Transmission No. 2: Desktop/Laptop Operating Systems

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Operating Systems

Transmission No. 2 | Week of March 11, 2019

Last week we wanted to know what desktop/laptop operating systems you use at work and at home, and how happy you are with them. Keep reading to find out what we learned.


What we learned

The Great Debate: Windows vs. Apple

These were the two primary operating systems you use at work

  • 88.5% use Windows

  • 11.5% use Apple

Some of you (30.8%) also use a secondary OS at work, with 62.5% of those using Linux. The rest use Apple, Ubuntu, or CentOs

Windows users were mostly happy with their chosen OS at work

  • Most gave a 4 out of 5 rating on a 1 to 5 scale

  • A few felt average giving a 3 out of 5 rating, while a few felt awesome giving a 5 out of 5

Of the few Apple users who responded, they were all solidly happy giving a 4 out of 5 rating.

No Apple users felt they could be wooed by the competition to switch, but several Windows users were more interested in a different OS (23.1% said yes they’d switch if they could and 46.2% said maybe), including Apple and Linux citing reasons like ease of use and features.


Operating systems at home

OS’s saw a bit of competition from Linux in the home set-up and Apple had a few more home users than work users.

  • 73.1% use Windows

  • 19.2% use Apple

  • 3.2% use Linux

77.2% of you rated your home OS as 4 out of 5 or higher, so you seem pretty happy. 

But somewhat counterintuitively, since one doesn’t necessarily choose their work OS but may be more likely to choose one for home, positivity toward work OS skewed slightly higher than home.

Common reasons cited for choice of home OS were that it was familiar, products worked on that OS, OS was common and convenient. 

Apple users were happier overall than Windows users for home use.


Other takeaways

Secondary operating systems at work were somewhat common, but not overwhelmingly so - 30.8% use another OS (62.5% of those use Linux).

Job titles for Windows users were all highly technical in nature, ranging from DBAs to System Analysts to Developer to Security Officer. Apple users’ titles (there were only a few) were less defined and not as clearly technical.

One of you is a gamer and chose your home OS based on that (Windows).

What you said: key quotes

“Linux’s flexibility sounds good but I don’t have time for all the trial and error, I need best practices-ish guidance for how to get something working.”

“I have several other computers at home all running flavors of Linux.”

“Some of the tools I use only work on Windows. Likewise, some of the hardware I use only has windows drivers.”

View or download the results (PDF)


If you missed out on this poll and want to be part of our weekly transmissions and other experiments, join Design Labs and we’ll be in touch!