Windows vs Mac vs Linux: Which Operating System is Best for Students

Piyush Kumar ShrivastavaSep 9 . 6 min read

Students go through a lot of brainstorming and research to choose the best Operating system laptop for them. The competition usually seen is windows vs mac vs Linux. This is also because of the curiosity present in students to know more about all three types of Operating Systems and resultantly it becomes a little difficult for them to decide which one to opt and buy.

Here is an analysis of all the three operating systems which may help you to find out the option that suits you the best.

Introduction to Operating Systems

Windows Operating System

Developed by Microsoft Corporation, the first version was released in 1985. This has gone through several developments and is the most popular OS in the world. The earlier version was MS-DOS launched in 1981 which worked on commands. Windows version 1.0 started the use of clicking to access.

Mac Operating System

Developed by Apple Inclusive, 1984 was the year that saw the debut of Mac OS as ‘Classic Mac OS’. It is operational only on computers made by Apple. ‘mac OS Big Sur’ is the latest version of Mac OS. Comparing windows vs mac vs Linux, it caps around 7% of the world customers making it again

Linux Operating System

Developed by Linus Torvalds community released its first version on September 17, 1991. It is an open-source operating system. Its core part is Kernel and the consumer percentage is 2.4 of the world.

Operating System Comparison

  • Malware: Windows is the most popular is more susceptible to malware and spyware. Mac performs a little better in this and is more protected. Linux is the least used and hence almost no malware is found on this OS.
  • Storage Structure: Windows structure for storage is a directory type consisting of file folders and file types with extensions like .docx, .pdf. mac also follows directory system storage with file routes as /tmp, /applications, etc. Linux whereas has a tree-like structure for data storage. Your drives get mounted on this tree.
  • Availability options: Windows configured laptops/ computers are manufactured by many companies. mac is limited to devices made by Apple only. Linux is accessible on any device excluding apple devices and major mobile devices are based on this OS. In laptops, it can be downloaded for free but very few people actually use it.
  • Cost: Windows vs Mac vs Linux is often done based on this factor. Windows devices and hardware are comparatively cheaper but still can cost a few thousand to buy. mac runs only on Apple devices which usually is quite costly. Linux is available free of cost and can be downloaded online.
  • Interface switch: In Windows OS, Windows 8 and above are available with interchangeable interfaces. mac can also do this by managing the interfaces option. Linux is very easy to switch with GNOME and KDE making it easier.
  • Gaming: Windows has a really big range reason being its wide popularity. For mac, games are relatively less than windows OS and for Linux, games are just countable.
  • User group: Windows is the most popular among people of socio-economic class of all ages. mac is popular among creators such as animators, graphics designers, video editors. Programmers and Developers is the group where Linux is most popular.
  • Command Terminal: A black box called Windows Command Processor is used as a command terminal. mac consists of the command line, console prompt, and terminal. Linux also provides the terminal with a shell prompt additional. 
  • Privacy: Linux is the most secure as it doesn’t go for any digital footprints. mac controls its privacy options very well while Windows does not score that well in terms of privacy features. So, in the fight of Windows vs Mac vs Linux for privacy, Linux is truly the best. 
  • Data Registry: The master database is a Windows registry for saving the settings on your Windows computer. mac uses application settings to store files with extension .plist files. Linux does not have any separate registry space for data storage.
  • Ease to Use: Apple with its ecosystem compatible only with Apple devices is quite easier to use and is made to keep the users in focus. Windows has diversity due to its large range of products so it is a little complicated. Linux is not that easy for everyday usage and is liked by experts and developers only.
  • Smart assistants: Siri is the most popular one developed by Apple. Windows has developed ‘Cortana’ which is not that popular. Linux does not have any smart assistant developed till now.
  • Multi-Touch options: Apple is the most consistent with it as it has a uniform ecosystem for all its devices. Windows is a little less compatible with multi-touch due to many manufacturers. Linux is not into hardware manufacturing, so it is not that good in this context. Here, the fight is only mac OS versus Windows in which scores over in this category.

So, Linux vs Mac vs Windows is not clearly dominated by any single OS but Windows is more popular and cheaper comparatively while the mac is for sophisticated creators with better security assured to users. Hence this fight of windows vs mac vs Linux, students can choose based on this conclusion or the factors explained above.

Some more Comparisons

Chrome OS vs mac OS

Chrome OS is developed by Google and is available on Chrome books, chrome box, and chrome base only whereas mac is for running only on Apple devices. mac OS can be very reliantly used in offline mode whereas chrome OS being an extension of Google chrome is better accessible online with most of the data being stored on a cloud. Chrome books don’t have much space also to store offline while mac operated computers have good space.

Chrome OS is cheaper than mac OS as it is available on chrome books which are not very costly.

mac vs Ubuntu

Ubuntu is an open-source operating system developed on the Linux platform. It is compatible with both windows and even on Macbooks also but mac cannot work on Linux. However, mac OS is better preferred and reviewed as it has benefits of graphical perspective also. Ubuntu is not so popular as mac but hits the bull's eye specifically for programmers.



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