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In a contest of Linux vs Windows, who would win? What are the differences between Linux hosting and Windows hosting and is one option better than the other?

Both Linux and Windows differ in compatibility and functionality.  The main difference between them lies in the technologies each are compatible with, namely:

  • Linux hosting is compatible with PHP and MySQL, which supports scripts such as WordPress, Zen Cart, and phpBB.
  • Windows hosting uses Windows as the servers’ operating system and offers Windows-specific technologies such as ASP, .NET, Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL server (MSSQL).

Jack Wallen of Tech Republic wrote “there are basic differences between Linux and Windows that will always set them apart. This is not, in the least, to say one is better than the other. It’s just to say that they are fundamentally different.”

When choosing between Linux hosting and Windows hosting, your operating system would go a long way in determining which option you choose.  It also depends on which kind of technologies you require for the website.  For example, starting a blog with WordPress, or setting up an online forum using phpBB, would simply require the use of Linux.  However, let’s say a website needs specific Microsoft technologies such as MSSQL, then Windows hosting would be your best bet.

Wallen discusses the top fundamental differences that all techies experience between Linux and Windows:

  • Linux offers more freedom in terms of access to code.  Linux belongs to the GNU Public-License which ensures that users have access to see and change the code.
  • The above means that Devs can modify the software on Linux.  This is not possible with Windows.
  • Windows has support second to none, directly from Microsoft, whereas with Linux you depend solely on peer support

Looking at Devs and Web Dev’s in particular, most will say they prefer Linux simply because of the variety of features offered in terms of design compared to Windows.  Linux also tends to be more popular because of it’s better affordablity and flexibility. If you need specific Windows applications however, then Windows hosting is the best option.

Read Jack Wallen’s full comparison piece on the difference between Linux and Windows here.

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