Response to desktop OS poll

About two weeks ago, we had a post in the newspaper that told of an upcoming poll on the website. This poll asked for a person’s favorite desktop operating system (OS).

The choices were Windows, Macintosh, Linux, FreeBSD, and other. Other includes Sun Microsystem’s Solaris and Google’s Chrome OS. Chrome OS essentially is Linux, but some people would argue that it is distinct enough to not be included in that category.

Before I start, I acknowledge that my categorization is a weakness of the poll. It’s possible that there are Chrome OS users out there who realized the ambiguity of categorizing the platform.

For example, although this is unlikely, everyone who voted for Linux and Other could have done so for Google’s desktop operating system. Therefore, I should have added Chrome OS as its own category in order to avoid potential confusion.

As of Sunday, September 20, the poll stood at 173 total responses. It broke down as follows:

  • Windows: 44%
  • Macintosh: 49%
  • Linux: 5%
  • FreeBSD: 1%
  • Other: 1%

Honestly, I was a little surprised by these numbers. 

I did not expect that Windows and Macintosh would be as close they are. I say this, in part, because I don’t see people using Windows PCs around campus as much. Why do you think this is the case?

I speculate Windows is more popular on desktops because it has the most support for gaming out of the listed platforms, and desktops are not as popular as laptops.

When it comes to laptops, Macintosh’s brand recognition makes it the most popular. It and Apple are considered to be the pinnacle of quality by many people, especially of our college demographic. Many would argue Macbooks, and Apple by proxy, have a contemporary aesthetic which no one else provides.

Also, Macintosh has an easy learning curve, certainly easier than Linux, FreeBSD, and even some versions of Windows, such as Windows 8.X.

It and iOS are still the platforms to beat when it comes to integration between a desktop OS and a mobile OS. Because iPhone’s are quite popular in many other demographics, this by itself could explain why Macintosh’s popularity in a college setting like ours is much higher than its second quarter 2015, worldwide market share of 7.8%.

Now, I’d like to say I’m really glad to see there are a decent amount of Linux users around here. If any of you read this, let me know which distribution and desktop environment you use in the comments. I primarily use Linux Mint for my distribution and Cinnamon or KDE as the environment.

Some of you out there may have heard of this or Ubuntu, the most well-known distro. Mint is based off Ubuntu which is based off Debian.

Don’t worry too much about that. There are many differences between them and others, but simply, they all can run (nearly) the same apps and games as one another (although not as much as Windows or Macintosh but more than FreeBSD, I’m assuming) because Linux is the OS.

To the person who runs FreeBSD, I’d really like to hear why you prefer it over the other platforms. I’ve been told by a friend of mine who goes to college on the west coast that it’s quite challenging to use, and I’ve seen a video walkthrough about it. Other than this, I claim to know nothing about it, but I’m open to learning about its advantages and disadvantages in relation to the other options.

Don’t be afraid to comment if you said other either. Please, feel free to do so no matter how obscure it is. I believe you can tell by now, but I quite enjoy desktop operating systems.

Well, that concludes this post. Once again, let me know of any of your thoughts below. I will at least read all of them, and I plan to make comments, as well. You are definitely not limited to discussing your preferred platform either. Thank you for reading, everyone. 


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