Linux vs. Windows
Linux is ready for prime time, but Windows is ready for all time.
Linux is much more stable than Windows. Linux is known to run for years without even a reboot, much less reinstallation. Windows, on the other hand, always degrades over time, even WITHOUT malware infections. The Blue Screen of Death (or the equivalent) becomes more and more frequent over time, and Windows becomes slower and slower. Eventually, Windows becomes unbootable and requires reinstallation.
Linux is much safer from viruses and other malware. One reason is the need for special authorization to change the system in Linux, which malware doesn't have. (This is where root comes in.) Another reason is the open source nature of Linux. Because the source code is public information, more people are available to work on Linux than is the case for proprietary operating systems like Windows. Because there are so many more developers of Linux, any bugs and security issues are resolved MUCH, MUCH sooner than is the case with Windows. As a Linux user, you can say good-bye to buying expensive, RAM-eating anti-malware software. More importantly, say good-bye to opportunities to unwittingly host a spam mail server or to let your credit card numbers and passwords fall into the wrong hands.
Installing software is more convenient AND safer in Linux. Each Linux distro has a centralized repository containing as many as tens of thousands of FREE software packages and a system that allows you to download AND install it automatically and safely. You don't even need to reboot to use the software. With Windows, you may have to go to a store or wait for it to arrive by mail/UPS/FedEx. Then you have to install it manually and then reboot. While there is freeware for Windows, you have to search the web for it, and some of those programs have malware, so you're taking a risk.
Linux never needs defragmenting. Linux also doesn't make your computer work overtime downloading and installing marathon patches and updates. If you have the attitude of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!", then Linux is for you.
Linux saves money in so many ways. Linux is free, but Windows is expensive. If you acquired Windows by purchasing a computer, you paid for Windows indirectly, as the vendor or manufacturer charged a higher price in order to cover the cost of production. Linux saves money not only on your operating system and software but on hardware as well. The latest version of any Linux distro will work on a 5-year-old computer, and some will even work on a 10-year-old computer. You do NOT need to replace your computer every 2 to 3 years as the computer industry wants you to. Then there are the hidden costs of the instability and insecurity of Windows. Of course, you can see why the computer industry wants you to use Windows.
Relying on Windows makes you dependent on Microsoft, a corporation with too much money and power. This allows Microsoft to decide for you when it's time for you to buy a new operating system, new software, and a new computer. What would you do if Microsoft decides to kill support for your Windows OS and triples the price of its current OS? What would you do if Microsoft disappeared? On the other hand, Linux doesn't lock you in as Microsoft does. Even if the individuals behind a particular open source project quit, the public source code allows new people to resume the project. If the people behind your favorite Linux distro make changes that you don't like, you are free to migrate to another distro. The process of migrating from one Linux distro to another is even easier than the process of migrating from Windows to Linux.
Linux is much more convenient to install. Many Linux distros can be installed on your computer in just a few minutes and INCLUDE a variety of useful software for word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing, email, multimedia, and more. On the other hand, it takes at least an hour to install Windows, which is very spartan out-of-the-box. Then you have to manually install drivers and software for your applications.
Better for the Environment
Linux allows you to keep your old computer running longer. This means less toxic electronic waste, which all too often ends up in the landfills of Third World countries with inferior, unenforced, or nonexistent environmental laws. Fewer purchases of new computers means less consumption of natural resources and less pollution generated in the manufacturing process.
|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 new computer users.||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 softwareprograms, 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 softwareprograms, 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||Linux companies and hardware manufacturers have made great advancements in hardware support for Linux and today Linux will support most hardware devices. However, many companies still do not offer drivers or support for their hardware in Linux.||Because of the amount of Microsoft Windows users and the broader driver support, Windows has a much larger support for hardware devices and a good majority of 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 wish 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.|