Operating System Reviews

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Microsoft Windows 8.1

If you're a dedicated Windows 8 hater, the update to Windows 8.1 isn't going to change your mind. For everyone else, this collection of tweaks, fixes, and new features is useful, but everything here should have shipped in the original version last year.

Ubuntu Touch

The new Ubuntu Touch operating system for phones and tablets blows away rivals Firefox OS and Tizen -- and it may even be better than iOS and Android.

Tizen OS

In an early demo of Tizen OS on a Samsung phone, the new OS looks a lot like Android -- and is clearly a long way from prime time.

Firefox OS

Mozilla's mobile operating system, unveiled at Mobile World Congress, won't win over many iOS and Android faithful. But it's credible for low-budget feature-phone owners.

Microsoft Windows 8 Pro Upgrade

Microsoft makes an aggressive, forward-thinking, and bold statement for the future of PCs with Windows 8, and vast security and speed improvements more than justify the $40 upgrade price.

Apple Mac OS X 10.6.3 Snow Leopard

Intel Mac users will like Snow Leopard's smartly designed interface enhancements, and its Exchange support is a must-have (especially with Outlook for Mac on the way). With a ton of technological improvements, Snow Leopard is worth the $29 upgrade fee.

Microsoft Windows 7

Windows 7 is more than what Vista should have been, it's where Microsoft needed to go. How much damage Vista did and whether Windows 7 is enough for people to finally abandon Windows XP are questions that nobody has the answers to right now.

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

The grace of Leopard's interface enhancements makes productivity more pleasurable with a Mac, as more than 300 functional and fun features top off this update.

Apple Mac OS X 10.4

Though its new user features have mixed appeal, Tiger's technological changes and speed improvements make this an enticing upgrade, especially for those who passed on Panther.

Windows Vista Home Basic

Windows Vista Home Basic is essentially warmed-over Windows XP, Windows XP SP3. If you're currently happy with Windows XP SP2, we see no compelling reason to upgrade. On the other hand, if you need a new computer right now, Windows Vista is stable enough for everyday use.

Windows Vista Home Premium

Windows Vista Home Premium is essentially warmed-over Windows XP Home Edition. If you're currently happy with Windows XP SP2, we see no compelling reason to upgrade. On the other hand, if you need a new computer right now, Windows Vista Home Premium is stable enough for everyday use.

Windows Vista Business

Windows Vista Business is essentially warmed-over Windows XP. If you're currently happy with Windows XP SP2, we see no compelling reason to upgrade. On the other hand, if you need a new computer right now, Windows Vista is stable enough for everyday use.

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger

Due in mid-2005, Apple's new Mac OS X 10.4 promises more than 200 features.

Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

Media Center Edition 2005 is the best desktop DVR app out there, but it's not yet ready to play hub for your digital home.

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition w/SP2

We recommend installing Windows XP SP2 but only after Microsoft has had a few weeks to work out the kinks.

Microsoft Small Business Server 2003

For small businesses that need a business in a box and want to stick with Microsoft technology, SBS 2003 is the only game in town.

Apple Mac OS X 10

Panther adds new and useful features, but at the expense of some old standbys. Current Jaguar users need not apply.

Red Hat Linux 9.0 Professional

Red Hat 9.0 is a boon for those who already use it, but it's too expensive to warrant a switch from Windows. Try SuSE (or the free Red Hat) for a better mix of price and features.

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