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The A to Z of Digital Signage: O is for Operating System

The A to Z of Digital Signage: O is for Operating System

Digital Signage platforms are available on a range of operating systems, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of each one and which is best suited to your needs?

There are two major operating systems when it comes to Digital Signage; Android and Windows. In recent years Android has become the most popular option for most Digital Signage software platforms for a number of reason. One key reason for this is cost; Android is a free operating system with no licencing costs associated with it. Another factor is stability, once a version of Android has been on the market for a few years all the bugs and issues have been worked out. In this way the mobile phone and tablet market is used to “beta test” the operating system for the commercial market. It is for these reasons, as well as many other commercial advantages, that we develop our software exclusively on Android. Both our Android Advertising Displays and Android Network Displays have our Android software installed as standard.

The other main operating system for Digital Signage is Windows; the biggest advantage of this operating system user familiarity. Developers for Digital Signage CMS platforms tend not to develop for Windows in most cases for one key reason; licence cost. As well as being a more expensive solution Windows also has other issues relating to the fact that it is primarily an operating system designed for domestic use. There are versions of Windows, such as Windows IoT (formerly Windows Embedded), that are more suitable for Digital Signage applications. In practical terms these versions have limitations for users wanting a flexible solution. Our PCAP Dual OS Touch Screens come with both Android and Windows operating systems for ultimate flexibility.

Other operating systems, such as Linux, are also occasionally used for Digital Signage applications. Like Android, Linux is open source and there are no licence costs associated with using it. The biggest drawback is support; due to the vast number of versions available this operating system requires a high level of technical expertise to maintain. There is also the option of using the macOS operating system however this is typically the most expensive option with no major advantages over other operating systems so is rarely used in the Digital Signage industry.

To find out more about which operating system would be best suited to your needs­­­ get in touch with us today on +44 (0)121 421 4458 or email

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