When it comes to choosing a platform or operating system, the choice that most people will face is between Linux/UNIX and Windows.  Each has its advantages and disadvantages, its followers and its detractors.  In this article, we’ll list some of the main benefits of each platform, to help you make the choice that’s right for you.

Tips on how to choose between windows and linux hosting

1. Linux has a reputation for being more reliable than Windows.  However, the new generation of Windows platforms (NT4.0 onwards) are generally considered to be nearly as reliable as UNIX.  Reliability is probably only an issue if you’re a developer.  For the average user, there’s nothing to choose between the two systems.

2. Similarly, there is nothing to choose between Windows and Linux when it comes to performance.  Both perform hosting and operating functions to the same standard.

3. Professional web developers tend to prefer UNIX in terms of accessibility.  Again, for the average user, both systems are equally user friendly, with simple to use control panels and interfaces.

4. UNIX is open source, and therefore more flexible than Windows, which is a commercial, proprietary product.  UNIX can work across any number of operating systems, whereas Windows is pretty much confined to its own products.

5. UNIX also has a reputation for greater stability than Windows.  This might be a decisive factor if you’re a professional developer, or if your work requires a stable environment generally.

6. Linux is the gamer’s platform of choice, since it allows the game to run smoothly and reliably.  It can even be used to run games that have been created for Windows (although the reverse isn’t necessarily the case).  Many commercial games, such as Playstation 3, come with Linux ready installed.

7. Windows is a commercial product, and as such, it needs to take account of its customers’ opinions and requirements.  The support you get from Windows is generally considered to be better and faster.

8. Perhaps the final deciding factor is that of cost.  Linux is open source, and therefore free.  It’s always going to be cheaper than Windows, which, when all is said and done, is there to make money for Microsoft.
In the end, the difference between Linux and Windows is very small.  Unless you’re a heavy user or a professional, you’re unlikely to notice it.  Your choice may well come down to personal taste, rather than technical considerations.  Try both, and see which one feels right for you.

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