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What operating system is the best?  Best for what?
 
There are many operating systems - read about some (not all) of them here:
  www.operatingsystems.net/
2 main operating systems types to learn:
  Windows and
  Unix

It is easy to hate Windows:
  www.unix-vs-nt.org/kirch/
In order to start hating Unix you should read "Unix-haters handbook" by Simson Garfinkel et al, ISBN 1-56884-203-1, IDG Books, $16.59, out of print.  This book is real fun to read, but difficult to find.  Here are some related links:
http://catalog.com/hopkins/unix-haters/handbook.html - more - more - Table of Contents - unixux prompt - rus - Russian translation of parts of it, chapter7, ms_doc.file

There is a constantly updated diagram showing which OSs sucks - and which rules:
  http://srom.zgp.org/
Similar graph is available to compare programming languages:
http://www.Lehigh.EDU/~sol0/rules.html
I also recommend very educational and entertaining reading on this famous site: Web Tools Review:
  www.arsdigita.com/asj/

The minimal Unix can fit on one floppy disk (1.44 MB) - its kernel is small and very reliable (if used without X-windows, of course).  MS Windows, on the contrary, takes the order of 100s MB, leaks memory, periodically dies on you. Thus, although I like Windows-2000 as a work-station, I would not recommend it as a production server. Unix will be a much better choice (more reliable, scalable, etc.).

Apple has its own "Mac OS X" based on Unix (inherited from Steve Job's Next-station's OS).
http://www.simongrant.org/web/eco.html - the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant.

There are many other OSs ( www.be.com - BeOS, VMS (VAX), Mainframe, OSs for hand-held devices, etc.).