Windows vs Linux? Which One is the Best for You?

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By Samira A

Are you willing to change the existing operating system (OS) of your computer device or want to buy a new computer? If yes, you might be confused as to which OS among Windows and Linux will be more suitable for your personal use.

This article will discuss the major differences between Windows and Linux and help you decide which one makes a better choice as per your needs? Also, we’ll talk over some of the main characteristics of both Windows and Linux.

It is imperative to keep in mind that between Windows and Linux, there is nothing like the “best OS’. This is a highly relative term that has a lot to do with a user’s specific requirements. As we go ahead and discuss the pros and cons of both the operating systems, a fair review on certain aspects is what you can expect in this write-up.

So, let’s not waste any more time and get started with the comparison of the two most popular operating systems.

Windows Operating System

In 1985, Microsoft released the Windows operating system (OS) for the first time. Currently, the OS has an enormous user base that is spread all over the world. Also, Windows has undergone several major changes in terms of both its appearance and functionality since its first release.

Each operating system is available with its own distinctive graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI enables users to view their files and work on their systems. The majority of computer systems that we nowadays come across, run on the Windows OS. It is designed to operate on x86 hardware. It supports processors like Intel, AMD, etc. The most recent version is Windows 10. It was released in July 2015.

Linux Operating System

Linux is an OS with open-source architecture. It was brought into being by Linus Torvalds during the early years of the 1990s. Actually, Linux is based on UNIX. Linux allows users to modify its source code, as a result, it is possible to create several different Linux variations or distributions.

Some of the most popular Linux distributions include Ubuntu, Fedora, and Devian. Also, there are RedHat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) meant for distributing Linux commercially.

Over time, Linux has come forth as the most preferred choice to set up servers. This is the reason why web pages for the most part are catered by systems with support from any of its distributions. Linux has garnered tremendous popularity in being used as the most favoured OS in desktops, laptops, smartphones, and many more.

Key Differences Between Windows and Linux

1. Ease of use

Which one is more user-friendly? Well, it is genuinely a tough decision to arrive at. Depending on individual perceptions, the verdict differs from person to person. But, Linux has been constantly reconditioning its usability stature all through the past few years by means of continuous modernization. Linux Mint is a recently brought forward distribution that has simplified the installation as well as the setup process to a great degree.

By sharing information on updates continuously, it is easy for people with very little technical knowledge to carry out the installation of the software and do other things, for example, sending emails, browsing the web, playing music and videos, and many more.

On the contrary, because of the market predominance Windows has achieved to date, most of the devices are available pre-installed with Windows by default. So, in case you are buying a computer device, odds are high that it will come with an already installed Windows OS version.

Due to the overarching sway and supremacy of Windows, the majority of users have accustomed themselves to its interface by now. Also, Windows is well-known for making it easier for users to install programs and use them without any issues. These aspects make Windows a very favourable choice among users in general.

2. Speed

As far as speed is concerned, Linux makes a clean sweep over Windows without much effort. Unlike Windows, Linux has the propensity to keep “hogging” at a minimum, especially in the matter of using multiple processes.

Linux has an integral file system known as Ext4. It does an admirable job in retaining the efficiency of the device on which Linux is installed. Linux does not any longer resort to defragmentation.

It has been observed quite often that even if you use the Windows OS quite sensibly and minimally, your device can get slowed down to insufferable levels. However, you can stay away from experiencing such troubles if you abide by a strict usage plan. Window OS also suffers from recurrent incidents of memory and hard disk hogging when several processes run simultaneously.

3. Security

In terms of security also, by and large, Linux is found to be having better security than Windows. Although cyber-attack vectors are also traced in Linux, still, owing to its intrinsic open-source technology, it is feasible for anyone to analyze its levels of susceptibility to such hazards. This helps in identifying the potential risk in an easier and faster manner. Naturally, resolving issues too can happen post-haste.

On the other hand, Windows has adopted extensive efforts to constantly and consistently improve its security framework over the years. Despite that, Windows has been targeted by malicious hackers on numerous occasions. Because of its vast user base, the tendency of Windows to receive new threats every now and then is pretty high.

4. Privacy

It has been observed that in the course of the past couple of years, Windows has been focusing too much on advertisements. Albeit, users can always opt-out from receiving ads, yet Microsoft is constantly setting its sights on promotional and advertisements. Furthermore, Windows has full cognizance of the activities of its users.

Windows can perform in-depth behavioural analysis and synchronization with the help of the Cortana and OneDrive tools respectively. These tools extend added assistance. Even though a number of people are smitten with these tools that Windows offers, yet they can be highly intrusive as well.

5. Run Level

The run level represents the state of init; the initial process that sets off during the booting of your computer device. It also gives an indication of the services that are currently running.

A run level is identified with the use of numbers. Even though Linux can put a halt to its functioning at various run levels, Windows does a reboot only when the run level clocks 3. It will then need the intervention of an administrator to rectify the problem being encountered.

6. Variety

Since Linux has open-source architecture, it calls for effortless modifications. Linux comes up with many available distributions that can be customized to a great extent conditional on individual user needs. If you are aware of coding techniques, you can alter the code of the OS to accommodate customizable options.

Conversely, Windows is mostly inflexible when it comes to customization. Windows OS allows not many customizable features.

7. Command Line Usage

Linux has a very easy-to-use command-line known as terminal. It is extremely powerful and extensively used to administer the system and perform day-to-day tasks. In Windows, the “cmd” command is used to invoke a command-line prompt. The command executes basic operations.

8. Reliability

Since the time of its first release, Linux has always put absolute emphasis on process management, system security, and uptime. Throughout the years, Linux continued maintaining the focus in a thorough-going manner. So, it can be considered highly secure and reliable.

In the past few years, Microsoft too has successfully achieved significant improvements in the reliability standard it offers. Despite that Windows is not placed on an equal footing with Linux.

Windows also had to lose its grip on a number of features to ensure user-friendliness as well as easy accessibility. This might have resulted in making the system unstable and less secure, thereby putting it more at risk of vulnerabilities. So, in contrast to Linux, Windows does not have decent reliability.

9. System Updates

Linux allows users to gain full control of software and system updates and also lets users decide what software updates need to be installed. Plus, without the customary reboot, fast software updates can be done.

However, Windows is notorious as far as random updates are concerned. All of a sudden you may find a software update popping up. Also, many beginners are not aware of the update settings. So, they are left with no choice but to stand by and do nothing as the computer gets occupied in downloading and installing the software update. Besides, a restart is compulsory once the update is over to put it into effect.

10. Support

Linux has been able to garner a massive user base over the years. Furthermore, it has a massive online community that provides extensive support to Linux users via forums, support websites, and question boards.

It is possible to access Windows support through online integrated support systems, forums, and dedicated websites. Additionally, there are plenty of books and videos available in the online market that give sufficient information on how to get support. These resources cater to people from all age groups and have different levels of expertise.

11. Price and Licensing

Linux comes free of cost. Also, its libraries and utilities are not chargeable. Because of the open-source, Linux supports free modification and use. Linux offers paid distributions that can be availed of from the online market at very reasonable prices.

Linux is accredited with the General Public License (GPL) that lets users carry out changes in several systems, make them suitable for reuse, and even sell them in the garb of their customized versions.

Windows is available with a proprietary Microsoft License. The license prevents users from accessing the source code of Windows. Moreover, it does not allow any changes to be executed at a normal user level.

The price of a standard version Windows Microsoft License varies anything between 70$ and 200$. At the same time, the installation of the license is permissible on only a certain “N” number of devices that will be specified at the time of its purchase.

12. Gaming

When it comes to gaming, Windows wins the race without a hitch. Epic, Steam, are some clients that Windows users have the right of entry. These clients empower the users to get the scope of playing AAA titles besides other relatively little-known indie games.

On the other hand, Linux is gradually and steadily making its foray into gaming. Of late, it has introduced beta support for several games. However, there is still much to be done. On the chance you purchase a device installed with Linux, you will be losing the bet on a good number of games. Also, most graphic card manufacturers focus more on Windows and provide the requisite support because of its huge user base.


Hopefully, the article succeeded in getting a more objective look each of the systems carries. The comparison between Windows and Linux can be done on too many criteria. The article has covered only the major ones. The fact of the matter is both Windows and Linux are used in equal measure depending on individual preferences.

So, which one do you prefer? Windows or Linux? Leave your comments or arguments below.

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