What are the three? Windows, macOS, and Linux. Wait! What? Macs are a tiny sliver of the PC industry. Linux still isn’t on the desktop. OK, maybe a rephrase is in order. macOS and iOS have similar innards, so that’s about 1.5-billion users. What about Windows?
A PC Is A PC
Estimates vary, of course, but it’s likely there are about 1.5-billion Windows-based PCs on planet earth. Google claims over 2-billion customers use Android devices. Wait! What? Linux. Where’s Linux?
For obvious purposes of numerical impurity, I lump Linux with Google’s Android. After all, Google stole plenty of Apple’s iOS, and plenty more from Linux (not to mention Oracle), so it still boils down to three somewhat mass market computer operating systems in the world. Linux (with Android), macOS (with iOS), and Windows.
Every now and again I get an earnestly simple question, and it applies to Windows PC users as much as Mac users.
Should I switch from Mac to Linux?
The same answer applies to “Which one is best?” It depends. Linux remains more secure than Windows and perhaps even macOS, but possibly because there are so few Linux PCs on the desktop. Unlike Windows and the Mac (or, iPhone and iPad), Linux updates itself rather easily, gets high marks for being more secure, and, unlike Mac and Windows, it’s free.
Free? To use macOS you need to buy a Mac. To use Windows you need to buy a PC with Windows. Linux runs on almost anything with Intel Inside, and is a good way to get more mileage from older PC notebooks or desktops where Windows is outdated.
What’s the problem with switching from Mac to Linux?
Applications. Ecosystem. Support.
Applications – The Mac has for more applications and many are of professional level quality. There is no comparable app to Garageband, or Final Cut Pro, or Photoshop on Linux.
Ecosystem – Apple’s products are well integrated with Calendar, Contacts, iCloud, Messages, Photos, and much more, all easily synchronized between devices. Google is about the only ecosystem on Linux.
Support – End of story. Apple and the Mac rule thanks to hundreds of Apple Stores and the Genius Bar. Microsoft has a few dozen stores, and nobody I know has ever seen a Google or Linux employee. While Linux is stable and secure, when you have a problem you’ll have to go online for forum support and that ain’t easy.
In the end, the question remains. “Why Switch From Mac To Linux PCs?” Money? Linux runs on very old Intel Inside hardware. Privacy and security? It’s not as if the Mac or macOS or anything in the Apple ecosystem has a problem in either category.
And, as always, it ain’t apps, so the reasons to switch from one to the other will vary with needs and requirements.