Windows, Mac or Linux: Which operating system is best for your business?

When you are setting up your IT infrastructure, one of the decisions you will have to make is which operating system to use. This is a crucial choice and one that can lead to confusion.

There are three main operating systems that businesses use for their IT – Windows, Mac and Linux and the amount of information can be confusing. Is Mac really better than Windows? Can you change your mind later on if you decide you don’t like the system you have chosen?

When deciding which operating system you should use, it is a good idea to pick one and keep it consistent throughout your business unless you have a legitimate business need for a presence on all the different systems.

Swapping between different operating systems makes it difficult to share files and printers and manage your systems and this can lead to more work for everyone.

So how do you choose which system to use?

The best operating system for your business depends on a number of different factors and the best platform for one type of business will be a complete disaster for another business. Here are a few things you might want to take into consideration when deciding which platform to use:

Mac is the popular choice for businesses who are based in creative industries as Macs offer superior features for audio, video and photography. If you are running or setting up a creative or visual based business you will probably want to consider using Mac rather than Windows as your operating system.

Mac devices are also more visually appealing and a Mac operating system will integrate flawlessly with other Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad. In addition, Mac computers are generally built for quality and longevity although they cost more initially.

Businesses in more technical fields such as accounting, are generally better off using a Microsoft based system. Windows has a far superior range of financial applications and Windows for Mac is much less powerful than its PC equivalent. There are a number of financial applications which are exclusive to Windows and the PC versions have far more features than the Mac versions.

As an additional bonus, PCs can be cheaper than Apple computers although it is a good idea to make sure that the hardware you buy to run your operating system on is good quality and not likely to break down in the near future.

Linux is the least commonly used of the three operating systems and is generally best for very small businesses, coding firms or servers.

When considering which operating system to use, the size of your business will also be a deciding factor. Large businesses with 100-200 computers will probably be limited in choice as Apple don’t have much to offer in the way of mainstream servers for large deployments. This area is dominated by Microsoft so chances are you will need to use a Microsoft operating system if you are a larger business or expecting rapid growth in the future.

Whatever you decide, make sure your chosen operating system is going to be the best and easiest for your business.

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