Linux Versus Windows: Advantages and Disadvantages

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One of the most popular areas of contention among computer users has always been what operating system was preferred. There have been countless advertising campaigns touting one over the other. One of the most recent would be the ad that featured one person exclaiming, “Hi, I’m a Mac” and another “Hi, I’m a PC” with intention to promote Apple over Microsoft. While Apple and Microsoft have been squaring off for many years there has been another contender rising through the ranks, Linux and its many distributions.
Just as with all products of the same nature there are differences that can been seen as advantages and disadvantages. This is quite prevalent when comparing computer operating systems. Just because Microsoft Windows has the distinction of being the operating system with the largest market share doesn’t mean it is superior in terms of advantages compared to the various Linux distributions but it also doesn’t mean it has the same disadvantages either. To begin comparing Windows and Linux one of the first areas of contrast would be the price of owning the operating system. While Windows can cost up to $150 the majority of Linux variants are available for free. This difference is also seen in the price of software as well. Many of the programs available on Linux are free and include suites similar to that of Microsoft Office which itself can run hundreds of dollars. However, while the cost of software for Linux can been seen as an advantage, the fact that the variety of software available is much smaller than that of Windows is more of a disadvantage. Just as it has on the software side, Windows has a much larger amount of hardware compatible with it than Linux does. The simple fact is that due to Windows holding the largest market share almost all hardware manufacturers are going to make their products for Windows. There are advantages and disadvantages in the use of each operating system as well. Once again, because Windows is the most popular operating system most users have more experience with it from using it at work, school, or at home. That can give Windows the advantage in ease of use but many Linux distributions play off the same familiarity of Windows and can be just as easily used. In the area of reliability it would be believed that due to the much larger distribution of Windows it would offer greater reliability.

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