An Easy Comparison
Both Linux and Windows operating systems have their own set of unique offerings and user base. So, it mainly depends on the technical knowledge and usage needs of the user to decide which operating system fits well. In this course module, we will try to discuss the key differences between Linux vs. Windows in the easiest way possible so that you can have a better understanding of both operating systems. So, let’s get started! A PACS administrator must be able to discern the difference between a Linux and Windows operating system.
Windows – A Brief Overview
Windows is an operating system built by Microsoft for commercial users, businesses, and individuals who have no knowledge of computer programming and want an easy-to-use system. Just to be clear, an operating system is a software solution that manages the system’s (computer) hardware and other resources, such as CPU, storage, memory, etc.
The first version of Windows, namely Windows 1.0, was released in 1985 and since then Microsoft has released many versions of Windows. Today, most computers are either running Windows 10 or Windows 11. Windows comes with an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy for users to use Windows for accessing files, doing business-related works, and using the ocean of software compatible with Windows.
Linux – A Brief Overview
Created in 1991, Linux is a free, open-source, and community-developed operating system based on UNIX. All Linux-based OS includes Linux Kernel (manages hardware resources) and a bunch of software packages that completes the OS. Linux also comes with a graphical user interface (GUI) and is highly configurable, thereby empowering users to customize the Linux as they like.
Over years, Linux has evolved as one of the most trustworthy computer ecosystems, and that’s the reason it is found everywhere from home desktops, supercomputers, and enterprise servers, to cars, home appliances, smartphones, and many more.
Differences Between Linux vs. Windows
Although both Linux and Windows serve as operating systems, they are a lot different from each other. Here’s a look at some of their main differences:
More than 90% of the world’s PCs run Windows, while hardly 1% of PCs run Linux. Windows is designed to be the OS everyone can use, while Linux is meant more for serious jobs, such as enterprise servers, automotive industry, home networking devices, etc. In fact, Android is also based on a modified version of Linux.
- Source Code Access
Windows is a licensed OS, so its source code is not accessible to users. On the other hand, Linux is an open-source OS, which means that its source code is available to users for modification.
Windows is the most popular OS in the world, so it is the main target of attackers. That’s why Windows can easily become a victim of viruses, malware, and similar other threats. Linux is more secure and community-driven, so it is not an easy job for attackers to break through it.
Windows is compatible with almost any software users want to install, whether the latest or outdated one. However, Linux is struggling at this point because not much everyday software is compatible with it.
- Ease of Use
Windows offers a user-friendly interface that everyone technical and non-technical users can use and get the job done easily. Due to market supremacy, Windows has managed to refine its user experience a lot over the decades. Linux user base is mostly tech users, so it does not provide that much user-friendly interface that Windows has to offer.
Windows sends frequent security updates, while major OS feature updates usually come twice a year. However, the updates can pop up suddenly even when you are working, asking you to reboot the PC. On the other hand, Linux gives more control to users when it comes to installing updates and even does not require a time-consuming reboot.
From the above discussion, it is not easy to decide whether Windows or Linux is an ideal OS for all purposes. Overall, Windows gives the best user experience owing to its user-friendly interface, rich features, and software compatibility. However, when there is more tech-oriented use, then the open-source nature of Linux makes it a perfect choice.