What’s the best Operating System for my kiosk – Windows v. Android v. Linux?

Category: Software

All kiosks and self-service equipment need an operating system. It seems such an obvious thing to say, but it is surprising how often this item gets in the way of customers being able to use their kiosks for what they intended.

From a K4B perspective, it seems that different parts of the market use different operating systems for their kiosks and self-service pods more or less exclusively. The medical market has just gotten past windows 7 to 10 and looks like a dedicated user of Windows.

ANDROID: (all our kiosks can be set up to run Android)

The fast-food and restaurant self-service seems to use Android mostly. QSR restaurants had no real use for IT until recently when ordering ahead and table ordering with mobile phone technology came about. Using Android was the easier option with many developers starting to create apps for mobiles with Android. Tablets (basically large phones technically speaking) went the same way. Hence, simply said, most tablet-based self-service systems are Android-powered and most other self-service systems are Windows-based.

But what happens when you want a tablet that can handle more hardware or you want a “large tablet” – say 21″?

At K4B we can help. We make all our kiosks and larger tablet kiosks with Android OS or Windows. So for whatever reason, you need a specific tablet size or spec, we can offer the size, OS and any peripheral you need.

Our WALL-21″ or 24″ large tablets with RFID readers are running Windows, but Android is a standard alternative for K4B too.

LINUX: (a great and free OS that we can easily be installed on our kiosks)

For kiosks and tablets running browser-based apps, Ubuntu (one of the best Linux versions) is a great option and is so simple to set up and run. Its controls are similar to windows, it’s free and virtually bulletproof.

Linux is probably the most stable and reliable of the operating systems for kiosk and tablet continuous and faultless operation.

We also offer customer service to help if needed. We use Ubuntu with “Open Kiosk” for browser applications on our own kiosks.

WINDOWS: (we have to admit, to the most popular choice from most of our customers)

For Windows-based kiosks and tablets, the situation is slightly different in that there are a number of options to choose from – the obvious being the now standard Windows 10, or soon to be available Windows 11.

At K4B, for Windows-based kiosks, we use the LTSC version of Win 10. It has all the games and other programs not required for kiosks removed. The few updates that happen are about security mainly. It means that our kiosks that run Windows 10 LTSC generally keep running uninterrupted.