Should you use Linux or Windows? Depending on your own personal needs, each operating system could have its benefits. In the old days, Linux was used primarily by IT professionals and serious hobbyists, while Windows was seen as an easy access platform for casual users. Today, both Linux and Windows not only perform very well on all fronts, but they can also emulate each other, making it easier than ever to get a full experience on any platform.
Advantages of Linux
Linux is very unlikely to get a virus. In fact, there are only a handful of known Linux viruses even today. Linux is easy to customize, which means that any user can tailor the Linux operating system to their own needs. A decade ago, Linux was primarily a command-line interface. Today, Linux has a GUI that can easily match Windows and Apple computers. Of course, there are also a lot of different distributions of Linux, and each of them will operate a little differently.
Linux is a fairly obscure product and it’s often the operating system of choice on devices. Mobile devices, smart devices; anything that has small circuitry will likely use Linux because it is lightweight and easily customized. That means that those who are interested in this type of technology will practically need to be knowledgeable about Linux. But the variants of Linux used on a device like the Raspberry Pi are going to be very different from those on a laptop or a desktop computer; the skills don’t necessarily translate. Many feel more comfortable on the Linux platform because of its easy customizability and resource management.
Advantages of Windows
More items of common software supports Windows, even though Linux has a wealth of general purpose open source products available. Specifically, video games can generally be played on Windows but not on Linux, unless a Windows emulator is used through Linux. Windows is used as a serious programming and development platform today, and is considered to be the industry standard in many fields. Though Windows may not offer full control over the system the way that Linux does, it also makes many tasks easier to perform. Windows is particularly useful for programming in other Microsoft environments, such as .NET.
Windows has branched out to tablets and mobile devices, so not all mobile devices will be running on Linux. Programmers that have a solid knowledge of Windows programming will still be able to produce apps that can be used on such devices. Overall, most offices will contain a majority of Windows computers, so those who are skilled at using Windows computers will likely find their skills in use more often.
It’s worth it to note that the Linux market share is currently only 2.02% and has been steadily decreasing. Linux is most definitely a niche product today. Where it excels, it truly excels. For general purpose work (even programming), Windows systems tend to be more versatile and easier to use. Of course, this also means that Linux specialists are in demand for companies that do use Linux. If you’re a Linux or Windows specialist looking for new challenges, consult the job listings at Software Specialists today.