You have all heard of Windows and Mac, but there are many other great operating systems out there for you to choose from. Unfortunately, unless you spend a great time diving into technology, you probably didn’t even know they exist. Even some older operating systems can still be perfect to use especially if you have an older desktop sitting around. While it won’t be perfect, it can give your aging computer new life and allow you to find new uses for it.
So, today I thought I should share with all of you my top ten favorite operating systems that are out there. I’m sure many of you may disagree and some of you may think I’m crazy. But that’s what makes the world go round. In my opinion, these operating systems represent the best of the best and you can’t go wrong installing them on your system.
Why Consider Other Operating Systems
So why should you even consider using an operating system that is not Windows? There are lots of reasons. The main reason is you get the opportunity to use something different and expand your knowledge. At the same time these operating systems offer their own strengths and can be ideal for your situation.
That doesn’t mean that Windows is bad. Actually you will find that Windows makes this list multiple times, all for different reasons. What it does mean is you shouldn’t discount the other operating systems out there just because they weren’t created by the house that Gates built.
Top Ten Operating Systems
Now onto the good part. Below you will find my top ten operating system picks. While I’m sure you may disagree on the order, I do believe that many of you will agree that every operating system on this list deserves to be here for one reason or another. So, let’s get to it.
1. Windows 7
This is hands down one of my favorite operating systems of all time. It’s popularity and power couldn’t be matched by Windows 8 and it continued to be the most popular operating system despite the release of its supposed successor. It features a gorgeous user interface, easy to use tools and compatibility with almost anything. If you are a gamer, this is still one of the best choices for your desktop. You can almost guarantee that you won’t have problems when you play games on Windows 7. Today it is still one of the most popular operating systems on the market, and even though Microsoft is now focused on Windows 10, if you are running Windows 7, there is very little you have to worry about for quite some time.
2. Mac OS X El Capitan
Apple is well known for their closed playground and gated communities on their systems. While Mac OS X is definitely part of that, you can’t deny that using it is a real pleasure to use. It is beautiful, easy to navigate and quite powerful. It isn’t for meek, however, as you need a pretty strong Mac to run it effectively. Assuming you do, you will enjoy a truly impressive user experience designed to be easy to use while giving you all the power that you may expect from your computer right at your fingertips. Of course, you will have to by a Mac computer if you want to run it, at least legally. There are ways to do it on a PC, but that is more reserved for the power users and hackers than regular, every day users.
3. Windows 10
The latest offering from Microsoft, Windows 10 offers all the latest and greatest features you would expect from a modern day operating system while at the same time perfecting what the company tried with Windows 8. What is that, you ask? Windows 10 is the first operating system to truly and successfully combine the world of tablets and computers into one. It features everything you need for a full touch interface as well as all the compatibility and stability that you expect from a Windows product. It is still very young, but it has already been adopted on millions of machines around the world. It is highly scalable and runs well on many different types of systems and is popular on both high-end and budget gaming PC’s thanks to solid gaming performance. If you have a machine that was made in the last five years or so, chances are Windows 10 will run.
The arguable leader in the Linux world, Ubuntu was one of the first to really popularize Linux and make it user friendly. It features all the rock solid stability and security that you would expect from a Linux machine while creating a unique user experience with its interface that is both easy to use and very pretty as well. Ubuntu is not without its detractors, especially after they released the Unity interface. While that still has more maturing to be done, it is powerful and easy for even a Linux novice to get the hang of. If you are looking to try Linux for the first time, this is a great option. Add to that all of the software available from the Ubuntu Software Centre that you can install with as little as one click, and you have the recipe for Linux success.
5. Linux Mint
Another great entry into the Linux world, Linux Mint really picked up where Ubuntu left off when they chose to develop Unity. The distribution itself is designed with new Linux users in mind. As such, the menu systems and applications all have a Windows feel to them. Still, it is all Linux. What the developers have done is replicated much of how the Windows Start menu was layed out and used that as a guide when they developed theirs. This makes it easy for new users to convert to the operating system as they can easily find everything they need. Built on Ubuntu, you still have all the security and stability you could need along with access to the entire one click app repository as well.
Do you want to be cutting edge with your desktop? Do you only want to use software that is free to use without any strings attached? If so, then Fedora is the choice for you. Built using the Gnome 3 interface, Fedora brings something unique to the table. New users may find it hard to convert to this new interface when they work. However, after a little practice, you will easily be able to use the operating system for almost all your tasks. With cutting edge design does come some problems, usually in the compatibility world. However, if you have a little experience with computers and Linux, you should have no trouble navigating the waters.
7. Chrome OS
An interesting entry from Google based on an open source project, Chrome OS is built upon the Chrome web browser, and as such it works a little different from everything else. Designed to be light and fast and used for people that need to be connected to the Internet at all times, Chrome OS is great for every day tasks and for those who need access to basic Internet related applications but don’t have the budget to invest in a big operating system. Still, you will find that many mainstream apps aren’t available on this platform, so it may not be what you really need. But, if all you do is Internet related work on your machine and you don’t mind getting away from Office and other mainstream products, Chrome OS is worth a try. You may find that you even prefer it over the others.
8. Windows XP
I know Microsoft has finally abandoned this operating system, but you simply can’t deny the overwhelming popularity of this OS. Heck, it is still in use today although its market share is steadily declining. For these reasons, it simply had to make it onto this list. You can still get good use of it today, as well, especially if you have a computer that is getting up there in years. Just make sure that you don’t do anything too sensitive on it, as there are no guarantees on how secure it will be even if you use all the right antivirus and anti-malware tools that are available today.
9. Elementary OS
Another Ubuntu derivative, Elementary OS was originally built by creators of a theme for Ubuntu. Their goal has been to create a truly beautiful and integrated experience when using Linux. The result is an operating system that has all the strengths and stability of Ubuntu along with the beauty and integration and ease of use that you will find on Mac OS X. If you have wanted to give Linux a try, but want a more seamless and, well, let’s face it, pretty experience, then you need to give this OS a closer look. Heck, I took an old MacBook and loaded it. It gave new life to my new MacBook while giving me a great looking operating system to use at the same time.
While I don’t recommend this operating system for any desktop user, if you are considering setting up a server of almost any type, then this is the operating system for you. Basically, this is the free version of Red Hat, one of the most popular business Linux systems in the world. The team at CentOS has recognized how this distribution is being used and has worked to provide the very best tools for it, meaning that if you want to create a server, you really can’t go wrong with this distribution of Linux. This one won’t hold your hand, however, so if you decide to try it be sure you do your homework first.
All of the above operating systems were/are great and make using your computer a truly enjoyable experience. They aren’t right for every situation, however. So you must look at how you use your machine and what you want to get out of it before you install one of these on your machine. I believe you will find that if you do your homework, there are many operating systems that could provide you with the tools you need for both work and play. If you conclude that Windows is the best option, then by all means use Windows. But, if you think another would do what you need it to do and provide a more enjoyable experience, don’t hesitate to give it a try.
So what do you think about this list? Do you agree with the operating systems I have put on this list or do you think I’m crazy? If you think I have left an operating system out of this list that really should be there, by all means comment and let me know. I must admit it was a tough decision when I was making this list, as there are really so many great operating systems out there, especially in the Linux world. So if you feel I left one out, let me know in the comments. Who knows, you may convince me to add it to the list.