Consumer behavior on the choice of operating systems is influenced by a number of factors that are dependent on the functions of an operating system such as multitasking capability and the provision of a user friendly interface. An operating system achieves consumer recognition if it is reliable and secure. In addition, other factors such as cost, performance and compatibility are important when choosing an operating system. This paper focuses on three variables; competition, location and education level in making a choice of an operating system. (Choi & Park 2012). Therefore, it is important to understand the target population for any manufacturer of an operating system in order to design features that attract people as well as maintain customer loyalty.
Competition refers to the rivalry among manufacturers or producers of similar or substitute products seek for common things such as market share, profit and sales by giving the prospective consumer the best value in terms of price, quality and service. It is one of the variables that influence the choice of an operating system as evidenced by the changing choices of operating system especially from Apple and Microsoft. The operating systems market has broadened and consumers can make choices that meet their specific needs. Different companies have therefore improved on the operating system design to enhance the performance of operating systems, protection, security, compatibility, maintainability, and other commercial factors. The cost of an operating system is an important element that not only determines the choice of an operating system but also competition among different manufacturers. In addition, people will always change their choices according their personality type, educational levels, and income. Therefore, most manufacturers of operating systems gain a competitive advantage through the use of such variables in order to attract a target population, gain customer loyalty, and retain their image. For instance, most manufacturers have come up with innovative operating systems in an attempt to acquire or maintain their market share (Smith, 2010).
Location refers to the identifications of the consumers needs depending with respect to place of operation. This enables a manufacturer to focus on the content related to a particular place. Location is another variable that influences the choice of an operating system. An operating system for home usage may not be as complex as for business usage. A home operating system may be basically meant to simplify tasks such as managing and extending devices to other users unlike business operating systems that contain a company’s data and other valuable information. In addition, the architecture of a home operating system is layered to suit the complex nature of the home environment. Location of the consumer is an important variable in the choice of an operating system. In a home operating system, the user interface is also simpler involving easier integration across the sets of connected devices (Dixon, Mahajan, Brush, Lee, Saroiu & Bahl). Operating systems have been improved for location based applications to suit even people who are always on transit.
The education level of the consumers greatly determines the choice of an operating system. This refers to the extent to which a consumer can use an operating system easily and be able to access and maintain it. For instance, an operating system like the embedded Linux systems involves strict requirements on how they function and therefore it requires high level of education to operate (Choi & Park, 2012). Therefore, such an operating system is not suitable for home usage but is best suited for business where security is a major concern. The user interface also requires involves a series of steps to access the system and other important information. This implies knowledge in information technology and related fields is important if a consumer is to use such an operating system.
In conclusion, the choice of an operating system is determined by several factors that enable the consumers meet their needs effectively through the provision of a used friendly interface and manage the hardware as well as other applications and management of resource sharing. Competition, location, and education level of a consumer play a central in the preference of a given operating systems. The diversity and rapid growth of technological devices has influenced consumer’s needs as well as their choices in the operating system. Companies like Apple and Microsoft have employed innovation in the manufacture of operating systems to ensure competitive advantage is achieved in the competitive and rapidly changing market environment