The biggest battle between operating systems that started a long time ago, before iOS vs. Android, is the Linux vs. Windows. These two computer OSs have had conflicts and wars trying to prove which one is better than the other. Before we discuss what these two OSs offer, I will state that this post is not about picking the two’s best.
If we go down that road, we won’t arrive anywhere because it is hard to say which one is the best. If it were Linux vs. Unix, it would be easy since these two have exact distinctive features. We will focus on specific areas of the two to give Linux and Windows a fair review on how they operate.
Here are the topics that we’ll focus on in this post:
- What is Windows?
- What is Linux?
- Linux vs. Windows
- Which one is for you?
Table of Contents
What is Windows?
Windows is a type of computer OS that is licensed, and its source code is not accessible. Anyone can use this OS for commercial or private use, with or without coding know-how. Many people live to use Windows on their computers because it’s easy to use. When you are using Windows, you are going to get these features:
- Multiple operating environments
- Integrated caching
- Virtual memory
- Client-server computing
- Symmetric multiprocessing
Following the formation of Microsoft in 1985, Windows 1.0 was released. This first version of the windows was based on the MS-DOS core. With this launch, the rest of the versions were rolled out fast. The first major update and the release of Windows 3.0 were done in 1987. Windows 95, which holds the record of the most used version, was released in 1995. This version had an enhanced user experience since it used a 16-bit DOS-based kernel? And 32-bit userspace.
When it comes to core architecture, Windows hasn’t changed much since the release of Windows 95. Many features were added to cater to modern computing, and they are still adding them to date.
What is Linux?
Unlike Windows, Linux, and open-source OS that is offered freely. Linux is based on Unix standards and is used to design user interface. This OS also has separately made elements that don’t have code.
Linux’s brains are Linus Torvalds, a Finnish student who wanted to create a free OS kernel for all to use. The system was launched in 1991, which was much later than Windows. Those who used Linux then saw it as a barebone OS that had no graphical interface like Windows. It had a few lines of source codes back then. Today, Linux has over 23.3 million lines of the source code. This has made it grown so much, distributed under GNU General Public License in 1992.
We have three types of users in Linux – Regular, Administrative, and Service users. In windows, there are four types of user accounts – Admin, Standard, Child, and Guest.
On usage, the market research data shows that Windows takes the lions to share with 92.63% of the world’s PCs using it. Linux share of PC users is only 1%, and the reason for this is that many people think that Linux is hard to use than Windows. Linux is seen as a household OS, and firms use it despite the GUI since its meant for server apps.
Another thing that gives Windows an upper hand is that the licensing agreement between it and Microsoft bounds PC vendors to bundle Windows OS with their PC. At the moment, PC vendors such as HP and Dell are selling Linux pre-installed computers. However, Windows still commands the market.
Windows use a micro-kernel, which lowers running efficiency due to less space. Linux, on the other hand, uses the monolithic kernel. This makes use more space, but it increases efficiency.
On file systems, Linux stores its files a tree-structured order. It starts with the root directory that further branches into several subdirectories. Windows store its files in directories/folders. These are placed on different data drives like C: D: E: Everything is treated as a Linux file. Files are files, and directories are files; even external devices are files.
If you are a Windows user, I am certain that you come across security and stability issues at once or twice while using it. Being a giant in the online sector, Windows is also a big target for spammers and hackers. The consumer versions of Windows had inbuilt security features. It was made to majorly cater to single PC users who have no network connection. Using its windows updates made once a month, windows release its security patches. There are other updates made between months or when it’s needed.
Many times, when using Windows, users often face the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. This is when the system fails to respond. When this happens, the user has no other choice than to reboot the PC the manual way.
When it comes to Linux, it favors single users since it’s based on a multi-user structure. Linux is also forum-driven, meaning that there are many developers in all corners of the world who track it. Issues that arise while using this the Linux OS are dealt with within a few hours. Supplies of security patches are always there when needed.
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Windows also take the crown on this. We have many updates made to make it better when it comes to compatibility. All that has never match up to Windows. You can count on windows anytime to support almost any kind of software, including those that are obscure or outdated software. That is the beauty of using Windows as an OS. Linux has a low support system, and it has had challenges for some time now trying to match up to Windows support.
Ease of Use
On ease of use, Linux over the years has gone leaps and bounds. Making its installation process simpler for novice users is one step taken to make Linux easy to use. These are some of the many things that Linux has used to make it easy to use. Market proliferation has made Windows a default OS on many devices. To prove this point, try buying any PC or laptop, and you’ll have Windows 10 installed on it. Many users find it hard to switch from clicking the effective toolbar to open programs since they have been doing that for so many years.
Privacy (Linux vs Window)
Linux users can enjoy their privacy since this OS doesn’t spy on them. You are the only one using the system, and no one else. To make privacy even better, Linux allows you to include inbuilt military-grade encryption. This puts security on your device to another level. Even if someone steals your device, you don’t need to worry about your data.
In the last couple of years, Windows has focused on ads. This has made the user experience pathetic. Although users are given a chance to opt-out, they always find other ways to get you in again. There is little or no privacy when using Windows. That’s because Windows watches what users do. This is done to learn user behavior or sync with the Microsoft One-Drive service. These tools are quite intrusive, but other people like them.
Windows OS is commercial, while Linux is an open-source OS. Windows don’t give access to its source code, while Linux offers access to its source code, meaning that anyone can alter it based on their needs. Giving users access to source code has its pros and cons. For example, if there are any bugs, they will get fixed fast, but other developers may capitalize on these bags to find other weaknesses. A few selected members are the only ones who can get access to source code.
The Linux kernel, GNU utilities, and libraries that come with it are open source and free in most distributions. Although paid support is provided to other companies, users can download and install the underlying software free. For each licensed copy, Microsoft Windows charges between $99.00 to USD 199.00. Before 2016, Windows 10 was offered to Windows 7/8/8.1 as a free upgrade. This offer has long expired.
If you are a regular user of Windows, I am sure that you have noticed that it is getting sluggish every day. After you have used Windows for some time, you will be forced to re-install it again when it slows down your system or if it crashes. Things are not the same when you use Linux. You won’t have to re-install it to make it work faster. The operating system takes a long while before you experience any slugs. When using Windows, you have to restart the system when you want to do anything. Whether installing software, uninstalling software, or updating Windows, you have to reboot the system even when the system starts to slow down!
Things are flawless and smoother when using Linux because the OS won’t give you any problems as you go on with your work. This is the reason why popular internet giants rely on Linux rather than Windows. Supercomputers also run on Linux. When it comes to industries, Linux is preferred because it’s reliable compared to Windows.
Before looking into distribution, we need to clear one confusing thing about Linux. Linux is more complicated than Windows, which keeps updating and maintaining a standard version structure. Windows also split its versions into tiers.
Today, the Linux kernel remains on top of all Linux operating systems since it was designed for all. Anyone can access and adjust its code to suit their needs while using Linux since it’s open-source. Hundreds of Linux based OS known as distributions or ‘distros’ is the outcome. Choosing between these distributions is quite hard, which complicates things. With windows, you only have to choose Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10, making it easy to decide. Simplicity is not the only thing that Windows offer.
Linux being an open-source, is quite overwhelming since the distributions have different and diverse sophisticated functions that keep evolving. The best place to start with while using Linux is Ubuntu. Compared to Windows, it is quite intuitive, making it user-friendly. At the same time, Ubuntu is versatile and feature-filled, and any tech experts will enjoy using it. Of all the distros, Ubuntu is the closest thing to Linux default distribution. However, you are free to check out the other ones to determine which one works for you.
The two operating systems have plenty of multimedia applications. However, when it comes to older versions of Linux, it is hard to set up the sound and video options, as some users claim. The best thing about Linux is that most of its multimedia apps are free, unlike Windows, where users have to part with crazy amounts for them.
If you are a gamer, you need an OS that is 100% compatible with a particular software that you are using, plus the OS needs to be user-friendly. You will get all these attributes from the Windows OS. Steam is among the many Linux gaming options that offer many games from small indie developers to AAA publishers. The best thing about Steam is that Windows games are installed with it. The downside is that not all Windows games will work since Steam is still in beta. This frustrates Linux users, but hopefully, things will change in the future. Due to their choice of OS, many Linux users are missing out on exciting games. To make it worse for Linux, graphic card vendors seem to throw their weight on Windows.
When it comes to using open source software or not comfortable with forced updates, Linux is the best option.
Almost all types of programming languages are supported by Linux, including Python, C/C++, Java, Ruby, Perl, and more. Another thing about Linux when it comes to programming code is that it has a wide range of apps for programming purposes.
Windows command line for developers is inferior compared to the Linux terminal. You can find any library developed for a Linux OS. Another thing is that many programmers state that it is easy to use the package manager on Linux. Most developers also choose Linux because it can script in different shells. You can manage your server quickly using Linux because it brings in native support for SSH. Linux is also a preferred choice for programmers because it allows them to things like apt-get commands.
Check Out the Quick Video Review On Linux vs Windows
Source: Linus Tech Tips
As you can see, Linux and Windows are both great operating systems and have their pros and cons. There is no apparent winner between the two because it depends on what you want to achieve while using a specific OS. This article has explained vividly what you need to look for when picking and OS. Instead of concluding on which of these two is the best, we have shown you what each can do so that you can be objective while deciding which one to go for.
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