What do people want in an operating system?

First, let’s define what an operating system is: An operating system has three main functions:
(1) manage the computer’s resources, such as the central processing unit, memory, disk drives, and printers,
(2) establish a user interface, and
(3) execute and provide services for applications software.

Above all this, I believe people want an operating system that is reliable. Nobody wants an operating system that fails to work and is unavailable when needed. This is especially true in business where deadlines must be met or money is lost.

Home users, on the other hand, when using operating systems like Microsoft Windows have been subjected to long delays in using their systems. If you have an older install of Windows, startups can be painful especially with older hard drives. Your desktop appears, but is unusable until all the background systems and apps are in place.

Now with Microsoft Windows 10 user delays have become even more pronounced. As updates are applied for home users, dialog boxes appear telling the user that they must restart the system. Major updates may require the system to be unavailable for hours.

In business, good Information Technology stewards work hard to stay up with Microsoft updates applying what is necessary and often during off hours. This mitigates the downtime for company workers.

There is an alternative to operating systems like Microsoft Windows. Linux operating systems are often more reliable and do not often require restarts like Windows.

I personally use Linux Mint and have been for the last few years. The operating system is highly customizable and extensible. Updates are necessary to address security flaws, but in Linux the user can determine when to apply the updates. Once the the patches are applied, no restart is necessary.

My personal record for running a linux system is one year without a shutdown or restart.

As it is, I run for several weeks at a time without having to restart my system. The update manager in linux mint sits in the system tray changing from a green check mark to a blue circle when updates are available. I choose when I wish to apply these updates.

Linux Mint breaks down updates into 5 levels with the following explanation: “Linux Mint is an operating system who aims to be an easy-to-use, elegant and comfortable platform with a high level of stability for both novice users as experienced users. This is the reason why Linux Mint chooses to deselect level 4 and level 5 updates granting permission for levels 1, 2 and 3 to be updated with no limitations.

Levels 4 and 5 updates aren’t as risky as some might pretend. For regular desktop users the security risks, created due to leakages in packages, are very slim and negligible. Also the risk of suffering from an unstable system after updating level 4 and 5 packages is very slim for regular desktop users.”

To conclude, I have found Windows to be far less reliable than Linux.

My choice, Linux Mint.