Let’s start with the question itself… The question itself is problematic, when you are operating for long time in the IT business (maybe not only in IT, but in life itself, meaning you are not young anymore. Like me…) you clearly understand there is no really such thing as BEST, usually it is ‘best fit’ or ‘optimum’, same goes for picking the optimal OS for digital signage players. The main operating systems that we can find in the digital signage players market are Android, Windows, Linux and Chrome. iOS is rarely used.
The main parameters that most digital signage users will be interested in when they come to choose the right digital signage player and the OS, will be based on price, stability and simplicity of use.
Well, let’s start:
* Windows is (still) the most common digital Signage player OS. Windows Players require license.
* Windows is very stable and well known system, almost anyone knows how to operate a windows based device.
* There are many remote management tools for windows based devices, a clear advantage for digital signage.
* Summary: Very Good OS for digital signage, can fit for any size of project, but not for low cost projects.
* Linux is a very stable system, quite popular in the last decade. Usually, does not require license, many flavors of Linux can be found in the market, makes it a bit confusing to fit the right Linux.
* Command Line Interface, problematic usage for non IT personnel.
* The cost of devices that run Linux are usually not on the low end of prices.
* Summary: Medium to Good. Fits mainly for huge projects, that involve high number of IT professionals.
* Fairly new OS for digital signage, becoming more popular in the past 2 – 3 years, mainly among SMBs and new digital signage implementers.
* OS used to be quite unstable, but dramatically improved in the last 2 years, nowadays we can consider it as a stable OS.
* Popular, easy to use, well familiar OS.
* Free, open and friendly.
* Almost no remote management tools.
* Summary: Very Good for digital signage, mainly for SMBs and early adopters.
* This OS is a very ‘young’ player in the digital signage domain. Still hard to determine its stability and popularity.
* Easy to use, free of charge.
* This OS is quite popular in U.S.A., less in other regions, but the number of ‘fans’ keeps growing.
* Summary: too early to know. Pushed by Google, so it is a good sign.
* Easy to use, popular and stable.
* Expensive, closed and less popular among the digital signage community.
* Summary: Fit for high end projects that must ‘show off’, rarely used for digital signage.
We at NoviSign decided to support Windows, Android and invest also in Chrome, as it seems like its future might be bright for this industry (and since we are computer geeks that like to try out new technologies…)
Good luck in your projects, hope this will help you picking up the best fit OS for your players.