Things to Consider When You’re Computer Shopping

When you purchase a computer from the store, it will come with an operating system (OS) in place. For many, this system will determine what programs and applications can run on the computer. Windows PCs tend to favor other Windows flavors, such as Microsoft Office Suite. The same is true with Macs.

In essence, the OS can create a program gridlock, where you feel forced to use programs that will work with your system rather than trying to port a program to your computer. Knowing the software options available for your computer may affect which system you want to purchase.

Another consideration is what mobile computing tools you use. For example, if you want to use the Apple iPad, you may find it easier to sync applications from the device to your computer if you purchase a computer with a compatible OS.

While the system and the mobile computing tools can be important, you can expand your computer without worrying about the OS. To do this, consider open source products.

First, think about what type of program you want to add. Open source projects often begin with one OS in mind. If you like your Windows system, you may want to find an open source project designed for it.

Second, look for cross-platform programs. Open source projects tend to rebel against manufacturer gridlock, so it’s common to find a program, like VirtualDub, that will work on Windows or Macs.

The operating system for a computer is an essential part of buying a computer, but it is not the only consideration. By thinking about what programs you want to work with on the computer, the mobile devices you like to use, and open source programs you can add to any system, you can make a better choice when you’re ready to buy your next computer.


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