IT professionals have debated regarding the benefits of Windows vs. Linux for as long as the two operating systems have existed. Linux is an open source operating system that is mostly favored by professionals and developers, whereas Microsoft’s operating system is easily utilized by anyone. Both systems now have graphical interfaces and both of them have robust systems available for developers. But which is the best operating system really depends on an individual and their personal goals.
Linux Can Be More Easily Customized
Not only can you select a Linux distribution that is best for you (and there are literally thousands), but you can also customize this distribution however you desire. Linux is made to be a modular system that can be controlled by end users completely; you don’t need to add anything that you don’t want and if there’s functionality that you need, there’s likely a way to obtain it. Advanced developers are able to customize Linux on their own, by programming their own alterations into the source code. This is the advantage of open source.
Windows is Far More Popular than Linux
Where Windows shines is really in its popularity. Windows is used by over 90% of the end users on personal computers, which means that it is far better supported. Apart from niche applications, the vast majority of software solutions are designed with Windows in mind. But as cloud-based applications become more popular, this actually becomes less of a hurdle. As long as you have a browser in your operating system (which, naturally, Linux does), most cloud-based systems can be accessed with no loss in functionality.
Linux Is Completely Free
Linux is a free, open source system, so you can install it on as many computers and devices as you want without having to pay a licensing cost. For smaller organizations, start ups, and solo entrepreneurs, this can be a substantial benefit. It can also reduce costs when scaling upwards. In addition to Linux being free, many of the software solutions that are used on Linux are also free, because they are also distributed through open source licensing. Altogether, this can substantially reduce costs for a growing business.
It probably goes without saying: Windows is simply easier to use. Even a GUI-based Linux system is less intuitive than Windows and requires some work to get going. If you want to do anything advanced in Linux, you are going to have to have some knowledge and expertise; it isn’t a system that bothers holding its users hands. For casual use, Windows will win nearly every time.
So which is the best operating system? Linux is the best system for advanced professionals who want to modify and customize their operating system. Windows is the best system for professionals who want an easy to use system that can do just about anything, though they’ll need to pay for its use. Regardless, experts in both systems can find new IT and tech positions with the operating system of choice, through the job listings available at Software Specialists.