An operating system (OS) determines how a device is organised and run. User experience varies considerably depending on the OS used and individuals may have different preferences as a result of prior experience. Choosing the best operating system for your business requires knowledge of your own requirements as well as an understanding of the systems on the market.
In this guide, experts at Syntax IT Support London outline some features of popular operating systems and explain the things you should be considering when choosing an OS.
The vast majority of businesses use Microsoft Windows, as it is a system that is both easy to use and widely understood by employees. Windows is particularly useful in technical fields such as accounting as it has a great range of financial applications, some of which are exclusive to Windows.
Using Windows on PCs is recommended, as Windows for Mac is less powerful and often Windows applications for Mac have fewer features than their PC equivalents. PCs are also cheaper than Apple computers, though you still want to make sure you’re using high-quality hardware with a good lifespan.
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MacOS is particularly popular in the creative industries as Macs offer impressive audio, video and photography features. MacOS is also less prone to viruses, so can be a good choice if you’re particularly worried about security. This operating system is generally considered to be approachable and visually appealing so if you’re considering a change, employees shouldn’t find it too difficult to adapt. MacOS also integrates with other Apple devices, so if the majority of your workforce owns an iPhone or iPad, choosing Mac can increase productivity. Mac computers are more expensive than PCs, but they are quality machines and are celebrated for their longevity so they may be worth the higher initial investment.
Chrome OS is comparatively new to the market but has become an increasingly popular option within business. Chrome OS runs on Google Chromebook devices, which are lightweight and affordable laptops built for easy mobility. They run quickly because there is not a great deal of software stored on the device. You can access apps such as Google Sheets, Docs and Slides via the Cloud. This means physical devices don’t have to store any sensitive data, so data security is heightened. You can’t download software such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Excel onto a Chromebook, so this isn’t the OS for you if you desperately need these.
However, you can use a number of Chrome extensions and apps as suitable alternatives. The majority of features on a Chromebook can only be used while connected to the Internet, so you should only consider Chrome OS if you can rely on a good connection at all times.
Now that you know more about each of the popular operating systems on the market, you need to be aware of other factors that may affect your decision. When choosing the best operating system for your business, there are four key factors to take into consideration:
Certain operating systems don’t work well together, so the best thing to do is choose one and use it across the whole of your business. If a certain software is integral to the work you do and it is only compatible with one OS, this is the one you’ll need to stick with.
These days, the most popular operating systems make usability a priority and none of them should be too complicated. However, depending on your level of technological knowledge, you may find some easier to set up and maintain than others.
You should choose an operating system that most of your employees are already familiar with when possible. Choosing a different option can take some getting used to and may require more training and support in the long run.
Check your existing devices before deciding on a new operating system, as some equipment will only work with a compatible OS.
Choosing the right OS for your business can be a difficult decision and you should consider each option carefully to decide which will be the best fit for you. Use the information provided here to guide you and don’t be afraid to reach out to experts in the industry if needed.