Majority of the hardware solutions in our world is supported by a rather small number of operating systems families. Naturally, vendors that have control over both hardware and software can offer greater levels of integration.
These are the most powerful and well known OS vendors:
- Microsoft Corporation – developer of PC solutions since early 1980s, Microsoft is the vendor behind most ubiquitous desktop and laptop operating system in the world: Microsoft Windows. In addition to the OS, Microsoft makes and sells the most popular office productivity software suite: Microsoft Office, which lately includes cloud and mobile versions. Microsoft has been making and distributing its browser called Internet Explorer, latest direction in this space is now called Microsoft Edge.
- Apple Inc – maker of iPods, iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, Apple is also the vendor behind mobile operating systems powering its devices – iOS/iPadOS and the Unix operating system running on Apple desktop and laptop hardware – macOS. Apple is also the vendor behind Safari web browser.
- Google (Alphabet) – in addition to being the most well known and most popular search engine, Google is also the maintainer of its Android operating system for mobile devices – mobile phones and tables, as well as the company behind ChromeOS for netbooks and the creator and maintainer of perhaps the most popular browser today: Google Chrome.
- Red Hat – maker and maintainer of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat is the market leader in enterprise Linux space – they have server and desktop editions of Red Hat Linux plus VM and container images. Red Hat has probably the most comprehensive system of online support materials and documentation in addition to the industry leading commercial support.
- Canonical Ltd – maker of the Ubuntu Linux, perhaps the most popular Linux desktop distribution with commercial support. There is a server edition of Ubuntu Linux as well.
- SUSE – vendor behind a popular enterprise Linux distribution, SUSE Linux.
- IBM – maker and maintainer of AIX Unix, server operating system for IBM Power Systems hardware. Thanks to plenty of experience developing and supporting hardware solutions, IBM turned AIX into one of the most integrated, performant and reliable operating system offerings available on the market today.
- Oracle (formerly Sun) – vendor behind Solaris operating system, a Unix OS running on Oracle (Sun) SPARC systems and recently x86 hardware. Oracle is also making Oracle Linux – an enterprise grade server OS.