Which OS Do You Use?

With Microsoft closing in on its Windows XP support end date (and the fallout from the recent Help Centre flaw being broadcast all over the web), PC users are either looking to Windows 7 or sticking with XP “support free” as this transition takes place.  Because we know no one is using Vista, right?

Macintosh OS (also known as OS X and OS 10) users have been “treated” to a new operating system approximately every two years now.  Linux users are having new “distros” developed at a breakneck pace as it gains popularity – but it is still has the smallest market share out there.  (I’m unaware of any standalone productivity applications developed for the OS – web applications seem to be the only option.  If any of our readers know of any, please enlighten me!)

With support ending for what was likely the most widely-used operating system, it brings to the forefront the following:

What OS do you use and why?

Let us know in the comments.

Popular search terms for this article:

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Mike Vardy an editor on Work Awesome. We could tell you where his personal productivity parody site, Eventualism and all of his other projects reside on the web, but you'd be best served going to Vardy.me and following the trail of virtual bread crumbs from there.


  1. Reüel on the 16th June

    Mac OS X; so much for productive user-friendly computing!

  2. Jordan Ryan Moore on the 16th June

    Sometimes simple questions demand complex answers, and this is such a case. I use all of the following operating systems on a regular basis:

    Personal Laptop: OS X
    Personal Desktop: Windows Vista
    Work Laptop: Windows 7
    Work Desktop: RHEL 5

    I had no choice in my operating systems for work. OS X is, by far, the best of the four. There is a plethora of productivity apps and helpful utilities for OS X that help me get things done and make my life easier. I only have Windows Vista installed on my desktop for gaming, but since Valve has started porting their Steam games to OS X, this is becoming less and less necessary.

  3. Tony on the 16th June

    I primarily use OS X now, both at work and at home. I also use Linux, mostly in a virtual environment.

    I used Windows (and DOS before that) since way back in the day. I was a power users – I had no qualms about hacking/editing the registry, finding and fixing bad DLLs, installing numerous productivity hacks, etc. But, I got tired of my hacking being required just to keep my computers running halfway decent. I prefer my hacking to be for fun or added value – not just to get my computer back to a base level. So, about 4 years ago I made the switch to OS X and haven’t looked back. The power of Unix is incredible. I’ve learned a lot more about shell scripting, Automator scripts, and other tweaks. To me, OS X is even more hackable and configurable than Windows – which satisfies my geek side. I’ve also found that OS X just makes more sense in a lot of ways, and doesn’t get in my way. My productivity is absolutely, positively improved now that I’ve settled in to OS X. And while Linux distros have (and continue to) come a long way, the quality of free or inexpensive 3rd party apps for OS X blows Linux out of the water. Yes, I’ve used the tools: The Gimp, etc., and while decent, they just don’t stack up. (Just my opinion.)

  4. Jestep on the 16th June

    Still use XP for mine and every employee computer in my company. Plan on using it until the computers are falling apart, and then possibly migrating to 7, or a Linux distro. Our graphics and editing workstations will most likely end up being Windows 7 just because most software (Adobe and others) don’t work on Linux.

    In all testing and research, we’ve haven’t found a single reason (less support expiring) to switch users to 7. For basic business usage (office and the internet), there’s no benefit (either monetary or in performance) to switching to 7. It’s still a more complicated OS with less compatible hardware and software than XP. XP is easier and cheaper to administer, and runs faster on the same hardware. 7 looks a little better I guess. Otherwise, for just basic usage, most of us would rather go to Linux than Vista or 7. Most of us would rather stop using computers altogether than use a mac 🙂

    • Matt on the 16th June

      “Most of us would rather stop using computers altogether than use a mac”

      that’s how I felt until I used one. Now I’m never going back to Windows. It is fair to dislike Macs for one reason or another, but it is unfair to hate them before ever giving them a shot. If you spend some time and get into the deeper parts of the OS, hopefully you’ll realize how well apple created it based on OPEN standards (unlike microsoft).

      A few Linux distros are very good, yet they lack the polish of OS X.

  5. I am using Windows 7 64 Bit, but I have 2GB RAM. I am having some occasional slow down problems on my laptop, and I think it has to do with the RAM. People recommend at least 3-4 GB RAM for 64 Bit.

    I installed 64 bit because my laptop (Dell Inspiron 1564) had no 32 Bit drivers available on the support website. Only 64 Bit Drivers are available for my laptop.

    Secondly, isn’t open office available for linux? I think it is…Someone please enlighten ‘us’ lol.

    • Tony on the 16th June

      Yes, OpenOffice is available for Linux, OS X, Windows, and Solaris. I’m a big fan of OpenOffice – it’s one of the better “free” alternatives to expensive apps. More than once I’ve had OpenOffice be able to open an older version of a Microsoft Office document that the latest version of MS Office had trouble opening. Oh, the irony. 😉

  6. Al Hunt on the 16th June

    I’m currently using Snow Leopard (mainly). I have a clean install of Windows7 as well on my main machine, used mostly for checking CSS designs under Windows. I switched back to Apple, after a fifteen year hiatus in Windows-land, mostly to take advantage of the horsepower of a MacPro. I’m comfortable in either OS, and fanatical in neither. However from all the hype over Leopard. I’ve been disappointed in the performance of an upgrade to Snow Leopard. I stayed 100% away from Vista, and still have two machines running XP (satisfactorily).

    If I had to choose? ……Snow Leopard

  7. George on the 16th June

    I am using Win7 64Bit with 4gb of ram and I have no problems:)
    I like it because it’s simple to use, but unfortunately there are not so many 64bit programms.For example Photoshop has 64bit version but there are not so many plugins to use with it.
    P.S. I have plans to buy a netbook , I’ll try to instal Chrome OS on it for fun

  8. Clinton R. Nixon on the 16th June

    I use Ubuntu Linux 10.04 on a Macbook Pro. I use it because it’s fast, has everything I need, and is the most user-friendly OS I can imagine. (I know, I know – Linux isn’t user-friendly. But almost all applications install the same way and I automatically get updates for them, which is better than my OS X experience.)

  9. Deb on the 16th June

    Mac OSX.
    Very recently switched. Reason : it looks nice.
    You should have added a poll.

    • Mike Vardy on the 16th June


      I use Mac OSX as well – was a Windows user up untl about 5 years ago and went Mac. I’ll never go back.

      Great suggestion about polls…we’ve just started over the past month asking these types of questions so we’ll look into adding a plug-in that allows easy-to-publish polls.

      Thanks for reading – if you have any other suggestions, please let us know!

  10. Carlin Scuderi on the 16th June

    I use Mac OSX (Leopard) with 4GB RAM on a MacBook Pro. Upgrading to Snow Leopard later this year so I can utilize the full 4.

    Open office IS available for Linux… I might explore that operating system quite a bit over the next year. I’d love to see what it can do.

    Goodbye Windows XP and IE6… good riddance!

  11. Brandon Martinez on the 16th June

    Mac OS X 10.6.4 and Windows 7. I use Windows 7 at work because I do .NET development, and use Mac OS X at home because it is a ton better 😉 On the side I do a lot of web development, photography, and audio related things; the Mac tends to give me a better workflow with the available apps.

  12. Anikka on the 16th June

    I LOVE windows 7. It’s got a lot of great new features. My IT guy (aka boyfriend) I believe installed 64 bit on both of my older machines with no problems. I highly recommend making the switch if you can afford it. Or buying it on your next computer.

    My netbook is dual book with Ubuntu (linux) which is great fast . I have open office on their as well but I haven’t used it much (it’s not my primary computer).

  13. Tomasz Kowalczyk on the 16th June

    Currently I am using Windows XP installed on my PC, but when I get new one I will switch to Windows 7. I consider switching to Linux [Debian], but I must have more experience not to throw it away after one month as I did some time ago.

  14. Salim on the 16th June

    I am using Mac OSX 10.6 snow leopard and switched only because microsoft didn’t do their home work with Vista.

    I’ve tried linux with Ubuntu and Suse linux but wasn’t convinced that they where going to be the OS for me.

    I am using Mac OS since over 1 year now and would say that Mac OS will be my choise for a very long time.

  15. graphixboy on the 16th June

    People out there just use one? desktop: (dual boot) XP SP3 / Win 7 x64, laptop: Mac OS 10.6, HTPC/Server/Render Farm: Ubuntu 10.04 All work great for their specific applications and I use them pretty interchangeably. I don’t think I could pick a “primary” OS.

  16. Jack on the 16th June

    Mac OS X (Snow Leopard). 13inch Macbook suits me perfectly, big enough screen for checking email on the go and I can use it for coding/designing if required. When at home hook it up to an external monitor. I just find it so much quicker than Windows. I guess I’m Mac through and through 😛

  17. RJ on the 16th June

    I use OS X primarily on my personal/freelance mac mini and iOS for my on the go devices (iPad/iPhone). For work I have to use windows. I don’t have an issue with Windows 7, but I love the ease of use and especially the UI’s in OS X.

  18. MotionMonkey on the 16th June

    Mac OSX – user-friendly & productive 🙂

  19. Simon MacDonald on the 16th June

    Windows XP at work and Mac OS X at home.

  20. Tomek on the 16th June

    Win 7 64bit @ home

    Win 7 32bit @ work

    • Tomek on the 16th June

      on Mac and users: http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=macs_cant


    • Tony on the 16th June

      Ironic that the first attack on users of a different operating system (even if just in fun/jest) comes from a Windows user, yet it’s Mac users that get painted as the zealots. 😉

    • Al Hunt on the 16th June

      [sigh]…as I said before, “I’m comfortable in either OS, and fanatical in neither.”

  21. Fredrik on the 16th June

    I use Windows 7, Mac OS X SL and Ubuntu all at home 🙂

  22. David Vazquez on the 16th June

    Personal/Work Laptop with dual boot Windows 7 64 bits and Linux Mint, I use Windows mostly for work and Linux for all my stuff.

  23. Brian on the 16th June

    Windows 7 Professional. I still had XP on my laptop, but then the hard drive failed. Oh well. I also just got a second windows 7 copy in the 64-bit flavor.

  24. Harrison on the 16th June

    I use Windows 7 x64. It is by far the best productivity OS I have ever used. There are millions of freeware applications out there like FileRenamer and GBridge that allow me to keep my business at top performance. Not to mention that if I need to open my files somewhere else, I am almost guaranteed that they will have a Windows machine there to work with. I have never found an application that if it wasn’t compatible with Windows already, didn’t have a suitable alternative that was.

    While many people try to pass the blame onto their OS for poor functionality, it is most often their blatant irresponsible downloading of nefarious files that brings a system to it’s knees.

    The fact that it excels at gaming and customization just makes me love Windows even more. If I ever need a different OS (and I rarely ever do) Virtual Machines are a snap to set up. All too often I have people who THINK Macs are better for graphics come to me with an issue, and in minutes I have them back on track. While MS gets a ton of heat for their OSes, I feel that even through everything may not be totally straight-forward, it is the most powerful and versatile OS available.

  25. Hund on the 16th June

    Arch Linux for productive user-friendly computing, ofc.

  26. Nathan Nash on the 16th June

    Currently OSX for work, Vista for gaming and Android for mobile. Once steam for mac comes out I’ll probably end up buying a desktop mac, and I’ve preorded an iPhone 4 so in short, i’m about to become an OSX only user.

  27. Jacek Dominiak on the 16th June

    Personal PC’s: Snow Leopard + Windows 7
    Personal Laptop: Snow leopard
    Moblile: Symbian

  28. Andrea Bravo Balado on the 16th June

    Definitely, Snow Leopard.
    I’ve been using it since last december and it has been very productive at software developmente for me.
    Before that I used, Leopard, Tiger, Panther and OS 9, with some Windows XP between them and a little Ubuntu Linux for a while which is my second favorite OS after MacOS.

  29. Tadd on the 16th June

    I use Ubuntu 10.04 on my laptop with no problems for productivity. With programs like Aptana, Gimp, Inkscape, Blender OpenOffice, etc etc etc being available I can do 90% of my freelance and professional work right here.

    At home, my workstation is Win7 64bit only because my hardware doesn’t like Ubuntu and I have a few essentials that I can’t live without.

    At work I’m on an XP Pro system that will be upgraded to Win7 soon.

    Really, Ubuntu is my favorite. I’ve not used Mac OS in years, but it looks nice. But no experience (or desire to spend the money on the system). Windows .. it’s day in the sun is slowly coming to an end.

  30. Susan Johnston on the 16th June

    Until recently, I was still using Vista (I know, ghetto!). Then I upgraded to a MacBook and now I used OS X with dual booting to XP, because one of my client’s VPMs don’t run on Windows 7 for some crazy unknown reason.

  31. Matthias on the 16th June

    I use OS X in private, for my freelance jobs and at work number 2 (marketing stuff in a small interior design business for 1 day a week).

    At work number 1 (working 4 days a week) I have Vista and OS X in parallel for web-design and development jobs. I do whatever I can (95%) on the Mac, it is so much more productive and works smoother than the Vista machine and it perfectly syncs with my other Macs. Besides of this, it looks nicer and inspires me more than Vista.

  32. Patrick on the 16th June

    At home I run a dual-boot Ubuntu Desktop/Studio and Windows 7. Ubuntu takes care of all my freelance and professional needs including development, graphic design, office productivity, calendaring, etc. I have the Windows 7 partition mainly for gaming since the graphic quality and latency is better natively in Windows than running under Wine in Ubuntu. Once upon a time I dual boot OS X (Hackintosh) and Ubuntu but really never used OS X.

    At work I run XP Professional on my workstation but will be upgrading to 7 shortly.

  33. Damon on the 16th June

    OSX Snow Leopard on all 3 of my macs (home iMac, my MBP, and my wife’s MBP)…best for my productivity. I also have windows xp installed on my MBP through Parallels for cross browser testing.

  34. Alex on the 16th June


    Openoffice in Ubuntu Linux:

    Openoffice in Windows 7:

    Openoffice in MacOSX:

    I have using Ubntu linux exclusively for the last 2.5 years. Only some times usign Windows virtualized with VIrtualbox, but some months have passed since the last time already.


  35. Pietro on the 16th June

    I use Mac OS X because the security and stability; but also because it is inspirational!

    Best regards from Brazil

  36. Chris Gummer on the 16th June

    I use Mac OS X almost exclusively now. I’ve found it extremely developer and user friendly. I also spend less time configuring, maintaining and fixing it then I did on my previous Windows installation.

    That being said I do have Windows on my Mac’s Bootcamp partition, just in case!

  37. Richard on the 16th June

    Linux. For programming there is no better OS.

  38. efaistos on the 17th June

    Using Linux since 1996 when it wasnt so friendly 🙂
    Now you have a lovely window manager with compiz (check on youtube to see what is it about)

    I have also two macbook one with Debian GNU/Linux distro on it and the macbook pro I just bought two days ago is still with OSX but dont know for how long 🙂

    Linux is fast, secure, reliable and got plenty of packages … Debian for instance has over 18.000 packages and you can install them in a snap 🙂

    For graphic design you have Gimp (http://gimp.org), inkscape (http://www.inkscape.org), scribus …
    You have also a lot of tools to do a lot of things (video/image manipulation, gtd, etc …)

    Just try it …

    I find myseld

  39. Aamnah Akram on the 17th June

    i use win 7 on both my laptop and desktop.
    reason: i dont have a mac yet!

  40. Justin Rush on the 17th June

    Here we go again:

    Home desktop: OS X
    Home laptop: OS X
    Studio workstation: OS X
    Home server: Ubuntu 10.04
    MAME Cabinet: I’ve had the thing for almost 10 years, and I still can’t settle on one. All of the above plus a thousand more.
    Work laptop: Win7, plus VMware running XP and WinServ2003/2008

    I’ve been in all nooks and crannies of the IT industry, and have supported nearly every OS you can imagine (and some you probably can’t), and about two years ago I decided I’d had enough of the tweak-and-grok game. Windows is for work where everybody “has to” use OFFice/Exxxchange/LOOKOUT!/Scarepoint. Linux is for servers and homebrew projects where you want to squeeze every bit of black magic you can out of hardware, new and old.

    Mac OS is for doing all the stuff with computers that shouldn’t come with a constant reminder of “hey, you’re on a computer, I’m a computer, make me do things, no not that way, oh what did you do?!?” GTD, etc.

  41. theITguy on the 17th June

    I’m a computer tech since ’92. I’ve used just about everything at some point. From DOS, WIndows, OS2 Warp (remember that) LINUX and Macs. I thnik between the only 3 left WIndows, OSX and Linux , each has their place. Most compaies use Windows , in various flavors. Most graphics shops use OSX and I even know of a company the strictly uses Red Hat Linux in their company. I use WIndows XP at work only becuase I have no choice. I run VIsta on my dekstop at home for gaming but I plan to upgrade to Windows & it is so much cleaner and seems to run faster. I’m going to make the desktop dual boot with some form of Linux when I do that. I plan to by a laptop by September and that will definitely be OSX may be MACbook Pro. Mac are so much more stable. Apples proprietarynes ( is that a word?) has helped?hurt them. The private builders can’t get the parts to build a “MAC” but this also means that Apple doesn’t have to code for nearly the same number of hardware componenets that Microsodft does.

    Linux is probably the most versatile OS
    OSX is probably the fastest
    Windows is definitly the market leader

    Just my 2 cents.

  42. BigThigh on the 17th June

    I am running on Windows 7 but I’d rather use Mac OS X, because of its awesomeness 😀 No, I just love Mac OS :), but MacBook is to expensive for me…

  43. Jesper Bylund on the 18th June

    OS X, much faster because of fewer interruptions from the OS.

  44. Michele Agius on the 18th June

    Mac os x snow leopard for the obvious reasons!!
    Couldnt keep workin on vista too sh%#y

  45. David on the 22nd June

    I use Windows 7 64bit and Mac OSX… but more Windows, it works much faster than my OSX machines. ^^

    On my mac run 3 power programs at the same time

    On my PC run more than 25 power programs at the same time.

    photoshop, illustrator, indesign, cinema 4D, z-brush, dreamweaver, onenote….

    if you buy a new pc format them directly. Companies like dell put every crap on the machines….

  46. Kevin Paquet on the 23rd June

    I used to be a Windows-fanboy, if that’s how you want to put it. I used to be someone who hated Macs and Apple before even getting my fingers on one. They looked like the blacksheep in the computing world.

    Now that I own a Macbook Pro and run OSX 10.6.4

    There’s no way back to Windows for me, except for playing FIFA 2010.

  47. Jens P. Berget on the 23rd June

    I use OS X, it’s awesome…

  48. Jared on the 10th August

    I (and the company I work for) skipped Vista entirely, with the exception of some of the executives laptops.

    After trying the Windows 7 release candidate, I was convinced, and got our whole company to migrate. Granted, our company is small (less than 15 workstations), but I get less support problems than before,l and my system is much more responsive.

    My personal system is a Quad Core Athlon, 6GB of RAM. It handles everything very well, with the exception of when I start working on very large media files (8’x8′) in Adobe products. I hope to get an mac for the adobe work sometime….

  49. Luís Salvador on the 31st August

    Mac OS X

  50. Tony on the 30th September

    OSX and Windows7 on multiple machines of varying horsepower for years. They both crash occasionally. A majority of the time, they each work wonderfully. I’ve never found either to be much better or much worse than the other.

  51. Jonah Sabean on the 28th October

    I have used a Mac, basically ALL Windows versions, Linux, and a bunch of other OS’s that were neat and some that shouldn’t even exist.

    From my preference however, I say you can’t beat Linux. What I do on my computer is php scripting to work on my websites, and for personal use it would be Email, Music, Facebook, and YouTube. Ubuntu (10.10 latest right now) does all this for me, and its very easy to use, and no worries about blue screens of death 😛 … not to mention upgrading is free and it runs my Windows programs in Wine. I have used Mac, very limited so I cannot put down mac for what they are, they are a good machine, but from first impression on all of the OS’s, Ubuntu i thought looked the best and was fastest, and had all the software I need “out of the box”.

    Windows…. we’ll i wont go there. I am not a fan of 7, and Vista should be burned and destroyed at how horrible it was (or for me anyway). The only Windows OS I would use would be XP, but Ubuntu Linux is my first choice.

    JMHO 😀

  52. Riyo on the 24th March

    I have used Windows XP for a long period of time, until I decided to buy a new PC and ended up with Vista. You are absolutely right,vista is terrible, I do all my jobs on my old XP machine. I have used Ubuntu and fedora for my php programming , but now I will switch to Mac.

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