Linux vs. Windows

Users who are considering making a change from Windows to Linux or Linux to Windows commonly want to know the advantages and disadvantages of each of the operating systems. Below is a chart to help illustrate the major advantages and disadvantages of each of these operating systems.

Topic Linux Windows
Price The majority of Linux variants are available for free or at a much lower price than Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Windows can run between $50.00 - $150.00 US dollars per each license copy.
Ease Although the majority Linux variants have improved dramatically in ease of use, Windows is still much easier to use for most computer users because of the familiarity of Windows and because it's more likely they are using a Windows computer at home, in school, or at the office. Microsoft has made several advancements and changes that have made it a much easier to use operating system, and although arguably it may not be the easiest operating system, it is still Easier than Linux.
Reliability The majority of Linux variants and versions are notoriously reliable and can often run for months and years without needing to be rebooted. Although Microsoft Windows has made great improvements in reliability over the last few versions of Windows, it still cannot match the reliability of Linux.
Software Linux has a large variety of available software programs, utilities, and games. However, Windows has a much larger selection of available software. Because of the large amount of Microsoft Windows users, there is a much larger selection of available software programs, utilities, and games for Windows.
Software Cost Many of the available software programs, utilities, and games available on Linux are freeware or open source. Even such complex programs such as Gimp, OpenOffice, StarOffice, and wine are available for free or at a low cost. Although Windows does have software programs, utilities, and games for free, the majority of the programs will cost anywhere between $20.00 - $200.00+ US dollars per copy.
Hardware Although hardware manufacturers have made great advancements in supporting Linux it still will not support most hardware devices. However, for the hardware devices that have driver support they will usually work in all versions of Linux. Because of the amount of Microsoft Windows users and the broader driver support, Windows has a much larger support for hardware devices and almost all hardware manufacturers will support their products in Microsoft Windows.
Security Linux is and has always been a very secure operating system. Although it still can be attacked when compared to Windows, it much more secure. Although Microsoft has made great improvements over the years with security on their operating system, their operating system continues to be the most vulnerable to viruses and other attacks.
Open Source Many of the Linux variants and many Linux programs are open source and enable users to customize or modify the code however they want to. Microsoft Windows is not open source and the majority of Windows programs are not open source.
Support Although it may be more difficult to find users familiar with all Linux variants, there are vast amounts of available online documentation and help, available books, and support available for Linux. Microsoft Windows includes its own help section, has vast amount of available online documentation and help, as well as books on each of the versions of Windows.

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