and now know answers:
#1 : all three operating system are very similar today. The big difference is under the hood.
Today, all these systems interact with each other equally well. For most, the choice was made the day they bought their computer, but for the ambitious, the hardware does not orevent them from choosing their favorite OS.
#2: Well, everybody knows about Windows because you have to buy it when you buy a computer. It’s been compared to the faint whiff of pee in the subway; always there. Windows is built on proprietary legacy code that leaves it more open to malware, and takes more memory and hard drive space because of the required anti-malware.
Mac OS and Linux are very similar; both have roots in Unix, a simple but powerful and more secure operating system. Mac OS is proprietary, and it runs on their hardware, which jacks up the price.
Linux is open source, and free, so the user community can examine it for susceptibilities. Since Linux runs on cheap hardware like your generic Windows PC, it would be the clear winner for almost anything. But, you have to download and install Linux on your PC yourself, which for me takes about 15 minutes plus the download time.
Linux has a low market share among desktop and laptop PCs, somewhere in the tens of millions (nobody really knows for sure). Everything else – supercomputers, phones, servers, routers – is dominated by Linux. Many phones and tablets run on Android, which uses a Linux base.
Because of this low market share, it is hard to get developers to write programs and drivers that work on anything but Windows – games, in particular. This is changing as more companies see the benefits of Linux, with Steam leading the way.
There are several different main types or “distro”s of Linux, and many different desktop environments, all of which are customizable to achieve the look and feel that the user desires. (Windows can achieve much of the same, but it usually requires extra programs.)Why Linux is better explains a little more. If that’s “too much choice” for you, the answer is simple: install ZorinOS, Ubuntu, or ElementaryOS and be happy. There are special distros for gamers, artists, musicians, TV watchers, spies, geeks, and many others.
Here’s a graphical representation. I’m the guy on the bottom right. (Actually, I’m a retired vacuum tube engineer with gray hair.)
#3 : PC refers to a “personal computer”. The name “personal computer” was coined by Olivetti in 1962 to describe their typewriter-sized Programma 101 computer. It wasn’t popularized until 1983 when IBM released their SCAMP computer which emulated their IBM 1130 minicomputer, but intended for a single user. Today it is widely used to refer to any desktop or smaller general-purpose computer; sometimes it is specifically used to refer to a computer that uses a microprocessor based around the Intel IA32 or x86_64 instruction sets, and sometimes even more specifically one running a version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
Mac refers to a specific brand of personal computer sold by Apple. Older models were based the Motorola 68000-series microprocessors, then the PowerPC RISC processors, and today Intel microprocessors. Early models shipped with a proprietary MacOS, later models shipped with an open-source OS called XNU based on the Mach microkernel and OpenBSD (this is the foundation for Apple’s OS X operating system).
Linux refers to an operating system kernel originally written by a Finnish university student named Linus Torvalds, released as open-source software, and subsequently developed by a larger community and packaged up in a variety of operating system distributions used on a wide variety of hardware platforms. It is processor-agnostic and runs on most any hardware platform using a general-purpose microprocessor).
One of my biggest pet peeves with OS X is the fact that there is no normally functioning Delete key. Instead you have to hit fn + Delete to get the delete key to work as it should. This is pretty common practice with the OS X keyboard, which is about as efficient to a hard-core programmer as a salad is tasty. And it’s not just the Delete key. The End key doesn’t do what you would expect, either. To get to the end of the line, you have to add the fn key to the End key (so fn + End will get you to the end of the line.) Another issue — mouse buttons. I know this is a fundamental design that makes sense to Apple. But the majority of people like two mouse buttons. And with Linux, you actually get THREE mouse buttons. With those three mouse buttons, you can even do a simple copy and paste function (highlight text with a left mouse button and then click the middle mouse button to paste). The Linux keyboard is just far more efficient than the OS X keyboard.
#5 : Windows – closed-source DOS (Disk Operating System)-based operating system, designed for general hardware.
OS-X – shared-source (some closed, some not) UNIX-based (Darwin kernel) operating system, designed and optimized specifically for Apple hardware.
Linux – depending on the flavour, either open, shared, or closed source (some commercial flavours are closed, most are open), UNIX-based operating systems designed for general hardware.
OS X and Linux flavours are distinct but quite similar in functionality (particularly at the command line level). Windows has the largest market share (>85%).
In the end, every operating system has pros and cons, so I’m not going to get into a battle of which one’s better.