The Three Operating Systems

An operating system can simply be described as the system that your device runs on. There are three main operating systems in the world:

-Windows (with a 90% Market Share)
-MacOS (with a ~9% Market Share)
-Linux (with a ~1% Market Share)

(Left to right) Windows, Linux, and MacOS

Most of you probably have heard of Windows and MacOS – Linux is more likely to seem entirely new and unfamiliar. First, let’s talk about Windows and MacOS.

Windows logo

Windows – the most common Operating System in the world, downloaded automatically into Dell, HP, Asus, and Acer laptops and PC’s. There have been several releases of different models; the latest release was for Windows 10. (In 2015, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be its final product.) It should come as no surprise that this system is extremely popular, and that most consumers often have nothing but praise for it. This is mainly because it’s extremely user-friendly. You see, back in the 80s and 90s, people would have to actually open up a command prompt (i.e. the coding page) and type in a line of code to access things we now consider to be everyday necessities, like Files Explorer and Downloads. Windows have made navigating technology much easier, and that we take so much of this for granted is a fact for which it is partly responsible.

Unfortunately, there are some elements that could do with some improvement. For one thing, it’s costly. Windows 10 is available to download on any of your devices for somewhere between $100 – $200, depending on what package you choose to purchase). Additionally, the system can sometimes be faulty, and it has an annoying tendency to crash every now and then – and in some cases, these problems are hard to fix. It also makes it easier than other operating systems for your device to contract a virus as well.

To learn more, visit the official Microsoft website to buy a Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, or Windows 10.

The MacOS logo

Next up – MacOS, the second-most common operating system in the world. It has a beautiful and easy-to-navigate- user interface (also known as the UI), making it an appealing choice for consumers. The MacOS shares similar features with the Windows 10 model mentioned earlier, complete with an efficient Files Explorer among many other things. The only difference, really, is that the MacOS runs on a different set of keys (there, the features you can utilize, for instance, can uniquely be found in the Launchpad at the bottom of the taskbar).

Perhaps the only downside is that this operating system is supported by no other device than a Mac. You can’t download this on your Windows laptop/PC – OS is Mac exclusive, period. And just as most Apple products are fairly expensive, so the Mac isn’t exactly “low-price.” As a result, many people are missing out on this system – perhaps that is why it’s not as common as Windows.

To learn more about buying a Mac, visit the official Apple webstore.

The Linux Logo

Last but not least – Linux, possibly the most underrated operating system on the list. It’s nowhere near being as well known as Windows and MacOS, mostly because it’s not very user-friendly like its more popular counterparts. You would have to actually write code in the terminal (the shell prompt that is also used in MacOS) to utilize features common in everyday life. For instance, if I wanted to use File Explorer, I would have to use a path line in the terminal and write a long line of code: /users/saad/home/downloads/[insert download file name here]. Obviously, not many people were programmers when computers started to become popular, and that is why Linux was left behind. You had to learn how to use Linux, whereas Windows and MacOS were built to be intuitive.

Linux, however, has grown over the years and is now much more user-friendly. It has adopted many of the same features a standard MacOS offers, including the very same type of pop-up taskbar that many of us are familiar with. On top of that, Linux doesn’t have any navigation issues as you can easily access your files explorer, just like on a Windows computer. The only real problem with Linux is the fact that not all softwares are supported on it. A lot of softwares are geared only toward Windows and MacOS, so it’s often ignored and underutilized.

Now, Linux has many distributions. These distributions are all free (in fact, Linux is actually free itself) – here’s a list:

-MintOS (aka Linux Mint)

Again, all of these distributions are free. I personally prefer the ElementaryOS one as it’s more elegant and resembles the closest version to a MacOS. Ubuntu (first on the list) is more similar to the Windows design-style. MinOS is mainly for Linux beginners.

To learn more about getting Linux, visit: (to download ElementaryOS) (to download Ubuntu) (to download MintOS/Linux Mint)

The generic Terminal logo used everywhere

This last topic isn’t an operating system, and it is exclusive to MacOS and Linux users only. On a standard Linux/MacOS-run laptop/PC, you have an application known as the terminal, and it comes free when you buy the device itself. The terminal is the command prompt, a place where you can code and execute commands – think of it as the Python Shell that would be used on Windows. Here are some common Terminal Commands that are usable on both Linux and MacOS:

  • ‘cd’ This command changes your directory.
  • ‘./(insert a .exe command here)’ This runs a file or program.
  • ‘nano’ Opens up a file text editor that you can write in and save files on.
  • ‘cat (file name here)(another file name here)’ This command concatenates 2 different text files.
  • ‘mkdir’ This makes a new directory.
  • ‘Touch’ This command would make an empty file.
  • ‘Find’ This command would find files out of a full directory.

That’s it for this article. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you learned something new!

6 thoughts on “The Three Operating Systems

  1. > Perhaps the only downside is that this operating system is supported by no other device than a Mac.
    If you know what you’re doing it is still possible to install MacOS on devices other than an official apple device.

    > and write a long line of code: /users/saad/home/downloads/[insert download file name here]
    That is a FILE PATH, NOT CODE

    > ‘./(insert a .exe command here)’
    Linux does not use .exe’s

    What you’re using is called bash. Additionally the python shell is not exclusive to windows. Python is a external program which is available on linux too and you can open one too.

    There’s a ton of linux distros, not just ones you listed, you missed that.

    1. Yeah, it takes an expertise to download MacOS on a Windows laptop, and not many people are capable of doing that.

      Yes, I know that was a File Path that I had written, I just generalized it as Code, because that is what many people that don’t work in this field would think. But thank you for noticing that, as it tells me that you have read my article in-depth.

      I had actually not written that ‘.exe command’ line, I think my editor may have replaced another sentence with that, thinking that it would be the same on Linux.

      But either way, thank you for reading my article, it really does mean a lot to me! 😀

  2. A, You said “You can’t download this on your Windows laptop/PC – OS is Mac exclusive, period.”, you actually can get the Mac image file, it just requires a lot of effort.
    B. You said “For instance, if I wanted to use File Explorer, I would have to use a path line in the terminal and write a long line of code: /users/saad/home/downloads/[insert download file name here]. Obviously, not many people were programmers when computers started to become popular, and that is why Linux was left behind.”, you’re actually wrong. There are many Linux distros that don’t need you to cd to the file location, instead, there is a file explorer built into it. Not only that, It’s not code. You’re just going to the file location from the terminal by using cd. Also there is a big difference between a file explorer and using the terminal. The file explorer is meant to have GUI, while using the terminal allows you to run Linux commands within a file directory.
    C. You said “You had to learn how to use Linux, whereas Windows and MacOS were built to be intuitive.”, again, you’re wrong. There are many Linux distros coming out that are made to be more intuitive.
    D. Linux Mint is the most similar to Windows out of any of them. Ubuntu is just one of the more popular Linux distros.
    E. There’s no “.exe” on Linux, exe is just the Window’s runnable file. In Linux, there are multiple file extensions that can be runnable if you have the right things installed.

    1. What I meant was that

      A) MacOS isn’t downloadable on Windows. I’m not sure about the image file though.
      B) Yes, I know that there are many Linux distros that are getting simpler to use, but that was how it was back in the 80s or 90s.
      C) There actually already are many Linux Distros that are intuitive. Good observation.
      D) Oh really? I actually didn’t know that, thank you for telling me!
      E) Yeah, there is no .exe file on Linux, did I mention that somewhere? If so, I’m sorry, that must have been done by my editor.

      Either way thank you for reading my text and digesting it because I never get this kind of awesome criticism. Thanks for reading my article! 🙂

  3. Guy who made an encryption signed comment on your post about programming checking in. key is:
    Well it should be noted that Windows is not technically the most popular OS in the world. Yes, it is definitely the most popular for consumer computing, but not for server computing. Every day corporations are constantly deploying and maintaining servers. But, it’s like you said; Windows is VERY costly. Not only that, but Windows Server Edition is even more expensive! That’s where Linux comes in. Linux is by far the most widely used OS in server computing. Reason being not only is it free you simply have more control over Linux, and are able to choose what it does and has much more. I find it funny how many companies develop paid for, proprietary, closed source software, yet when it comes to their servers… boy do they love that little penguin. Lastly it should be noted the absolute technological gift of virtualization. It is in fact possible to run Mac on non-Mac computers, it’s just a bit different when you think. A virtual machine is a type of program that emulates a virtualized computer within your main operating system using something called a hypervisor in order to sector off hardware resources and this create a virtualized environment on your system. For example, sometimes I run a Kali Linux VM using hypervisor software called VMware, and I am able to do this without having to change my main OS which is Windows 10. The only real downside to virtualization of desktop environments is that it’s costly on hardware strength because now your physical computer has to handle running 2 desktops at once. Anyways good article that I can see being well understood by average computer users.

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