Windows vs. Linux, A Comparison
by Samuel Murray
Many of you who are reading this article are using Windows as most of the other internet users do. There is a
huge difference between the number of users of LINUX and Windows. Some say Windows is much better than LINUX
because it gives you an easy handling of the hardware and software. Some say LINUX is much better because it
started as Open Source software and that's why it is much more flexible than Windows. Then why there is a huge
market difference between these operating systems?
The answer to this question is quite easy. Since 1985, computer users and programmers became so accustomed to using
Windows, even for the changing capabilities and the appearances of the graphical interface of the versions,
therefore it always stayed as the product of Microsoft.
On the other hand, LINUX has so many different versions from a variety of companies some of which are namely
Lycoris, Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake, Knoppix, Slackware, Lindows. These companies release their own versions of the
operating systems with slight changes, and yet always with the same kernel.
This variety and the fact that none of these companies are even close to competing with Windows, mostly causes
the difference in the market. Nevertheless, this reality might drastically change after Novell's purchase of
Linux and Windows differ in many aspects. First of all, the Linux GUI is optional while the Windows GUI is an
integral component of the OS; speed, efficiency and reliability are all increased by running a server instance of
Linux without a GUI, something that server versions of Windows can not do. The detached nature of the Linux GUI
makes remote control and remote administration of a Linux computer simpler and more natural than a Windows
Secondly the command prompts of these operating systems are quite different. In general, the command interpreters
in the Windows 9x series are very similar to each other and the NT class versions of Windows (NT, 2000, XP) also
have similar command interpreters. There are, however differences between a Windows 9x command interpreter and one
in an NT class flavor of Windows.
Linux, like all versions of UNIX, supports multiple command interpreters, but it usually uses one called BASH
(Bourne Again Shell). Others are the Korn shell, the Bourne shell, ash, and the C shell (pun, no doubt,
The costs are amazingly different. While you have to pay some hundred dollars for a new version of Windows, you can
simply go and download Linux. As it comes from the nature of Linux, there are no manuals or simple installers for
the free version, however. You really have to know what you are doing while using this free package. There are also
some easy automated packages of Linux for low prices, as well.
The security issues with Windows, as most of you already know, are the biggest cons of Microsoft. Most of the
malicious files, spyware, adware programs deal with Windows. You generally do not deal with these kinds of unwanted
circumstances unless you are working with Windows. The user-id and password protection for Windows can also be
easily bypassed, whereas Linux offers a strong protection.
The only area that Windows beats Linux in this "competition" is the software availability. As it was mentioned
above, most of the software releases are configured for Windows. If you are using Linux, you have to emulate
Windows with a special software and then you can use your windows based programs. Another option can be to install
Windows as a subsystem to Linux which takes all administrative abilities of Windows and gives them to Linux.
After mentioning some of the different aspects of these operating systems, it can be said that all Linux needs to
compete with Windows is some user friendly interface and a strong company support which can provide the users with
technical information and user manuals.