Windows vs Linux is a long-standing battle that has been discussed for years. It is important to emphasize that the "best" operating system cannot have a single answer since the best choice really depends on the user's requirements. By discussing the pros and cons of both systems, we hope to provide an objective overview of specific criteria. But before we get started, let's get to know Windows and Linux better.
Windows operating system
The Windows operating system was first released in 1985 by Microsoft. Today, it boasts the largest user base in the world. Most of the systems we see today are based on the Windows operating system, which is designed to run on the x86 processor (architecture), including Intel, AMD, and others. The latest version of Windows - Windows 10, released in July 2015, is the successor to Windows 8.1.
Linux operating system
The Linux operating system is an open-source OS created in the early 1990s by Linus Torvalds. Based on UNIX, Linux allows users to modify existing code and create different versions or distributions of it that they can reuse and even sell. Linux has become the best choice for configuring servers, so most web pages on the Internet are served by systems supported by one of its distributions. Linux is also widely used in desktop computers, mobile devices, consoles, e-book readers, and more.
Windows vs Linux: Comparison
Both Linux and Windows can be considered among the best-operating systems in the world, and both have strengthened their place in computer technology. In this article, we will discuss some of the characteristics of the two operating systems and make a meaningful comparison to help you choose the best OS for your needs. Below are some key differences between the two systems:
Linux and most of its utilities and libraries are completely free and available for use and modification. Although paid Linux distributions with additional support are available on the market, they are very reasonably priced. Linux, under the GNU General Public License, allows users to modify, use, and even sell their own modified versions in countless ways.
Microsoft Windows comes with a Microsoft license that does not grant users access to the source code. Thus, no modifications can be performed. The Microsoft license varies from $70 to $200.
Ease of use
This comparison can be difficult because it can vary from person to person. However, Linux is constantly updating its usability. With the release of distributions such as Linux Mint, the installation, and configuration process has become easier. Thanks to constant updates, people with little or no technical knowledge can also install software and perform routine tasks, such as sending an email, playing music and videos and browsing the Internet. If you buy a new computer, there is a high probability that it will come with the installed version of Windows. The vast majority of users are already accustomed to its interface. Moreover, the easy-to-use toolbar and easy installation of programs make it an excellent choice for both new and old users.
Since Linux has a huge user base around the world, there is huge online support for Linux. The Linux OS community provides support to users through forums and support websites.
Windows has easy-to-access support through integrated and interactive help systems, specialized websites, and forums. In addition, numerous videos and books about Windows are available on the Internet for people of all skill levels.
Since Linux is open source and can be easily modified, there are many available distributions that can be customized depending on the user's needs. If you have knowledge of system programming, you can even change the OS code yourself.
On Windows, the setting is not so wide, and only a few user settings are available.
When it comes to speed, Linux easily beats Windows. Unlike Windows, Linux tends to minimize "delays" when it comes to using multiple processes. The Ext4 file system in Linux makes it efficient. The defragmentation process is no longer available in Linux. Linux also competently uses RAM memory, which significantly speeds up the OS.
Over the past few years, Windows has increasingly focused on advertising. Moreover, Windows saves all your actions thanks to synchronization with OneDrive and analyzing behavior through Cortana to make the assistant better. Many people love the tools that Microsoft Windows offers, but they are obtrusive no matter what.
Linux users, on the other hand, have an operating system that takes into account the privacy of their users. Linux devices are also equipped with built-in modern encryption tools, which means that users can be assured of better security and less interference from third-party applications.
Linux is usually more secure than Windows. Despite the fact that Linux still detects attack attempts, thanks to open source technology, everyone can check for vulnerabilities, which makes the identification and elimination process faster and easier. Meanwhile, even though Windows has taken significant steps over the years to improve its security system, it is still a major target for hackers. Because of its large user base, Microsoft is always vulnerable to new threats.
In Linux, the command line is a very convenient and powerful tool used for administration and everyday tasks. On Windows, the 'cmd' command is used to open a command prompt and perform a basic set of operations. It has a PowerShell shell to compensate for limited actions on the command line.
Since its initial release, Linux has focused on system security, process management, and uptime. Therefore, it can be called a well-known safe and reliable operating system.
On the contrary, although Microsoft has improved the reliability factor in recent years, it still does not match the level of Linux. It has omitted many features for the sake of convenience and ease of access, which can lead to system instability and security vulnerabilities, making Windows not very reliable compared to Linux.
On Linux, the user has full control over when and what updates to install. Moreover, without a reboot, the update process is even faster.
Windows, however, is notorious for its occasional updates that appear at inconvenient times. For novice users who don't know much about update settings, there is no choice but to leave the PC and wait for the update installation process to complete. This is very inconvenient.
Windows wins this race by a wide margin. Windows users have access to platforms such as Steam, Epic, and many others that allow them to play both AAA games and small indie games. Although Linux is gradually entering the gaming market, with the introduction of beta support for many games, it still has a long way to go. If you purchase the Linux OS, you can skip a large number of games. Moreover, graphics card manufacturers are focusing their support on Windows because of the larger user base.
Linux vs Windows: Key Points to Remember
- Linux is a free, open-source OS, while Microsoft is a commercial OS;
- Linux users can access the OS source code and make changes according to their whims and fantasies, whereas Windows users can't do this;
- Linux is faster than Windows, especially on powerful systems, while Windows tends to slow down over time;
- Windows collects data to enhance user experience while Linux maintains user privacy;
- In terms of reliability, Linux is much more reliable than Windows;
- In games, Windows has a huge advantage, since most developers create games only for Windows;
- Linux is a highly reliable system, and errors and vulnerabilities can be easily fixed thanks to the open-source platform, which is difficult to do on Windows,
- Over the past few years, Linux has become a transition system for large business owners with its features and applications.
This article provides an overview of the differences between Linux and Windows operating systems. Naturally, to determine the complete difference between the two OS, one article is not enough. If you want to change your operating system from Linux to Windows or Vice versa, we hope this article has provided you with valuable information about the pros and cons of these two systems.