Nowadays, computers play an important role in the life of practically all people. At the same time, the effective use of computers seems to be practically unthinkable without the use of effective and user friendly operating systems. In this respect, it should be said that nowadays customers can choose from a variety of operating systems that available in the operating systems market. Among the most popular and well-known operating systems, it is possible to name Windows, MacOS and Linux.
In actuality, it is possible to speak about the dominance of Windows as the most widely spread and popular operating system, though it should be said that the position of MacOS was traditionally strong though this operating system has quite insignificant share of the global market compared to Windows. As for Linux, this operating system is viewed by many specialists (Tanenbaum, 2001) as an alternative to traditional operating systems and, what is more, it is probably the most democratic and available operating system among the three operating systems mentioned above. In fact, Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free software and open source development that makes this operating particularly popular among customers.
In this respect, it should be pointed out that Linux attracts customers since basically all underlying source code can be freely modified, used and redistributed by any user. In fact, this is the unique feature of Linux, which gives this operating system a strategic advantage compared to its major competitors, such as Windows and MacOS. Obviously, Windows and MacOS developers view their operating systems as a tool to hook customers and supply them with their software and applications which customers are practically force to purchase because software and programs developed by producers of Windows and MacOS are developed specifically for their own operating system and, as a rule, they are not compatible with any other operating system (Deitel et al, 2004). What is meant here is the fact that each operating system is created specifically for the consumption of software created by its developers. Moreover, updating and modification of software also implies additional payments from the part of customers. In such a context, Linux seems to be the most customer friendly, free operating system, which does not require permanent payments for the improvement or modification of the system from the part of a customer, while Windows and MacOS are simply used as effective tools for earning money by means of forcing customers to buy specific applications and software that could function within Windows or MacOS.
At the same time, it should be pointed out that all modern operating systems pay a particular attention to monitoring and scheduling. In fact, in the modern operating systems these processes are automatic and the monitoring of the system occurs regularly, while the user is just informed when an error or malfunctioning of the system is detected. On the other hand, the user can manually monitor and schedule major operations and the system at large. In such a way, the modern operating systems facilitate consistently the use of these systems. In this respect, it should be said that the file management is also adapted to the needs of an average user, who does not possess a profound knowledge in the field of IT. Nevertheless, an ordinary user can easily manage files and devices that are installed on the computer.
Basically, the modern operating systems target at the minimization of the necessity of interference of a customer into functioning and monitoring of the system. At the same time, the process of file and device management is simplified and adapted to the needs of an average customer. In other words, file and device management is very comprehensible and easy to the extent that, nowadays, even a child can use modern operating systems (Silberschatz et al, 2004).
Furthermore, it is necessary to point out that network services are particularly important for customers, taking into consideration the development of Internet and communications in the contemporary world. In this regard, it should be said that basically, the modern operating systems, Windows, MacOS and Linux, provide customers with network services. As a rule, they function effectively and do not cause serious problems, though the problem of security is nowadays of the major challenges the developers of contemporary operating systems attempt to cope with because gaps in the security of network services can threaten to the stable work of the entire system. In addition, it should be said that often developers of operating systems impose certain applications and software on customers. For instance, Windows largely offers its own Internet browser, ignoring possible alternatives of other developers. This is why in the modern operating systems shell and many utilities are focused on the increasing security of operating systems.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the modern operating systems provide users with large range of services and utilities they can use. Moreover, the use of operating systems is quite simple and customer friendly and, in this regard, Linux seems to be particularly perspective for the mass consumption because it is the free software.