Find out the detailed comparison between the two popular OS, i.e. Windows and Linux along with the features, facts, advantages and disadvantages of each.
Are you going to purchase a personal computer and yet to decide which Operating System to use? Or do you want to try another Operating System for your personal computer? Majority of users across the globe prefer either Linux or Windows for their operating systems. And if you are confused between these two, then you are in the right place! We at wtmatter.com have compared two of the most popular operating systems in the world. So before jumping into comparisons, let us first have a look at what these operating systems are all about!
Linux is an open-source operating system based on the Linux kernel. Linux Kernel operating system was first released in 1991 by its founder, Linus Torvalds. Linux was one of the first operating systems to be open source and is provided free of cost. Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu are some popular open-sourced distributions of Linux whereas Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server are the commercial ones. The distributions made for servers may lack the graphics altogether or may include solution stacks like LAMP. Because Linux is free for distribution, anyone knowing codes can create a distribution for any kind of purpose.
Initially, Linux was developed for personal computers which are based on the Intel x86 architecture. But ever since its release in 1991, Linux has been ported to a lot of platforms, more than any other operating system. Currently, over 96.4% of the top 1 million web servers’ operating systems are using Linux, thus making it the most popular operating system among servers. Linux is currently the only Operating Systems to be used in top 500 Super Computers. These two data proves how popular Linux has become among supercomputers and website servers.
Linux also runs on some of the common embedded systems. (Embedded systems are devices whose operating systems are generally built into its firmware and is highly tailored to its system.) The examples include WiFi routers, televisions (LG, Samsung, etc.), automobiles (Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Hyundai and Toyota all rely on Linux), digital video recorders, smartwatches. Android, the most popular operating systems in mobile phones, tablets etc. is a derivative of Linux. Thus it is safe to say that Linux has the highest installed base among all the operating systems.
Linux is the best example of free and open-source software collaboration. People can use the source code to modify and distribute them, either commercially or non-commercially under their respective licence agreements like GNU General Public Licence.
Advantages of Linux
- Linux is free of cost: Most of the distributions of Linux is free of charge. This means that unlike its competitor, Windows, users do not need to pay to get a copy. Although Linux still provides some distributions at commercial levels, the prices are very reasonable. In the case of Microsoft Windows, the price of a copy is high.
- Linux provides an abundance of freedom for people who know to code well: This something which is not provided in Windows. Since most of the distributions of Linux is open code, you can have access to the source code and can customize the operating system according to your will. You can also create your distribution and distribute it, freely or for commercial purpose. And at the same time, it is easier to install Linux as compared to Windows.
- Linux offers stability: Generally, in the case of Windows, there is a chance of the whole system crashing. The fear of the blue screen of death is prevalent among Windows users. Linux rarely crash. And when they do, generally, the whole system does not go down.
- Security: Linux is very secure as compared to Windows. Since most of the malware is specially programmed to attack Windows, the chances of a virus attack are considerably less in case of Linux. But, the malware in case of Linux still exist. But it is safe to say that this malware is not so widespread to be worried about!
- Linux Generally does not slow down over time: One of the most annoying things about Windows is that it slows down over a while. This is not the case with Linux. Moreover, in the case of Linux, there is no need to regularly defragment the hard drives to maintain the level of performance.
- You can get a large number of software for FREE!: Many Linux distributions offer the software free of cost within the package. You can get any software (anything you want) for FREE! This is undoubtedly not the case in case of Microsoft, where you have to pay to use some of the essential software like PowerPoint, word etc.
Disadvantages of Linux
One of the significant disadvantages of Linux is that the software designed for Windows does not run in Linux based systems. And this is awful news for those who love games. Most of the famous gaming companies make games exclusively for Windows-based systems/personal computers. So you may feel deprived of some of the best games in the world as they do not run in your Linux based platform. So if you love to play good computer games, I advise you to prefer Windows instead.
Apart from that, a newbie may find it challenging to learn to use Linux. Linux is perfect for those who have good knowledge of coding. If you don’t have much idea about coding, then it’s better to go for Windows.
Microsoft Windows is commonly referred to as Windows. It is a group of numerous graphical operating system families. All of these are developed and marketed by Microsoft. Windows are available on a lot of platforms- personal and desktop computers, smartphones, web servers etc.
Windows was introduced by Microsoft in 1985 as a response to an ever-growing interest in Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). Microsoft’s Windows was quickly able to dominate the world of personal computers. Windows promptly gained a market share of 90%, outdoing Apple’s Mac Operating System, which was released shortly before Microsoft, in 1984. Currently, among Personal Computers, Windows is still by far the most popular choice for operating systems. Its other competitors include Apple’s Mac OS and Linux.
Microsoft in 2014 admitted to having lost a majority of its market to Android (a derivative of Linux). This is due to the massive growth in the sales of Android-based smartphones across the globe. Microsoft still shares one-third of the total world market in operating systems on all platforms.
As of June 2020, the most recent version of Microsoft Windows for personal computers, tablets and other embedded devices is Windows 10, which was released in 2015.
Advantages of Windows
- Easy to use: Windows users who are familiar with older versions of Windows may also find using the latest versions easy and less complicated. Ever since the days of MS-DOS, the use of Windows-based operating systems are almost same, with nearly similar looks as compared to it’s older versions. People do not require to re-learn how to use the newer version of Windows. This is the primary reason why Windows users are reluctant to switch to other operating systems.
- Vast Software Availability: Because of the dominance of Windows in the world market for personal computers, a lot of software are designed for Windows users. Suppose you are running an organization and you want a particular software for your organization, chances are high that if such software exists, it will also have a version of Windows available on the net.
- Support for new hardware: Due to the immense popularity of Microsoft Windows, it becomes impossible for computer hardware manufacturers to ignore Windows. So someday if you go out to buy computer hardware, chances are incredibly high that the device is compatible with the latest version of Windows.
- Support for a wide range of games: If you are a game lover, then you should not look anywhere else! Windows is the best operating system for you. Due to Windows’ dominance in the world market of personal computers, a plethora of video games is available from almost all video games developing companies that run on Windows. At the same time, many hardware needed to play a certain kind of video games is also compatible with the latest version of Windows! Thus making Windows the best choice for computer game lovers.
Disadvantages of Windows:
- The high cost of licence copy: Unlike it’s rival Linux, the copy of the Windows operating system does not come for free. They are actually costly.
- The source is closed: Suppose you are a Windows user and you know exactly what was going wrong with your personal computer. Troubleshooting would be so much easier! But unfortunately, unlike its rival, Linux, Windows does not provide the source code for its users. So the user is left all alone to try and fix the errors by hit and trial method. The best outcome possible from this method is that it is time-consuming. And the worst? You can even end up damaging the whole program (or in some cases the entire system) beyond repair!
- Inadequate Security: This is the disadvantage of its high popularity! Because of its immense popularity among personal computer users all over the world, programmers have made a lot of malware, especially for Windows. Even their developers admit that their products “just aren’t engineered for security”. But thanks to Microsoft Windows and it’s enormous popularity- without them, multi-millionaire industries of anti-virus would not have existed!
- Very less privacy: Indeed, Windows users do not enjoy that much privacy. When registering for a copy of Windows, Microsoft will squeeze out your personal information. And while installing the modern versions of operating systems, you will be required to log into Outlook mail or in the case; you don’t have, you have to create a new one! Apart from that, Microsoft has access to a lot of your activities. They claim that it is to improve the user experience, but who knows?
- Additional expenses after installing Windows: Very few essential Windows compatible software are available for free. For instance, essential software like anti-viruses, Office suites, photoshops, even video games-all needs the users to splash out some cash to get them.
Difference between Linux and Microsoft Windows
|Linux users can have the accessibility of the source code of the operating system. They can also alter the code according to their needs.
One of the significant advantages it has is that the user can find and fix bugs rapidly. And can customize the operating system, making it more comfortable to work with.
|In Windows, an average user does not have access to the source code of the operating system. It is only available to a handful of developers working for Microsoft.
One of the significant disadvantages of this is the user may find it challenging to find and fix bugs. He may be forced to use hit and trial method, which is not always right.
|Linux has numerous distributions which enable the user to customize the operating system according to their requirement.||Windows has minimal customization options available to its users.|
|The users can get a copy of the Linux operating system free of cost, and they can redistribute it too making some modifications.||In Windows, users have to pay to get a copy of Windows. Apart from that, they cannot modify the operating systems since the source code is made unavailable to its users. Apart from that, a particular copy can only be installed in a given number of personal computers (as specified in the package purchased by the customer)|
|Linux users have complete authority over the installation of any update. They can update the system according to their time comfort, and it takes less time, without the need for any reboot.||One of the most annoying features of Windows is that updates can come at inconvenient times. It takes more time to install updates and reboot is also necessary in most of the cases.|
|Linux is more secure as compared to Windows. The developers of viruses find it challenging to break through a Linux system.||Windows is a big target for developers of viruses and malware. Windows are not safe without the use of a reliable anti-virus.|
|Linux has a big network of support system. The Linux OS community generally provides free of cost support to its users through forums, question boards and support websites.||In the case of Windows, the support is easily accessible too. Microsoft has dedicated some websites as well as many technicians to support its customers. Numerous videos and books on Windows are also available, on both free of cost and paid basis.|
|Speed is one of the significant advantages Linux users enjoy over Windows users. Linux has a file system, Ext4 which does a brilliant job in maintaining the operation efficiently. Defragmentation is no longer necessary nowadays in case of Linux operating systems.||Speed is one of the most annoying things for the Windows user. Even minimal uses of Windows can slow down the system. Defragmentation of hard drives has become necessary to keep the PC inefficient.|
|Linux users enjoy an operating system that thoughtfully considers the privacy of its users. Its devices have in-built state of the art encryption. This means that users can be assured of better security and less intervention of third party application.||Windows, on the other hand, has become increasingly advertisement driven in the past few years. Windows is well aware of what the user is doing on his PC. The ‘analyze user behaviour’ through Cortona to make the assistant better.|
|When it comes to gaming, Linux offers limited top-level games which the users can enjoy. This is because all the major gaming companies focus more on Windows than Linux.||Gaming is an area where Windows has the upper hand. Almost all the major gaming companies make video games keeping in mind the Windows users. So Windows users can enjoy a plethora of games.|
After reading this comparison, I hope you can decide which Operating System is best for you. Linux is the best operating system for those who love coding and want to customize the operating system according to their comfort. At the same time, it is also perfect for users who give particular emphasis on security and privacy. On the other hand, Microsoft Windows is for those who are not so good in coding and want to use a wide variety of software. Almost all the major software developing companies develop software for Windows, and you can use them according to your requirement. And again, if you love video gaming, then you should surely go for Windows! Nevertheless, users of both the operating system enjoy a wide range of features in their operations. And the support system of these operating systems is powerful too.
I hope you find this guide useful. If so, do share it with others who might want to explore the different facts about Windows or Linux and the other topics that we publish here on our blog. If you have any questions related to this article, feel free to ask us in the comments section.