It is easy for a generation of computer users to look back fondly on the heyday of MS-DOS. In days of old, a simple series of characters was all you needed to launch any computer program. This command dealt with all of the related dependencies that allowed the code to function. Basically, you just had to type a string of characters into a black screen with a single cursor. The shiny operating systems we all know and love today developed in response to public demand for a graphical icon. To the person that knows little about computers, this seems much simpler than typing a command. In reality, though, this change caused a whole new wave of problems to the computing experience.
First of all, graphical representation of your software environment ties up system resources. While this may seem insignificant for a typical user, this can become a serious obstacle if you intend to push your PC to its full capacity. As more people began using these operating systems, software developers began to include more services that anticipate the user’s software needs. If an operating system were planned out with your favorite software in mind, this would make for a much smother computing experience. Unfortunately, most software designers attempted to anticipate every last possible application that any user anywhere might think to try. All of this added capability slows your computer down much like having extra programs running.
Linux has always remained a successful option because it allows for setups that do very little. Many versions of Linux operate in a minimalist fashion, you will have to make changes to accommodate programs and dependencies as you need them. While this might feel like a pain in the neck to most of us, it’s awesome when you intend to use your machine to its fullest potential. Many technically minded users prefer a lighter operating system. However, if you want to dive head first into your favorite programs without much research, the resource heavy systems have better general compatibility.
Microsoft’s Windows Vista was arguably the perfect example of the extravagant operating system. Its services anticipated nearly any software function. Ironically, this led to an complete ideological U-turn for Windows 7. Windows 7 employs a lightness of resource use that competes directly with Linux.
Current technology seems to be inspired by the desire to do more with less. In the future, developers will push the limits of technology to satisfy both of these desires. The newest operating system releases by all of the major competitors in the field speak to this public demand. There will always be a need for a balance between compatibility and operating system memory use.
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Thankfully, we are lucky enough to have a robust market of operating system providers. Each round of releases introduces different advantages. There are arguments for using every modern operating system which depend heavily on their intended use. When choosing your operating system, you should carefully research its synergy with software that you plan on using. Each company looks to satisfy a certain market. Your market will be served in at least one of the major releases at any time. Ask others that use the same software for advice on which operating system to use.
Gregg Housh is Technician Manager at Geek Choice. At Geek Choice we solve computer problems such as: Slow computer, Virus Removal, Spyware Removal, Computer startup problems, and much more.