Do you wish to change your current operating system? Are you confused about whether Windows is better than Linux or vice versa? Then this article is for you. But before we begin, let us get to know the difference between Linux and Windows a little better. When we talk about comparing these two, we should first understand what an operating system is and then get to know the basics of Linux and Windows before starting with the comparison between them.

An operating system is low-level system software that handles the computer’s hardware and software resources and facilitates the computer’s basic functions like task scheduling, resource management, memory management, controlling peripherals, networking, etc. It acts as an interface between computer hardware and software. An operating system is the most crucial part of a computer system. Without an OS, any computer or mobile device can’t work at all. 

The Windows Operating System was first released in 1985 by Microsoft. It now boasts of the largest user base around the globe. With a series of updates over the years, every OS system comes with a unique graphical user interface, which allows users to view files and work on their system. Most of the systems that we see today work on the Windows Operating System, which is designed to work on the x86 hardware, including Intel, AMD, and more. The latest version of Windows is Windows 10, which was released in July 2015 as the successor to Windows 8.1 

The Linux Operating System is an open-source OS created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Based on UNIX, Linux allows users to modify the existing code and produce different versions or distributions of it, which they can re-use and even sell. Linux has emerged as the top choice for setting up servers, which is why most web pages on the internet are served via systems backed by one of its distributions. The OS is also popularly used in desktops, mobile, consoles, eBook readers, and much more. There are many reasons for Linux being generally faster than windows. 

Let's discuss each domain in detail as follows;

1.Open Source Nature- What is it like when you buy a house, but you cannot see what it's made up of? Similar is the case when you use a Windows operating system. However, in contrast, Linux is completely an open-source project. You can have a look at the source code of a Linux OS, which is a plus.  

2. Beginner friendly and easy to use- This might be a tough comparison to make, as it may vary from person to person. Windows OS is one of the simplest desktop OS available today. Its graphical user-friendliness is exceptional and thus due to the market dominance Windows has, it comes pre-installed on many devices. If you are purchasing a new device, there is a high chance that it will come with a Windows OS version installed. However, Linux has revamped its usability standing over the years through constant modernization. With the release of distributions such as Linux Mint, the installation, and setup process has been made simpler. Through continuous updates, people with little or no technical knowledge can also install software and perform normal activities such as email, play music and videos, and browse the internet.

3.Can revive older computers- As the operating systems evolve, so do their hardware requirements increase exponentially. For instance, if you purchase a genuine copy of Windows 10, you will have to meet the minimum hardware requirements to run it successfully, and you cannot run it on just about any low-end system. Nevertheless, you could even utilize one of your oldest computer systems to achieve a task with Linux. However, that does not mean that every Linux distribution would work with very little RAM coupled with an outdated processor. However, there are options that you can install on such low-end systems as well (such as Puppy Linux). So, being an efficient OS, Linux distributions could be fitted to a range of systems (low-end or high-end). In contrast, Windows operating systems have a higher hardware requirement., 

4.Perfect for Programmers- Linux supports almost all of the major programming languages (Python, C/C++, Java, Perl, Ruby, etc.). Moreover, the Linux terminal is superior to use over Windows command line for developers. You would find many libraries developed natively for Linux. Also, a lot of programmers point out that the package manager on Linux helps them get things done easily. Interestingly, the ability of bash scripting is also one of the most compelling reasons why programmers prefer using Linux OS.

5.Software Updates- In the Linux OS, the user has full control over when and what to install updates. Moreover, without the reboot, the update process is even quicker. Microsoft Windows, however, is infamous for its random updates which pop up at inconvenient times. For novice users who do not know much about update settings, there is no option but to lay back and leave the computer alone while it downloads and installs the updates before a restart is required.

6.Variety of Distributions- As Linux is open-source and can be easily modified, there are a lot of distributions available which are highly customizable, based upon the needs of the user. If you have knowledge of code, you can even alter the code yourself and modify the OS. In the Windows OS, customization is not easy and only a few user customizations are available.

7.Free to Use Linux is accessible to the public for free- However, that is not the case with Windows. Microsoft Windows OS comes with the Microsoft License, which does not give users access to the source code. Thus, no modification can be performed at the standard user level. The Microsoft License ranges from 70$ to 200$ for its standard versions, and can only be installed on the ‘n’ number of computers as specified in your purchase.

8.Better Community Support- You do not need to hire an expert to solve a problem you are facing on your Linux system. You just need to search for a similar thread on the web for a solution or post a thread to let others solve the problem. Within minutes of posting a thread on any of the Linux forms, you may expect a reply along with a detailed solution that would finally help resolve your problem at no cost. On the contrary, Microsoft has a lot of documentation, but when you get stuck, you may need to search their forums, and other people may have asked a question that has no good answers. Unlike Microsoft support, which is likely coming from an employee, Linux support generally comes from enthusiasts. These people genuinely enjoy working with their operating system and probably do so professionally.

9.Reliability- Even though Microsoft has made improvements in its reliability quotient over the years, it is still not at par with Linux. It has let go of many features for the sake of user-friendliness and ease of access, which may lead to system instability and security vulnerabilities, thus making Windows not very reliable in comparison to Linux. Whereas, If you are using Linux, since its initial release, Linux set a strong focus on system security, process management, and uptime and you will not have to worry about re-installing.It is just to experience a faster and smoother system. Linux helps your system run smoothly for a longer period.

10.Privacy - Over the past few years, Windows has become increasingly advertisement driven. For instance, the voice control system Cortona learns the way you talk and gets better as it goes along by sending usage data to Microsoft. Microsoft uses this data to improve the way Cortana works. Cortana then sends targeted advertisements. In contrast, Linux would be the perfect solution for a privacy buff. First of all, Linux distributions do not collect much data. Moreover, you will not be needing additional tools to protect your privacy.

So, which one do you think is the best operating system? Still, I’ll say, no OS is better than the other. However, both are unique and serve their best to specific user requirements and market needs. Both the OS have different marketing targets. Linux is employed by many corporate organizations as servers and OS for security purposes while Windows is mostly employed by business users and gamers. Hence, if you are looking to change your Operating System from Linux to Windows or the other way around, we hope this article has provided you valuable insights into the pros and cons of the two systems. Do mention in the comments below about your views regarding which system is better.

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