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The Fundamental Differences Between Linux and Windows

written by: rfreshour•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/21/2008

New PC users looking for a perfect fit will have to choose between the Windows and Linux operating systems. Which one is more user friendly? Which one is the least expensive? Which is the most secure. Find the answers here.

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    The Fundamental Differences Between Linux and Windows

    The differences between Linux and Windows operating systems are many and some can be complex. Windows and Linux users are both dedicated to the operating systems that they use, but for new users, the decision between using Linux or Windows is one that has to be made.

    Both Windows and Linux are computer operating systems and both are designed to work on the same type of hardware (PCs or IBM compatibles). However, this is where the similarity between the two ends.

    One of the basic differences between Linux and Windows operating systems is that Linux is open source, meaning it is free under GNU. As a user, you get the Linux operating system for free (which is always a good thing) or at an inexpensive price, because it is carried by more than one distributor (Mandrake, Redhat, ect.). The Windows operating system is developed and licensed by Microsoft, making the cost manufacturers must pay to install it on their systems much more substantial, which in turn gets passed on to the user.

    Security wise, the Linux operating system is more secure than the Windows operating system. Chances of contracting a computer virus, computer worm or other predatory software is significantly lower with Linux than Windows because of the security flaws that Windows has. Because of this, Linux crashes and freezes less often than Windows. Linux can run without being rebooted for up to several years because of the better security. Another security plus for Linux is that it is more secure when compared to Windows by giving access rights whereas Windows has only password security. Also, because of the sheer volume of Windows users, Linux is less likely to experience security issues.

    When considering the pros and cons between Linux and Windows, a user must also look at the availability for multiple computers if they have use of and access to more than one computer. For home use, the Linux operating system is inexpensive or free. It can be used on as many computers as a user would like for no additional charge. Because the Windows Operating System is a licensed program, it can be used only on the computer for which it was purchased.

    To continue looking at the differences between the Windows and Linux operating systems, please refer to the second article of this series that will cover the programming and printing differences in the systems.

The Fundamental Differences Between Linux and Windows

This two part series will show you the fundamental difference between the Linux and Windows Operating Systems, including which is the best choice for printing, programming abilities, cost and security issues that each may experience.
  1. The Fundamental Differences Between Linux and Windows
  2. The Fundamental Differences Between Linux and Windows (Part Two)