Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux

mouseI have a work-issued MacBook Pro running OS X, a laptop running Windows 7 and a desktop running Ubuntu 11.10. That makes me lucky enough to have the big three operating systems at my fingertips.

platforms

I work from home, and the bulk of my work is done on the Ubuntu Linux desktop. Here's a breakdown as to how I use these three machines.

Ubuntu 11.10

  • Primary computer for work and play
  • Where I listen to music, podcasts, update this blog and make a living
  • My preferred OS

Mac OS X

  • When I'm not at my desk, I go mobile with the MacBook Pro
  • When I need Photoshop or to attend a GoToMeeting session, I return to the Mac
  • It feels solid, looks great and is pretty fast, but I haven't yet fallen in love with this OS

Windows 7

  • My son loves this laptop, because he can play his Windows-only games on it
  • Otherwise, Windows bugs me...

I'm very curious as to which OS you use at home and work, and which is your preference. Windows, Mac or Linux?


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Comments (51 - click here to join in!)

Rob de

Mac OS X, Never a problem, it just works and works well with my iPhone and iPad and Apple Tv.

March 12, 2012 @ 2:09 PM

Declan

Windows 7 because I can't afford a Mac.

Mac: Y u so expensive?

March 12, 2012 @ 2:12 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rob de

The Mac is very stable. It's solid, stable and fast. I didn't pay for it, but I understand it's about $2k.... maybe more.

I picked up the desktop running Linux for $250. Ubuntu Linux, of course, was a free download.

But try taking that desktop on the road with you! It's super tough to set it up at Starbucks...

March 12, 2012 @ 2:20 PM

Andy

Work:
Laptop triple boot:
RedHat Linux 60% (customer support and most work)
Solaris 10% (customer support)
Windows 7 30% (connectivity and mail only because I have no choice)

Home:
Mac OS X & RedHat Linux

March 12, 2012 @ 2:21 PM

Question for Mike

What's the breakdown for visitors to your site? What OS are we using?

March 12, 2012 @ 2:45 PM

The_Voice

Work:
Windows (various versions)
RH Linux (various versions).

Home:
Vista (cause it came with my laptop)
iOS (95% of my home computing is done on this platform).

March 12, 2012 @ 2:47 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Question for Mike

1. Windows - 63.97%
2. Macintosh - 16.40%
3. iPhone - 7.86%
4. iPad - 4.15%
5. Android - 3.09%
6. BlackBerry - 1.34%
7. Linux - 0.97%
8. iPod - 0.91%
9. Windows Phone - 0.05%
10. SymbianOS - 0.04%

As you'd expect, Windows dominates. I suspect the bulk of lurkers are Windows and the bulk of commenters are Mac... but that's merely speculation on my part.

March 12, 2012 @ 3:00 PM

CQ

XP Pro is still my lone OS.

March 12, 2012 @ 3:02 PM

brad

windows xp

refusing to upgrade

March 12, 2012 @ 3:57 PM

Jacob

Mac. I used to dual-boot Windows on it, but my list of reasons to became so short that I killed that partition to free up valuable drive space.

There's only one piece of software we use at the office that I don't have on my Mac, and that's CorelDraw.

March 12, 2012 @ 3:58 PM

Pete McPhedran

For work I have:

Laptop
Dual boot: Ubuntu 80%, Windows 7 20%
Desktop
Dual boot: Ubuntu 95%, Windows 7 5%
Mac mini for customer support and where I d/l my iTunes schtuff.

Home
8 core Ubuntu desktop running MythTV and Boxee

Viglen MPC-L for home automation and environmental control, running Xubuntu

For business servers we run a combo of RedHat, CentOS and Windows in about equal parts.

--Pete

March 12, 2012 @ 4:26 PM

Lyle Lanley

0.97% of visitors to your very own blog run Linux. That's almost a whole percentage point. That OS sure is popular.

I'm just joshin' ya. For fun, can I see browser stats for visitors to your site? But before you post them, a prediction:

IE: 55%
Chrome: 15%
Firefox: 15%
Safari: 10%
EverythingElse: 5%

March 12, 2012 @ 4:49 PM

elvis

Our house is soon to be a 100% Mac environment. I never thought I'd see the day.

March 12, 2012 @ 6:21 PM


Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Lyle Lanley

1. Internet Explorer - 29.68%
2. Safari - 22.49%
3. Firefox - 21.83%
4. Chrome - 19.36%
5. Android Browser - 2.98%
6. Mozilla Compatible Agent - 2.30%
7. Opera - 0.46%
8. IE with Chrome Frame - 0.23%
9. Opera Mini - 0.20%
10. BlackBerry9700 - 0.14%

As far as my visitors are concerned, IE isn't as dominant as you'd think. It's amazing how close the top 4 are...

March 12, 2012 @ 6:28 PM

Rob

With all the complaints about Windows...I've never had issues with Windows 7. It is fast, glitch free and a pleasure to use.
My work computer with Vista is another story.
As a gamer it is the only type of computer that makes sense. Making constant upgrades is affordable and compatibility with Apple computers and some games can be a nightmare. One of the largest games currently League of Legends (don't play it), stopped supporting Macs because it caused too many headaches.

Other games such as Heroes of Newerth is usually about a month behind with patches for Mac users. Many of the top games don't even work on Macs.


March 12, 2012 @ 6:56 PM

Becca

At home - my MacBook Pro is attached to me.

At work, I'm ashamed to say Windows 7. It's actually fantastic for the office. I struggle with work stuff on my Mac. This reminds me: http://www.vincentabry.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Windows-OS.jpg

March 12, 2012 @ 7:18 PM

Cheryl

I have Windows 7 on this computer. For work, I have Windows XP. I work at home. My company hasn't upgraded to Windows 7 and don't know if they ever will or when they will, but I have Windows 7 on this computer so I won't panic as much if work gets it.

March 12, 2012 @ 7:40 PM

VegasGeoff

I use Windows 7 on my laptop, and have an Ipad 2 which is probably getting more use than the computer these days. I've been reading the blog through Pulse news reader, an excellent app for iOS and Android.

March 12, 2012 @ 7:45 PM

VegasGeoff

I use Windows 7 on my laptop, and have an Ipad 2 which is probably getting more use than the computer these days. I've been reading the blog through Pulse news reader, an excellent app for iOS and Android.

March 12, 2012 @ 7:45 PM

Irvine

@ANDY. Triple boot? Has your company never heard of virtualization? Give Mware a look.

@Delcan. Mac costs more because all of their hardware is upper end. A Mac Mini starts at $599 bucks

@Becca. Win 7 is a solid product and designed for the enterprise. The tools for deployment and management (SCCM, MDT, WDS) are pretty robust as is Windows imaging.

I use:

Mac Air: travel computer along with iPad

Windows 7: used frequently because it's in the enterprise.

Linux/BSD. I use almost daily but all is done in command line and it's remotely so usually on the above OS's There are no GUIs in the Linux I work with. Too much unneeded overhead.

@VegasGeoff. With an iPad you can pretty much do everything you do on a laptop. I have a CITRIX XENapp farm at home and I can run Citrix on my iPad (giving me access to MS Office, etc.

Win 8 is cool and Hyper V is native. This is the tablet era.

March 12, 2012 @ 9:53 PM

Mike from Lowville

HOME:Ubuntu Linux desktop (garage)
Vista desktop (house)
Windows 7 laptop
Work:Windows xp (corporate)

March 13, 2012 @ 6:44 AM

Shadowwraith

I am currently using OpenSUSE 12.1 on one computer and Fedora 16 on the other. I used to have windows 7 but i got sick and tired of the bugs and viruses that i had permently switched to Linux as i had used various flavors and versions before and found it alot better.

March 13, 2012 @ 8:29 PM

C Craig

At work: Mac OS X

At home: Ubuntu 12.04 beta on laptop, Lubuntu 11.10 on netbook, Fedora 16 Xfce on desktop

March 13, 2012 @ 10:06 PM

nejode

Desktop: Ubuntu 11.10 (with Unity)
Laptop: Kubuntu 11.10 (I run an instance of WinXP as a virtual machine with VirtualBox on it for ocasional tech service stuff)
Home server: Zentyal 2.2

Cool and comfortable... no licence costs, no malware, easy on low specs hardware, no defrags, no registry crackups, no microsoft breathing on my neck...

...proud to be a part of that 1%!!!

March 13, 2012 @ 10:07 PM

dragonbite

At home I am predominately Linux (Ubuntu 10.04, 11.10 and openSUSE 12.1 currently), with a little of Windows 7 sprinkled here and there.

The only thing I like that Windows has is compatibility. Our wireless multifunction works with Windows 7. I haven't gotten it working in Linux yet (too new I suspect).

Well, that and Office 2010.

Otherwise I prefer Linux; it gives me eye candy that Windows is unable to give me on the same system. The applications are just as good or sometimes preferable, upgrades are free (and a month or two away), and it is more stable.

I take my laptop with me everywhere and I haven't had a problem connecting or using it yet, with the most recent versions at least.

At one point I was using the Linux laptop as a bridge between the "public" wi-fi, and a router I connected to via wire. I tried setting it up that way in Windows and it took 1/2 hour before I gave up. Linux took 5 minutes.. if that long.

I definitely prefer Linux, but Windows 7 isn't too bad. I'm not interested in a Mac.

March 13, 2012 @ 10:16 PM

GreginNC

I have six computers in my home,two are mine the rest are family members. All are dual boot Linux/win7 or xp.My main systems are PcLinux (enlightenment) and Slackware, windows is strictly for gaming.My wife is actually the only one in the home who uses windows as the primary OS, even my kids prefer Linux.

March 13, 2012 @ 10:59 PM

timdor

Both computers in my home run Linux, Ubuntu 11.10 on the one my wife uses, and Opensuse 12.1 on my Lenovo X120e. The Lenovo came with Windows 7 Professional Edition already installed. Win 7 seemed to be a considerable improvement over XP which I used at work, but I wiped it from the drive anyway. As I don't play games on the computer and have met all my computing needs for 6 years by using Linux and open source software, I could see no benefit in using Windows.

I also have an IPAD 2 provided through work, but I only use that for some work related software. If the device had not been given to me, I would never have purchased one. I much prefer using Linux on my small Lenovo.

March 13, 2012 @ 11:42 PM

Tito

Linux, kubuntu 11.10 is my choice. I have it installed in my Desktop, an older HP a1730n (1966 vintage) and in my laptop a newer Samsung R780 (2011), that I always take in the road.
Both of them are used for work & play.

March 14, 2012 @ 12:57 AM

Barista Uno

Bodhi Linux and PCLinuxOS on a dual boot set-up for work and media entertainment.

I am not into gaming; Windows sucks; and Mac is just too pricey and elitist for the hoi polloi.

March 14, 2012 @ 2:00 AM

walter

I duel-boot windows 7 and Ubuntu, but spend more time on my Ubuntu. I have windows 7 at work because I have no choice. I also have a Fedora, Linux Mint and Zeron (for the old lady and kids)

March 14, 2012 @ 2:09 AM

Mike

@Irvine @Delcan "Mac costs more because all of their hardware is upper end." Really? Been out of the country for such a long time? Nowadays a Mac is build out of normal computer parts. You pay money for the OS, for the design, but mostly for the apple logo. The hardware is not exactly bleeding edge; in fact, it is often older technology than you might find in ordinary PC's.

March 14, 2012 @ 4:49 AM

salparadise

Desktop - Triple boot Fedora 16 KDE (superbly stable), CentOS - I dislike the short life span of Fedora and WinXP for games.
Can't afford a laptop.
My Android tablet is being sold as I don't like Android at all.
Dream setup would be a Macbook, a Mac Mini for iPhone and media serving and my trusty triple boot box for day to day stuff.

March 14, 2012 @ 9:23 AM

Bob Howell

Work: 100% XP
Home: 95% Ubuntu 11.10 & 5% XP (in VirtualBox)I use XP for Paint Shop Pro when Gimp can't do it as easily.

I plan on buying a Samsung Galaxy S II with Ubuntu for Android that will let me do work e-mail from home.

Computer came with Windows 7. Never used it.

Kids use windows for games on their computers -- and supposedly some home work.

March 14, 2012 @ 11:40 AM

Andy

@Irvine
I triple boot because I need to run the OS on bare metal, virtualization is good for many, but not all things.

March 14, 2012 @ 3:46 PM

Neograven

I use Linux 97% of the time for work, personal, and play. The remaining: 2% Mac OSx when I need an extra PC (this was provided by my work). I do own Windows 7, which I use for Windows only games about 1% of the time. Generally, Linux does everything I need.

The Mac is nice, and pretty fast. But, it doesnt have as much "it just works" functionality my Linux does.

March 14, 2012 @ 5:22 PM

Johan

Linux (Mandriva) at home
Android at home
Linux (Mandriva) at work with Win7 running inside Virtualbox to access company email and some apps.

March 14, 2012 @ 8:16 PM

Another dude

Work: two desktops one Win7 for some email only, the other CentOS5 (%90 of time and work here)

Home Desktop: Ubuntu 10.04 (98%)
WinXP (2%) for some old slide scanner and USB scale

Netbook: eee running UNR 10.04

other 5 machines are all linux, inluding the teens and the young one. Linux has some pretty decent games like Enemy Territory, OpenArena, BZFlag, and FlightGear.....

March 14, 2012 @ 10:06 PM

Joel Z

Windows 7 40%
Android 30%
PCLinux 20%
Symbian 10%

March 15, 2012 @ 9:08 AM

lorne greene

Work: All three OS because of my job demands (Win7 is virtualized).
Most of my hacking-coding is done on either my Gentoo laptop or Debian machine.
General stuff like email-surfing is done on whichever machine is closest.

Home:
WinXP on my 6year old 64bit fully loaded desktop (bought it from a friend so I havent paid for a Windows license since 1998).
Used only to play Chessmaster, PES2010, and David Douillet Judo.
There is not internet connection allowed on this machine.

Linux Kubuntu that runs all the time on that big XP desktop .
PCLinuxOS on my wife's old laptop.
One kid has a P4 desktop that runs XCFE on Linux Mint while the other received a 2nd hand Dell XPS 1330 that came with Win7 but he never uses and runs either Mandriva or PCLinuxOS (KDE).

I also have a laptop instead of dragging my work one that is used for work that runs Gentoo, Arch and playing around with SimplyMepis.

We also have a 9inch netbook which runs Kubuntu (my wife prefers the netbook mode, I prefer the traditional desktop but its one button to click to go between both) which we bring for the road and for killing time at teh kids soccer practices.

Our next computer buy will be 3 Raspberry Pi's:
one for the kids to play-learn with, one to attach to our TV in my garage-weight training corner and one to give away.

We have only one TV and NO cable and three 24-27 inch monitors.
Wii and PS3 consoles and one DS.

Had my brothers iPad when he went away for 3 months. Lots of use the first two weeks and by the time he came back for it, it was gathering dust.


I still prefer desktops by a mile because I like to tinker and upgrade parts.
I also prefer working on a keyboard and mouse rather than laptop so I can spill coffee, shishtaouk sauce and bagel seeds on them and that if put in the hand of a young child wont cause me to have a heart attack since broken keyboard on the desktop are a HELL of a lot easier and cheaper to fix-replace..

March 15, 2012 @ 2:23 PM

David P

Home:
Desktop: Dual-boot Ubuntu LTS 10.04 and Windows 7.
Netbook: Dual-boot Bodhi Linux 1.3 and Windows 7
Macbook: OS X / Win 7 in Parallels (Wife's Computer)

Servers: CentOS 5.x, Ubuntu Karmic, Mandriva 201x (all headless), Windows Server 2003/2008

VirtualBox (Desktop): Win Server 2008, Windows XP (Mostly for Customer Support)

@Home: In linux 95% of the time (gui and ssh), 5% split in Windows 7.

@Work: It's about 20% linux, 60% windows, 20% os x, since I do consulting and linux just works

Game sometimes in Windows 7 due to Steam but mostly play the humble bundle games in Ubuntu.

hoping to install OSX86 in VBox, to avoid buying a Mac.

Since I repair both PCs and Mac, Macs can be more difficult (ie a PITA) to repair due to some engineering choices that Apple made so their hardware can look good. just my 2 cents.

March 15, 2012 @ 4:22 PM

reckless2k2

Home:
Mac OSX - family computers
CentOS - server for family

Work:
Win7 - Boy do I hate that work laptop.

March 15, 2012 @ 5:35 PM

Grenville Grimace

Main Desktop - Mac OSX
Media Centre - Mac OSX
Netbook - JoliOS
Mobile - Android

+1 older Ubuntu LTS box
+1 older Windows XP box

Would like to be entirely OSX and Linux, but forced to use stinking Windows carp at work!

March 18, 2012 @ 7:51 AM

Guillermo garron

I use Linux (Arch Linux) at work, I would only like to have something like reeder on it.

My laptop is a MacBook pro. And because my Debian desktop at home has a power failure my only computer at home for the moment.

Since more than a year that I do not use nor miss windows.

March 18, 2012 @ 10:19 AM

Dexter Smith

I use only Ubuntu as my primary OS.

March 18, 2012 @ 10:47 PM

BDG

Ubuntu 11.10 on i7 2600, 16gb ram main box. (Dual 27inch Monitors). Use all that ram for virtualization of Win 7 (for when I need to run an app like VideoReDo that won't run well under Wine) and testing BSD, Linux etc. The virtual desktops run on the second montior.

Recently added Win7 on an SSD for Skyrim :P. Dual boots with Ubuntu.

10.04 LTS (soon to be 12.04 LTS) on i3 2100 for Mythbackend and file server.

11.10 headless server on P4 with 6tb in Linux software RAID running Rsnapshot to back up various computers around the house. Also Flexget and Transmission for Bittorrent.

Core 2 duo for Mythbuntu frontend hooked up to 46inch LCD and surround sound.

Old Sony Vaio 13" Laptop running Linux Mint 12 with Cinnamon.

Wife has a HP Laptop with Win 7 for work. At home she uses Win 7 virtual under Linux.

We both have Android phones.

I have a Galaxy Tab 7.7 3g running Android.

My dog has an iPod.

March 19, 2012 @ 6:04 AM

BDG

Ubuntu 11.10 on i7 2600, 16gb ram main box. (Dual 27inch Monitors). Use all that ram for virtualization of Win 7 (for when I need to run an app like VideoReDo that won't run well under Wine) and testing BSD, Linux etc. The virtual desktops run on the second montior.

Recently added Win7 on an SSD for Skyrim :P. Dual boots with Ubuntu.

10.04 LTS (soon to be 12.04 LTS) on i3 2100 for Mythbackend and file server.

11.10 headless server on P4 with 6tb in Linux software RAID running Rsnapshot to back up various computers around the house. Also Flexget and Transmission for Bittorrent.

Core 2 duo for Mythbuntu frontend hooked up to 46inch LCD and surround sound.

Old Sony Vaio 13" Laptop running Linux Mint 12 with Cinnamon.

Wife has a HP Laptop with Win 7 for work. At home she uses Win 7 virtual under Linux.

We both have Android phones.

I have a Galaxy Tab 7.7 3g running Android.

My dog has an iPod.

March 19, 2012 @ 6:05 AM

SacrFX Team

1. Windows - 63.97%
2. Macintosh - 16.40%
3. iPhone - 7.86%
4. iPad - 4.15%
5. Android - 3.09%
6. BlackBerry - 1.34%
7. Linux - 0.97%
8. iPod - 0.91%
9. Windows Phone - 0.05%
10. SymbianOS - 0.04%

1. Internet Explorer - 29.68%
2. Safari - 22.49%
3. Firefox - 21.83%
4. Chrome - 19.36%
5. Android Browser - 2.98%
6. Mozilla Compatible Agent - 2.30%
7. Opera - 0.46%
8. IE with Chrome Frame - 0.23%
9. Opera Mini - 0.20%
10. BlackBerry9700 - 0.14%

With me:
99% Windows 7
1% Ubuntu 11.10

80% Chrome (Ubuntu +Windows 7)
15% IE9/ Windows 7
5% Firefox (Ubuntu + Windows7)

March 30, 2012 @ 4:36 PM

mycroft.h

Lubuntu 12.04 (desktop)
Win7/Mint cinnamon (laptop)

May 20, 2012 @ 10:25 AM

Wizard

dont use a computer for work at home i have

1x smart phone ...android
1x7"pad..... android
1xaspire one netbook ... Mint LXDE
1X 16 inch laptop.... mint 32 bit
1xtower amd xpx2-6000 .... mint 64 bit
1xtower amd2 2400.... mit 32 bit + spare harddrive with xp if for some reason i may need it,

today my daughter has asked me to change both her computers to Linux as she is fed up with windows freezing, thats a 6 month old quad core lappy and a triple core tower

June 3, 2012 @ 3:56 PM

p4 computers

In my views
Compatibility: Almost every application, driver or game will work on Windows.
Technical support: Having so many users, you can always find someone (either online or offline) who can help you with Windows.

i have cheap laptop with pre install windows.

June 30, 2012 @ 5:38 AM

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