If you do not own a Mac, then there are actually two major operating systems that you can install on your notebook and these are Windows and Linux. There are several advantages and disadvantages to using each, so we'll begin exploring these right now:
One of the most popular operating systems to date, Windows has gained its fame by the ease of use it provides and hundreds of software solutions that are specifically designed for it.
Some of the advantages associated with using this OS can be that it is easy to learn as an operating system, being very user friendly, by far a lot easier to learn than Linux. Due to the popularity Windows has, there are quite a lot of software programs, utilities and games that can be used with it. Very good documentation about all aspects of the Windows OS is available, as well as books being published for each version that comes out.
Disadvantages to using Windows as an operating system can be, for starters, its price. A license can go anywhere from $ 50 to about $ 150 for a copy. Although it has advanced quite a bit over the years it can barely match the reliability of Linux, mainly because during long session the performance seems to go down, in which case a reboot is necessary.
The large majority of software programs, utilities and games that can be installed on Windows can be quite expensive in the long run. Some software programs licenses have price ranges in the thousands. There's also a lot of integration of features that many people will never use which can have quite an impact on the overall system performance.
Windows is known today to be the most vulnerable operating system, being sooner to almost every virus or Trojan attack.
Linux is a least popular operating system, mostly because it's harder to learn than Windows, but it offers a higher level of control and security to the user.
Some of the advantages that come with using this operating system are mostly the costs that go with installing it. Virtually no cost can be associated with a Linux copy, since it's created by users worldwide and distributed as an open source solution. It's a stable operating system and no low performance issues can be related to it during long periods of continuous use. It maintains high performance even on low end computers and can accommodate a very large number of users.
Linux is highly compatible with most common file formats and is known to be one of the most secure operating systems out there.
Since its open source, you can make constant modifications to the operating system to suit your needs accordingly.
Some of the downsides to using Linux come from the limited compatibility with many of the Windows programs, since if you want to run such programs you can do so under a complex emulator program and performance-wise, you can notice most programs working a lot slower than they would on Windows. Also, having more control over how the operating system works is not necessarily a good thing for most users since learning Linux can take a lot more than learning Windows.
There's no plug-and-play, so getting a new device set up under Linux can be a trickier than when doing the same thing under Windows.
And lastly, there are so many editions of Linux out there that it's hard to figure out which one works best for you, so it can get rather confusing at some point when having to choose which one to install.
If you are a tech nerd or a networking administrator, then Linux is definitely the way to go. But if you're not into programming or any activity related to networking, hosting or whatnot, Windows can be quite a breeze if you know how to keep it virus-free.