The three operating system platforms

Thursday, 16 July 2009 08:28 administrator

The three operating system platforms

The major operating systems today seem to be Windows, Linux and Mac OS/X. I have some experience with all of these, have used Windows at work and Linux for leisure for a long time. Since two years I use Mac OS/X for daily work at home.


The ecosystems

The three OS-es are very different regarding their ecosystems. Two are highly commercial, while one is a community effort.


The company behind Windows is Microsoft. Microsoft has a lot of product built on and around Windows. So applications and OS are used simultaniously to leverage each other. It is well known, and proved in court that Microsoft has taken great advantage of their position in the market, in violation of concurrency laws in different regions. An interesting observation is that it is much Microsoft's market position that makes this kind of acts illegal, once you have a monopoly the rules are rewritten, to your disadvantage.

The other interesting aspect of Windows that it works as an integration platform. Microsoft develops and maintains an OS-environment into which different sets of applications can plug. If you buy a new graphics card it comes with a CD with drivers written for Windows.

Linux is an open source collaborative platform

Linux originated in the need of having an advanced and flexible operating system for the PC-platform. A young Finnish student, Linus Torwalds, bought a computer and realised that he needed to create an operating system to be able do the things he wanted to do. From that humble start todays Linux grow up.

Linux is pretty different from Windows. It's trying to be a complete solution. Ideally a Linux DVD contains everything you need, just install it and you are "go". One notable exception are graphics cards which tend to have proprietary code.


The 'Mac' is different, it is as much a harware platform as a software platform. The Mac operating system is based on BSD UNIX and the Mach microkernel architecture with the graphical shell having it's origins in Next. The Mac is based pretty much on UNIX and GNU foundation exactly like Linux. The Mac is very different as it's both an OS and a hardware platform. The Mac does not have the multitude of chipsets, graphics cards and add ons so typical of the PC platform, Apple is in conrol of everything. This has two benefits:

The "open" architecture of PCs tends to drive prices down



Last Updated on Sunday, 09 December 2012 01:16