, apps on Mac OS are generally malware and virus free. But this doesn’t mean it is entirely secured. It is just attackers are busy attacking Windows users to affect a large no. of systems.

3- Chrome OS

Chrome OS is another Linux based Open Source operating system designed by Google. It comes pre-installed in different Chromebooks. All the apps and user data reside in Google Cloud, meaning Chrome OS is primarily a Web Based OS. And because everything is stored online, you need a high quality Internet to work effectively on Chromebooks. The apps, which are mostly free, can be downloaded through Google Chrome App store. Google also provides built-in virus and malware protection by regularly pushing security updates to devices.

If you want to check all the Official ChromeOS devices list, visit this link.

4- Linux OS  

Linux OS is another totally free Open Source operating system that can be installed to a computer. Companies don’t sell their laptop with Linux preinstalled on it. Linux OS gets love from programmers and advanced power users who primarily work on Command Line Interface (CLI). First time users may find it difficult to install and operate and most probably they will switch back to other OS. Other than Windows, most famous software is available on the Linux platform as well. In our list of OS, Linux OS is the most secure one.

5- Disk Operating System (DOS) OS

If laptop companies opt for not installing any OS and sell devices on a cheaper price, they will pre-install DOS operating systems. Users opting for laptops based on DOS OS immediately installs Windows or Linux OS over it. But this reinstalling activity requires a good amount of computer knowledge. Laptop with DOS might be cheaper but buying Windows OS and then installing might cost you more than buying a laptop with pre-installed Windows OS.

Apart from these, a laptop can be pre-installed with specific applications and drivers from different hardware companies assembled in the laptop. These applications are meant to provide granular control over different software and hardware settings with an aim to support OS optimal functioning.

Apple laptops come pre-installed with software like Page and Keynote. For a Windows laptop, they can be pre-loaded with trial versions of a few software such as Anti-Virus or games. If we talk about the most demanded productivity software- MS Office, few laptops come with full licensed MS Office versions.  In such cases laptop manufacture will highlight it separately.

If we talk about Chrome OS, they come preloaded with a few apps from Google Play Store. And for Linux, apps have to be installed separately.

In the end

Other than the Apple products, all the details provided here is applicable for both PC and Laptops. If we talk about PCs, we can have a pre-built PC or a PC assembled from scratch. A pre-built PC and laptop both come with an OS installed with them. While in assembled PC you have to manually install an OS to hardware. And if you choose to go with Microsoft Windows OS, you have to pay a good amount of money to get a licensed version.

You can also use multiple OS on Windows Laptop by installing the same or a different OS on another storage partition or by using Windows Virtualization feature.

On the other hand, Apple Mac OS is exclusively available on Apple products such as iMac or MacBook. Mac OS always comes pre-built and you cannot install this OS on any other platform.

By LTR Admin

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