If you buy a computer, one of the aspects which many people bear in mind very seriously as an influencing factor is the operating system installed. The operating system is the collection of software utilities which allows you to use a computer. Common operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
However, this really doesn’t have to be such a significant factor, since it may often prove preferable to choose your operating system independently from the computer system itself. Granted, this isn’t always possible since, for example, it wouldn’t prove to be possible to run Microsoft Window on an Apple Mac, nor the Mac OS on an IBM compatible PC.
But each of these operating systems has been released many times, with many different versions. Often the newer versions have unreported or unresolved bugs in it, and may not be compatible with all of the software you have been using. For this reason, many people can be put off buying a new computer because of the operating system. Conversely, some people choose a computer as a direct result of the operating system bundled with it.
Of course, no computer manufacturer gives away the operating system for free, unless the operating system happens to be Linux, which is free anyway. The price of the operating system will be absorbed into the overall retail price for the computer system. But buying a computer system without an operating system can give you much greater choice.
This might put off many people, and it may well not be suitable for the beginner. But in reality it is not at all hard to install a new operating system. In most cases it is no more difficult than inserting a disk, rebooting the computer and following the simple on screen instructions.
Even if your computer comes with an operating system pre installed, you don’t have to keep it. Instead, you can easily buy your preferred operating system, and replace the old one with your preferred choice.
If you do decide to replace your operating system, always make sure that you have backed up all of your important data, as this will often mean that any data on your computer will be lost. In some cases it is possible install two, or even more, different operating systems on one computer. This will mean that when you switch on your computer, you’ll be asked which OS you wish to use. This means that it is almost like having several computers in one, and gives you the chance to experiment with other operating systems before finally committing to the one you feel best.
Many people these days use a version of Linux. There are many reasons for this, one of which is the fact that it is usually free, or at least, only a very small price. Linux is a community driven operating system, written by volunteers and interested fans around the world. This can mean that the system is very personalised, thoroughly tested, constantly being updated, and offering many of the features which the very same users have requested or find useful.