Exploring Proprietary OS: Which of the Following Is a Proprietary OS for Desktop and Laptop Computers?

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

In today’s technology-driven world, the importance of operating systems is hard to overstate. These sophisticated software platforms power our most essential devices, from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets. There are various types of operating systems, but perhaps the most important and prevalent category is that of proprietary operating systems. In this article, we will explore and compare the most popular proprietary operating systems for desktop and laptop computers, discuss how to choose the right one for your needs, consider some alternatives, and summarize the key takeaways.

II. Understanding Proprietary Operating Systems

1. Definition and characteristics

A proprietary operating system is a type of software that is owned, developed, and controlled by a single organization or company. These companies maintain exclusive rights to this software, which regulates their distribution, modifications, and usage. Proprietary operating systems usually come pre-installed on specific hardware or are purchased separately.

2. Importance in the tech industry

Proprietary operating systems play a vital role in the technology industry for several reasons. They provide the framework for device manufacturers to build upon, ensuring compatibility between hardware and software components. They also guarantee a consistent experience for users, with curated features and an established ecosystem. Furthermore, the companies developing these systems gain substantial revenues through licenses, app sales, and support services.

III. Common Proprietary Operating Systems for Desktop and Laptop Computers

1. Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows is the most widely used proprietary operating system for desktop and laptop computers. The following are some of the latest versions:

a. Windows 10

Launched in 2015, Windows 10 is perhaps the most versatile and user-friendly version of Windows yet. It offers features like the Start menu, virtual desktops, and Cortana, its own voice assistant.

b. Windows 8

Windows 8, released in 2012, introduced significant changes to the user interface, such as the tile-based Start screen. It was met with mixed reviews, prompting Microsoft to release Windows 10 sooner than initially planned.

c. Windows 7

Launched in 2009, Windows 7 was a popular choice among users due to its stability and improved performance. However, it reached its end-of-life in January 2020, and Microsoft no longer provides support or updates.

2. macOS

Developed by Apple, macOS is the proprietary operating system designed specifically for Mac computers. Some of its recent versions include:

a. macOS Big Sur

Released in November 2020, macOS Big Sur brought an overhauled user interface, improved performance, and better integration with other Apple products.

b. macOS Catalina

Launched in 2019, macOS Catalina introduced features like Sidecar, allowing users to extend their Mac screen to iPad, as well as support for iPad apps on macOS.

c. macOS Mojave

Released in 2018, macOS Mojave introduced the Dark Mode, a popular feature that provides a darker, more focused working environment.

IV. Comparison between Proprietary Operating Systems

1. User Interface

Windows and macOS differ significantly in their user interface designs. While Windows offers more customization options, macOS emphasizes a sleek, minimalist design that’s consistent across the entire system.

2. Performance and Stability

Although both systems are stable and perform well, macOS is often considered more reliable, as it’s designed to work on specific hardware configurations. Windows, on the other hand, must cater to a broad range of systems, which could lead to occasional incompatibility issues.

3. Security and Privacy

Both operating systems have robust security features, with regular updates addressing potential vulnerabilities. However, macOS has a reputation for being more secure, mainly due to its tighter integration with hardware and a smaller user base, making it a less attractive target for attackers.

4. Compatibility with Hardware

Windows is compatible with a broader range of hardware components, giving users greater flexibility in building or upgrading their systems. macOS, however, is limited to Apple’s Mac computers.

5. Software Availability and Ecosystem

Windows has a more extensive library of software applications, especially when it comes to gaming and professional tools. However, macOS offers a strong ecosystem of apps designed to work seamlessly with other Apple devices, like the iPhone and iPad.

V. Choosing the Right Proprietary Operating System

1. User Requirements and Preferences

Consider what you need from your operating system, such as specific applications, seamless integration with other devices, or compatibility with certain hardware.

2. Cost Considerations

Windows computers typically offer more options in terms of price, while Mac computers often come at a premium.

3. Support and Update Policy

Research the company’s policy on updates and support to ensure you’ll receive the necessary assistance and latest features throughout your device’s lifetime.

4. Future Trends and Developments

Keep an eye on emerging technologies and potential changes in the operating system landscape, which may influence your decision.

VI. Alternative Operating Systems

While proprietary operating systems dominate the market, some alternatives might be worth exploring:

1. Open Source Operating Systems

These systems have open-source code, allowing communities and individual developers to contribute to their progress:

a. Linux

Linux is a versatile, open-source operating system available in many distributions (or distros) like Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian.

b. FreeBSD

FreeBSD is a Unix-based operating system known for its stability and performance, often seen in servers and other high-performance environments.

2. Chrome OS and its Growing Popularity

Developed by Google, Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system that runs primarily on web-based applications, making it suitable for devices like Chromebooks.

VII. Conclusion

Proprietary operating systems like Microsoft Windows and macOS are powerful platforms that shape the desktop and laptop computing industry. They are essential for users looking for an established ecosystem, robust software support, and seamless integration with specific hardware. In the end, choosing the right proprietary operating system will depend on your individual needs, preferences, and objectives.


  • Proprietary operating systems are owned, developed, and controlled by a single organization or company.
  • Microsoft Windows and macOS are the most popular proprietary operating systems for desktop and laptop computers.
  • Key differences between them include user interface, performance, security, hardware compatibility, and software availability.
  • To choose the right system, consider user requirements, cost, support and update policies, and future trends.
  • Some alternatives to proprietary systems include open-source options like Linux or FreeBSD, and web-based platforms like Chrome OS.