Burning stereotypes, raging fanboys, and simple ignorance contribute to the vast misunderstanding of the differences between these three operating systems. Granted, like politics, these stereotypes can be quite humorous; just check out Apple's recent mac vs. pc ads. So for the one or two people who actually have continued to read beyond this point, I'm going to attempt to explain the real differences and advantages between these systems by defaming myths about these systems.
First off, let me point out that I use all three operating systems. I'm not some windows fanboy, I'm not some elitist mac user, and I'm not some social outcast in his basement making love to his linux box (at least, not usually).
Myth: Mac OS never crashes, unlike windows which gets a blue screen of death
Reality: Not true. All last year I used a mac at work to do all of my artwork. During that time I had plenty of times where it froze and/or crashed - All computers do. The reality of why Mac's don't crash as much as PC's is simply because Apple controls the hardware that is put into a Mac. This means that they know and can compensate for ALL hardware being added to the system. Linux and Windows boxes on the other hand aren't made by the developers of the software, which means that they have no idea what will be put inside the machine that the software will be installed on, and thus will have to do vastly more work to make sure that the system works together without crashing. Both Linux and Windows have done an excellent job of this when you think about the sheer mass of things they have to cover. But are Mac's better since they only use Apple certified software? For stability yes, but from a financial and customization aspect no. Due to the hardware only being sold through Apple, the company creates an monopoly on all mac hardware, eliminating competition and driving up prices. It can also eliminate a person's ability to customize their system to their preferences.
Myth: Mac OS is better for artistic purposes and other media
Reality: Again, not true. Lets take a look at some major production companies. Our first example will be ILM (Industrial Light and Magic), the company that revolutionized film and visual effects when it first did the effects for Star Wars. The company is the largest visual effects company to date, doing graphics for movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, The Perfect Storm, Harry Potter, and of course, Star Wars. So what operating system do they use to make all of your magic? Linux. Yes, Linux. "But wait" you might be saying, "Do they only use it to render the final product?" No, all aspects of modeling are done with linux as well. They use Alias Maya and Softimage XSI installed on linux systems to do this. Also, once the final scenes are rendered, they use a home-built program for Linux to composite the entire movie - no Final Cut Pro here. Take a look at this slashdot article to read more about it ( [link]
That aside, it would be one sided to not say that alot of artistic media is produced on Macs. In fact, it has been shown via tests that Photoshop runs slightly faster on a mac compared to a PC. But this does not mean that if you are doing artistic media you have to use a mac, as shown by the slashdot article.
Myth: Linux is only for programmers, hackers, and that creepy guy who takes pictures of me and talks about Star Trek.
Reality: Yup, and btw, those pictures of you are hot. Rawr. Just kidding. No! Absolutely not. Linux has greatly advanced over the last few years, and is being improved everyday. Linux is immensely easy to use these days, and is a great free alternative to windows or mac OSX. Ubuntu, one of the most popular "flavors" of linux, is built to be user friendly and powerful. Thanks to .deb files (Ubuntu's version of .exe files in windows, or .dmg files on a mac), programs are amazingly easy to install. Not only that, but most flavors of linux are already packed with powerful word editors that are equal to Microsoft Word (OpenOffice), media players (VLC), amazing image editors (The Gimp), and many other programs.
Myth: Linux looks like crap, just take a look at this screenshot [link] ! I'd rather use OSX because it looks nicer.
Reality: Linux is greatly customizable, and tries to fit the needs of as many people as possible. What is shown in that screenshot is merely a graphically stripped down version of Linux's many window managers. Want to see how pretty linux can look? Watch this video NOW [link]
. OSX has nothing on this.
Myth: Windows gets the blue screen of death all the time, and it freezes a ton because of viruses
Reality: Windows only gets to the state of constant blue screens and freezing if you ruin it to that point. You see, since windows has the majority of the market share of operating systems, almost all viruses, spyware, and other goodies are made for it. However, you can only get these things if you are foolish in how you use windows. It's like a car. If you leave it unlocked with the keys in the ignition, its going to get stolen. If you use common sense while using it, you'll never get any of these things, and Windows will be as stable as any other operating system. I had one of my windows machine on for forty days straight. No resets, freezes, nothing. Simply because I was smart with how I used it.
Myth: Bill Gates owns your soul if you use Windows!!
Reality: He already owns Canada, it's just a matter of time before he takes your soul anyway.
Reflection and my opinions about each operating system and where they should be used:
OSX - Great for a laptop or a portable computer where you need stability, efficiency and ease of use. Because the hardware and the software are in such unison, integration and execution of things is as smooth as possible. As a downside, macs are much more expensive than PC's. A MacBook Pro that costs $2,000 has the same specs as a dell laptop that costs $1,350. I'd never recommend a desktop mac for people though, as they are simply too expensive.
Linux - So many flavors, so many possibilities. Still the hardest to use of all of the operating systems, despite huge advances. However, it is, and always will be 100% free. Great for the tinker or the rebel. Also you can use it to impress your friends!
Windows - My primary operating system seeing as I cant afford a mac, and Linux can't run Photoshop. Windows also runs games the best, which is of dire importance.
Well thats the summary of the operating systems in my world. Lemme know if you have questions.