03 March 2013

A Complete Guide To Laptop Operating Systems



When you buy a laptop these days you are not just buying a machine. You are buying the software that runs the machine. Years ago, there weren't many choices. Almost all consumers went with a Windows laptop. Some loyalists would choose Mac, while hardcore computer users might choose Linux. Through the years that has changed drastically.




More people than ever are buying Mac laptops. Windows comes in many forms, including the new Windows 8. There are tons of different Linux builds. Then there are the specialty operating systems. Google has released the Chrome OS for its Chromebook line. Android, too, powers many laptop-like devices. The choices are no longer straight forward.



If you're looking to buy a laptop, or just want to become more familiar with the options available, this guide will show you the way.

List of all Major Laptop OS with their PROS and CONS:


Mac OSX



While it runs on less than 10 percent of all personal computers, Mac OSX has grown drastically in the last ten years. Fed up with Windows, many people have turned their attentions to Mac OSX on both desktops and laptops.



Pros:


  • Ease of use. Everything in OSX is relatively straight forward, making it easy to understand even for novice computer users.

  • Efficiency. OSX is designed to correct itself, reallocating memory in order to run in the most efficient manner.

  • Security. While there have been more malicious attacks on Macs in the last year than ever before, the incidents are still very rare compared to Windows PCs.

  • Media. Macs were made to work with high-resolution video and audio media.


Cons:


  • Software availability. Since about 90 percent of computer users run Windows machines, developers create more software for them. While Mac software availability has improved in the last ten years, there is still a lot more software for Windows.

  • Closed environment. PC users switching to Mac will notice that they have a lot less control over the computing experience. Macs are known for their uniform user experiences.

  • Price. Apple prices its Mac computers considerably higher than Windows laptops. Even their low-end devices cost $1,000US. Decent Windows laptops can be had for half that price.


Windows 8



The newest release from Microsoft, Windows 8 is all about cross-platform compatibility. It is meant to run not only on laptops and desktops, but also smartphones and tablets. The results have yet to be seen, but Windows 8 could be the OS that unites all of our gadgets.



Pros:




  • User interface. The user interface of Windows 8 is one of the best Microsoft has ever created. For touchscreen laptops, there is the tile view. For traditional laptops there is the classic Windows view.

  • Improvements. Since Windows 8 was just released, it will undergo many changes in the near future. Bugs will be fixed, and problems will be solved.

  • Security. Windows 8 is the most secure version of Windows yet, which will increase its appeal.

  • Range of devices. Windows 8 runs on all kinds of devices, including standard laptops, laptop-tablet hybrids, and the sleek new ultrabooks.


Cons:


  • Buggy. While improvements are coming, Windows 8 still contains many bugs that hinder the user experience.

  • Compatibility. There is some software not yet designed to run on Windows 8.

  • Gaming. While most software runs well on Windows 8, games are not quite up to speed yet.

  • Pricing. Microsoft ran a sale in late 2012, but Windows 8 pricing is back to its normal levels. You can, however, get a 90-day trial of Windows 8.


The good news is that many of the cons will go away as Windows 8 develops. It should be the best Windows by a long shot by the end of 2013.

Windows 7



After many failed releases, Microsoft finally won over the market with its Windows 7 operating system. Even though it has recently released Windows 8, Windows 7 remains a functional operating system that many users perfer.



Pros:


  • Universality. More users run Windows 7 than any other computer platform. That allows users to share tips and tricks, as well as software.

  • Gaming. While Windows 8 isn't quite up to speed yet, gamers love Windows 7. Many will not upgrade because of gaming issues.

  • Customization. Windows 7 is the most customizable version of Windows.

  • Efficiency. While not as efficient as Mac OSX, Windows 7 is an efficient operating system.


Cons:


  • Support. Since there is a new version of Windows to support, Windows 7 won't receive the same level of support from Microsoft that it has in the past.

  • Development. With more and more people installing Windows 8, developers will start focusing on that OS.

  • Upgrading. Again, it will cost a lot to upgrade to Windows 8. Buying a Windows 7 laptop now means paying that upgrade cost in the future.


Chrome OS



In 2009 Google announced a new OS, called Chrome OS. It is based on their Chrome web browser, and it runs web apps instead of traditional apps. While Chromebooks got off to a slow start, they made progress in 2012. Google recently released the Chromebook Pixel, its most advanced model yet.



Pros


  • Speed. Because Chrome OS contains few bells and whistles, it runs web apps faster than traditional laptops.

  • Simplicity. Everything in Chrome OS is straight forward and easy to use, even for novice PC users.

  • Essentials. Chrome OS contains essentials for web browsing and web use, even for heavy and pro web users.


Cons


  • Power. Chromebooks are underpowered by design, since they require few resources. But they are sometimes underpowered, leading to issues.

  • Limited capabilities. If you want to do anything that doesn't involve direct web use, you're out of luck. Chrome OS is severely limited in what it can perform.

  • Clunky interface. Some Chromebooks feature touchscreens, but the OS doesn't seem to be designed for a touchscreen interface in the same way Android is.

  • Price. Even the low-end Chromebooks are priced too highly for what they bring to the table. The new Pixel costs $1,300US, which is more than the MacBook Air.


About Author:Joe Pawlikowski writes, edits, and consults for several tech blogs across the web. He writes about mobile gadgets and technology at his site, MobileMoo.



How to Accept Social Payments on your Website



Web publishers and content creators are experimenting with a “cash-less” payment model where people can use social networks to pay for premium products like ebooks, songs, discount coupons, research reports, etc.


Say you have written a short ebook on a particular topic. Now instead of asking 99¢ for a copy, you can let anyone download your ebook either in exchange of a tweet, a like on Facebook or a +1 on Google Plus. The buyer makes a public recommendation of your product on a social network and you reward them with a free copy.


Pay with Tweet or Facebook Like

Tweet this Share on Facebook




Digital Inspiration @labnol This story, How to Accept Social Payments on your Website, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 02/03/2013 under Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Internet.




Chrome for Android Travels in Time



Speaking of Chrome for Android, there's a milestone that needs to be mentioned: it's the first time when the latest stable version of Chrome for Android matches the desktop Chrome.



You've probably noticed that Chrome for Android has always been a few months behind the desktop Chrome and the delay has continually increased. Chrome 18, the previous stable version, corresponds to the desktop version released in March 2012. That's one year of performance improvements, bug fixes, new HTML5 features, new WebKit and V8 releases. It's like using a completely new browser or travelling in time and skipping 6 Chrome versions.






Chrome for Android has a great interface and cutting-edge syncing features, but it was slower than the stock browser, buggy and used a lot of resources. Google addressed some of these issues, so let's hope that Chrome for Android will start to push the boundaries when it comes to speed, without neglecting the constraints of the mobile devices.



"Chrome for Android has been developed in a separate repository as a fork, which means that most of the code will have to be upstreamed," mentioned Peter Beverloo last year, when Chrome for Android was launched. "Of course, bringing a browser to a different - much more limited - platform goes further than simply re-using code. Mobile devices have a lot of limitations compared to desktop and laptop machines. Besides the lower amount of available memory and CPU power, other constraints lie in less memory bandwidth and VRAM on the device's GPU. Google Chrome has a complicated architecture which imposed some interesting challenges here: separating the browser from the renderers through its multiple process architecture, to name an example. Decreased rendering and scrolling performance were also an issue."



{ Image licensed as Creative Commons Attribution by CityGypsy11. }


Chrome for Android to Add Web Accelerator



I've always wondered when the Google Web Accelerator project will be resurrected. Now that Google has both a mobile operating system and a browser, it makes sense to find better ways to speed up browsing. A fast browser is not very useful if you have a slow Internet connection or you're limited to a few hundred megabytes a month. That's why browsers like Opera Mini and Opera Mobile are popular. Amazon Silk for Kindle Fire even uses Google's SPDY to make browsing faster.



Chrome for Android will add an experimental feature that uses Google's servers to compress pages. The purpose is to "reduce data consumption by loading optimized web pages via Google proxy servers." For the moment, it's just another option added to the chrome://flags page. You'll probably find it in the next releases of Chrome Beta for Android.






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