Like any two things from the same field, there are a lot of fundamental differences between Windows and Linux too
Windows is a series of operating systems, developed by Microsoft for personal desktops or laptops. Every single system comes with a graphical user interface (GUI) and with a desktop that allows the user to see all the files. It runs on x86 hardware like AMD or Intel processors.
The first version of Windows was released back in 1985, which was a very simple GUI. It was more of an extension of the existing disk operating system (also known as MS-DOS). Currently, 78% of the world computers run on Windows, based on this article.
Linux, on the other hand, is an open-source operating system based on UNIX. Its initial release was way back in 1991. It's a software which sites beneath it all the other software on your computer. So, the users can modify the existing code and create distributions from it. This is the main advantage of Linux over Windows.
Additionally, Linux is also used in
- Desktop computers
- Mobile devices
- Gaming consoles
- Digital storing devices
Head to head comparison between Linux vs Windows
Below you can find an infographic of the head-to-head comparison and differences between Windows and Linux. Courtesy of the educba.com website.
Key differences between Windows and Linux
As stated above, there are a lot of differences between Windows and Linux.
Why is Linux better than Windows?
Linux is an open-source operating system, while Windows is mainly considered to be commercial. The open-source feature gets attention to people who “want to be in control”, while people who like things to be easy tend to choose Windows more.
Linux users have access to source code and change the code based on their own preferences, while Windows doesn't have such features. You're stuck with whatever the operating system offers you. Most people don't really care about the openness of Linux, but it's one of the most important features of using Linux.
Windows tends to run slower on older hardware, while Linux doesn't have this downside. It will run faster than windows when the hardware is older and not performing well. With Linux, you can utilize one of your oldest computer systems to achieve a particular task.
When it comes to privacy, Windows collects all the user details and leads to privacy concerns. On the other hand, Linux doesn't collect data at all. If you have ever used Windows 10, you could only head into the privacy settings and know that everything is enabled by default. And even if you opt-out to send Microsoft information, it's still being collected!
Linux is considered to be more reliable than Windows. If you use Windows you'll realize that it becomes sluggish day after day. You need to re-install Windows after some time when you encounter crashes in your system. But, if you're using Linux you will not have to worry about re-installing stuff to have a better performance.
In Linux, most of the applications, utilities, and programs are free of cost – while on Windows applications like Microsoft Office 2019 cost 249$.
Talking about safety, Linux is highly secure because it's very easy to identify bugs and fixes. On the other hand, Windows has a large user base, and with time, it became a target for developers to implement viruses and malware. Overall, the process of package management, the concept of repositories, and a couple of more features that make it “impossible” for Windows to be better than Linux on safety terms.
Why is Windows better than Linux?
Windows is way better software-wise than Linux. Linux users don't have access to some of the most used apps on the planet, like Photoshop, 7-zip, Outlook, IrfanView, Microsoft Office, etc. Of course, there's a workaround for these things like using software like Wine, but they're highly unreliable.
Additionally, Windows is simpler than Linux when it comes to the choice of the operating system. If you're in the market for a new Windows machine, you have a clear choice: Windows 10. But, if you're a first-time user looking for a new Linux machine, you'll have a hard time. There are over 250 Linux distros to choose from.
Even though Windows is far from perfect, it's still more reliable in terms of bugs than Linux. Simple math: Windows runs on 500 million devices – a silent majority doesn't experience at all. That's all because Windows has a large budget that's enough to hire hundreds of people simply to test the systems.
And, if something doesn't work with your Windows machine, you have several avenues open to you. Microsoft itself offers use live chat and phone support if you're not satisfied with the current product or it's not working well.
While this probably will not count for someone, but Windows is better for gaming. Many great games never make it to Linux for one particular reason: It's not worth the developers' time.
And one major reason that Windows is better than Linux is the complexity. Linux is very complicated. Not just the layout of the desktop and stuff – a new user can get a good grasp of that in a day. The day-to-day usage of the operating system is hard, and that's what makes Windows more enjoyable among users.
If you feel like we've missed a couple of things, please feel free to contact us.
Alicia leads content strategy for LearnWorthy managing a team of content producers, strategists, and copywriters. She creatively oversees content programs, awareness campaigns, research reports, and other integrated marketing projects.