Being the most popular OS in the world, there are many advantages and disadvantages to using Windows. Lets start with the pros and finish up with the cons.
Windows is easy to use
Being the most popular operating system in the world, most users are familiar with how to use this operating system. Remember, this OS is used everywhere around the world. Commonly found in schools, colleges, businesses and homes. With the exception of windows 8, the UX (user experience) associated with this OS has been fairly consistent since its early origins. With a little practice, most users who are familiar with earlier versions of Windows will find that this OS’s modern counterparts are easy to work with as well.
Loads of Available Applications
There is no shortage of available software for Windows users. Being the largest software company in the world, Microsoft itself has developed a boat load of must have applications that run in Windows. The Microsoft Office suite is the standard for businesses world wide. Softpedia reported in 2012 that Microsoft’s Office had over a Billion users!
Softpedia. SoftNews. 10 July 2012.
You will generally find that any software you want or need has a version specially crafted for this OS. Actually, some software manufacturers only make their products available for Windows. This enormous availability of applications is once again because Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world.
Compatibility – Backwards & Forwards
Maybe. This is still widely true for many applications but there are definitely some exceptions to this benefit. For instance, if you have been running a x32 bit version of Windows XP since its release in 2001 and are now upgrading to Windows 8.1, you may find that not all (if any) of your current software is going to work in a modern day operating system. After all, this is a big leap. On the other hand, if you are moving from windows 7 to 8.1 or to version 10 later this year, you may find that your current software will continue to work just fine.
No matter what piece of hardware you have, you can rest assured that it will probably work with Windows. Microsoft has done its best to make sure of this by putting together a vast list of default drivers that will work inside of the Windows OS. These drivers are designed to work with all types of hardware from all of the leading hardware manufacturers. That is not to say that these drivers are always available or are the best drivers to run your hardware. This is just to say that there is usually a driver available that will perform the basic and necessary tasks that your hardware is intended for. These built in drivers are often times automatically loaded in newer versions of Windows. Because of this, you will want to make sure to install the driver from the hardware manufacturer. Generally, drivers that come from the hardware manufacturer are better and have the features needed to get the most out of your hardware.
Plug & Play Support
Windows is great when it comes to plugging in a peripheral device such as a mouse, keyboard, or webcam and having it work right out of the box. As stated in the previous paragraph, Microsoft has done its best to make sure that most hardware we plug into a windows machine works right out of the box without having to install extra drivers. Once again, depending on the hardware you plug in, you may want to install the manufacturers driver anyway. For instance, if you get a new printer that has a built in scanner, the default driver from Microsoft may allow you to print but the scanning function may not work. The hardware manufacturers driver usually has better and more complete support for your hardware.
Games, Gaming, & More Games
All of the hard core gamers out there know what I am talking about here. Sure, you can get major game titles for Linux and Mac but not even close to the number you can get for Windows. Other than title availability, price is also a big factor. You can bet that you will pay less for a lot more when it comes to hardware. For the $2000 + youll spend on an iMac you can build your self a hefty gaming PC.
Spyware, Malware, & Viruses
Windows is not the only OS vulnerable to attack but it is the one thats most attacked. Because of this, more Windows computers get viruses than any other. With most of the world using PC’s, why would the bad guys focus their efforts anywhere else? Luckily for us Windows users, as of windows 8, virus protection is built in. If your still using Windows 7 or lower, make sure you have active protection installed and turned on!
Ok, I think all Windows users have been through something like this. Windows freezes up or blue screens because of some unspoken rule that we unknowingly break while performing some seemingly unexceptional task. This unintentional misdeed ends up causing some sort of internal disagreement that can only be settled by full blown melt down, AKA rebooting the PC. On top of that, this all happens during a critical update, causing a crisis situation to occur. The only way out, back up all data and nuke and pave (reload the OS). This type of inadvertent OS corruption is disastrously common with Windows. You generally don’t see this type of instability with a Mac or Linux computer.
This isn’t really a disadvantage to using windows since you can always upgrade to Chrome, but as a web developer, it is my least favorite part of Windows. The problem is, most users don’t. While this browser has made leaps and bounds with its most recent releases, the rendering engine used for this browser has a history of ignoring commonplace web standards. This means that websites do not always look as they were intended when viewed in Internet Explorer. This type of blatant disregard to what we the people have declared as best practice is preposterous! On top of that, the web is slower when viewed through the eyes of IE. In my opinion, for the best web experience, use Google Chrome.
The list If there’s something more that you would like added to this list, please let me know.