Haiku is an open source OS catered specifically to the needs of personal computing.
- Strong multimedia functionality out of the box
- Networking functions come with free browser and e-mail client
- Specifically designed for personal computing
- Stripped down interface means it runs fast and gives you access to everything you need
- Coded by a single development team to increase compatibility
- Ability to run Haiku in tandem with another OS
- Despite regular updates from the development team, features can often be buggy
- Has yet to implement some of the more deeper features available in other legacy operating systems.
- Some users have experienced problems with networking issues
While Windows and the Mac OS offer all of the services plenty of users need, and Linux offers a range of deep customization options for more intensive users, they aren't the only games in town. Haiku is an open source operating system built off of the infrastructure of the defunct BeOS system. Haiku's name is also a mission statement. Like the variety of Japanese poem from which the OS earns its name, Haiku is designed to do away with much of the clutter that dominates the most popular operating systems on the market. The end result is a design that makes the most of modern hardware infrastructure while leaving all the tools that the standard user will need to access directly at their fingertips. Haiku runs quickly, particularly when installed directly onto the hard drive of your machine. Dual booting means you can run it in tandem with an existing operating system. There's also the option to boot Haiku directly from a CD or USB stick, but this can create a more sluggish loading process. Haiku is designed to be an international operating system, and it comes packaged with translations in 25 different languages. The design is clean and functional, unhindered by many of the accompaniments you'll find in other operating systems, and relies on vector icons that can scale to a wide range of different screen ratios. One of the main focuses of Haiku is easy integration with multimedia files. The developers of Haiku understand that for many users, their personal computer also serves as the primary media center for their home. The most commonly used files like MP3s and MP4s work flawless in this OS, and it also has strong compatibility for more esoteric and fickle file types like WMVs. Haiku also comes equipped standard with networking capabilities. Haiku's networking infrastructure is built off of the legacy FreeBSD network drivers, and a free e-mail client and browser are both included in the core version of the OS. That means that despite being in an alpha stage of production, individuals who use their computer primarily for watching videos, listening to music, and browsing the web can use Haiku as their only operating system. That being said, Haiku is still in an alpha stage of development, and it shows. Many of the bells and whistles you could expect to find in more thoroughly developed operating systems like Windows and Mac are missing, and some of the ones that exist are still buggy. And since Haiku's development is handled by a single team, it doesn't offer much of the user customization opens that one will find in an older open source OS like Linux. Still, the value of drawing from a single development team is apparent. Unlike Linux, you're far less likely to find compatibility issues or accidentally break your machine by trying to implement out of date expansions and customization jobs.