There has been a huge debate in the world of web hosting on which would be a better operating system for a server. The debate is predominantly on how websites functions using Linux and Windows and how well the website ends up functioning. Both of these are critical parameters in case of a website and both of them need to be studied and analyzed before making a decision.
The most popular choice has, however, been Linux servers for a pretty long time. Linux hosting has been considered best for their stability and reliability. Windows hosting, on the other hand, is quickly gaining popularity in the same space and has come a long way in terms of making progress in the web hosting space. We need to agree that both of these operating systems have their own advantages and disadvantages. When you are deciding to choose one, it would be best if you choose based on what exactly you need and expect from an operating system in terms of performance.
Linux is an open source operating system and hence is available at a cheaper cost when compared to a Windows operating system. Being an open source system, Linux is freely available to the public. This is one of the reasons why Linux is a more popular option. Web development applications like MySQL, PHP, etc. function pretty well on a Linux machine. This is another factor why many tend to choose Linux for their operating system.
On the other hand, Windows hosting is not as cheap as Linux hosting. This is because Windows operating system is more of a proprietary system. Though it is proprietary, it does allow you to run most types of applications on its server.
By far, the biggest difference between the two operating systems is the need of the user. If you have decided to create a more traditional site which has things like text, graphics, pictures, etc. you might as well choose the Linux system. However if your website will use ASP language for interactive features, Windows would be the option.
When we talk about web hosting, we should also consider the security factor. The Linux operating system does have security issues since Linux’s source code is public. Windows is considered to be less secure when compared to Linux due to the huge number of users associated with it. The next factor to consider is stability. In case of stability, Linux is believed to be better than Windows. The reason for this is Linux allows the operations of multiple programs at the same time. The performance of Windows tends to take a beating when it tries to run multiple programs in one go. There is a degree of debate on this point as well. Experts believe that running multiple programs at one time depends more on the expertise of a system administrator controlling the activity.
The biggest plus that Windows has over Linux is its ability to support Microsoft features like Front Page, ASP and Streaming Media. These also run on Linux platform; however they might not be as effective as the way it runs on a Windows platform.