This article was contributed by freelance writer and blogger Melissa Gonzalez.

It can be stressful to decide what type of technology to integrate into your daily operations when starting your own business. One of the most significant decisions has to occur before all others, even before purchasing the actual computer, and that is deciding on an operating system.

Choosing which operating system to use for your business is essential, but it is also common for companies to utilize more than one operating software where they need to. There are three primary options to choose from, and each has its own set of pros and cons.

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Linux

Although Linux isn’t as commonly used as other operating systems, business owners should not take it off the list of options. For starters, it is free software available to all. Additionally, it is compatible with many programming styles, making it a fan favorite among developers.

Many businesses utilize Enterprise Linux, which is specific to corporate and academic use. If you are interested in learning more about Enterprise Linux, you can utilize resources like these. Keep in mind that Linux is a bit more complex than other operating systems and takes additional time to learn. However, many come to love the open-source code, enhanced security, and high customizability.

Windows

As the most popular operating system option, Windows offers a wide variety of solutions for consumers and businesses. It is common to see Windows as the operating system on most public devices, including those at libraries and schools.

Due to its popularity, many people are familiar with how to operate Windows. As a result, many naturally gravitate towards using it as an operating system for their business. However, Windows also comes with a significant price tag and a host of security risks, which you will want to consider.

Mac

Many companies initially shy away from integrating Apple computers with the Mac operating system because of the cost. Being that Mac can only operate on Apple computers, you have to dole out additional funds at the start to acquire the hardware and software.

However, with the uptick in cost for regular computer parts, Apple computers are becoming more comparable in price to typical PCs. Additionally, the Mac operating system is highly secure and offers one of the safest solutions against malware and hacking.

Mac is highly sought after by those in graphic design and video editing. The high-quality graphics lend themselves well to the field. However, just as many Mac users enjoy it for its ease of use, without regard to the image capabilities.

Before you go

It is essential to remember that you don’t have to settle on one operating system for all of your business needs, and you can go with a combination. New developments are constantly taking place in the technology world, and operating systems are a part of that. Although Linux, Windows, and Mac are the top three competitors in the industry, there are new players that enter the arena all the time.

About the author

Melissa Gonzalez is a Georgetown alumnus, freelance writer, and self-proclaimed superfan of the classics (with a soft spot for Jane Eyre—which she’s read over 15 times in between passion projects). When Melissa isn’t journaling, blogging, or making an impromptu trip to Madrid, she’s mastering her craft with MasterClasses on all things writing. To Melissa, great writing is to read between the lines, take risks without hesitation, and live by the anthem: “I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

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