Comparison of the Microsoft Windows and Linux operating system is a common topic of discussion among their users. Microsoft Windows is a series of Software Operating systems and Graphical user interfaces produced by Microsoft. Linux (commonly pronounced ˈlɪnəks An operating system (commonly abbreviated OS and O/S) is the software component of a Computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination Windows is the most prominent operating system released under a proprietary software license, whereas Linux is the most prominent operating system released under a free software license. Proprietary software is Computer software on which the producer has set restrictions on use private modification copying, or republishing. Linux (commonly pronounced ˈlɪnəks Free software or software libre is Software that can be used studied and modified without restriction and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified However, most Linux distribution sites also have proprietary components for their distribution available.  The two operating systems compete for user-base in the personal computer market as well as the server market, and are used in government offices, schools, business offices, homes, intranet and internet servers, supercomputers, and embedded systems. An embedded system is a special-purpose Computer system designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions often with Real-time computing constraints
Windows dominates in the desktop and personal computer markets with about 90% of the desktop market share, and in 2007 accounted for about 66% of all servers sold. Market dominance is a measure of the strength of a Brand, product, service, or firm, relative to competitive offerings A desktop computer is a Personal computer (PC in a form intended for regular use at a single location as opposed to a mobile Laptop or portable computer  In server revenue market share (2007Q4) Windows achieved 36. 3% and Linux achieved 12. 7%.  As of November 2007, Linux powered 85% of the world's most powerful supercomputers, compared to Windows' 1. A supercomputer is a Computer that is at the frontline of processing capacity particularly speed of calculation (at the time of its introduction 2% . In February 2008, Linux powered five of the ten most reliable internet hosting companies, compared to Windows' two. 
Linux and Windows differ in philosophy, cost, ease of use, versatility, and stability, with each seeking to improve in their perceived weak areas. Comparisons of the two tend to reflect the origins, historic user base and distribution model of each. Typically, some major areas of perceived weaknesses regularly cited have included the poor “out-of-box” usability of the Linux desktop for the mass-market and poor system stability for Windows. Both are areas of rapid development in both fields.
Proponents of free software argue that the key strength of Linux is that it respects what they consider to be the users' essential freedoms: the freedom to run it, to study and change it, and to redistribute copies with or without changes. The free software community is an informal term referring to the users and developers of Free software as well as supporters of the Free software movement.
Several factors can make it difficult to compare Windows and Linux.
In 2004, Microsoft launched a marketing campaign named "Get the Facts" to encourage users to switch from Linux to Windows Server System. There have been a number of studies related to Microsoft. They are always a source of great controversies since the studies are often funded by people or companies having a stake There have been a number of studies related to Microsoft. They are always a source of great controversies since the studies are often funded by people or companies having a stake Microsoft Servers (previously called Windows Server System) is a brand that encompasses a line of Microsoft server products  Microsoft claims that its products have an overall lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than open source programs because of their ease of use, resulting in less work and lower staff wages. Total cost of ownership (TCO is a financial estimate designed to help consumers and enterprise managers assess direct and indirect costs 
However, Microsoft's figures are disputed by a variety of organisations, notably Novell and The Register. Novell Inc ( is a global Software Corporation based in the United States specializing in enterprise operating systems such as SUSE The Register (" El Reg " to its staff and readers is a British technology news and opinion website  Some websites suggest that some common inaccuracies in Microsoft's figures stem from including figures for the Unix and Solaris operating systems with figures for Linux. Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX, sometimes also written as Unix with Small caps) is a computer Solaris is a Unix -based Operating system introduced by Sun Microsystems in 1992 as the successor to SunOS. 
In 2004, The UK Advertising Standards Authority warned Microsoft that an advertisement using research that claimed “Linux was […] 10 times more expensive than Windows Server 2003”, was “misleading”, as the hardware chosen for the Linux server was needlessly expensive. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located 
|Estimated Desktop Usage Share||As of February 2008, 91. 58%||As of February 2008, 0. 65%||According to Market Share data from Net Applications|
|Pre-installation||Pre-installed by default on almost all new desktop PCs||Pre-installed by default on very few new desktop PCs. A personal computer ( PC) is any Computer whose original sales price size and capabilities make it useful for individuals and which is intended to be operated A personal computer ( PC) is any Computer whose original sales price size and capabilities make it useful for individuals and which is intended to be operated However, Ubuntu is now available on all System76 computers, some Dell computers, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on some Lenovo ThinkPads. Ubuntu Kubuntu Edubuntu Xubuntu Gobuntu --> Ubuntu System76 is a computer hardware manufacturer Their products are all prepackaged with Ubuntu. The multinational technology company Dell Inc develops manufactures sells and supports Personal computers and other computer-related products SUSE Linux distributions SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop ( SLED) formerly Novell Linux Desktop, is a desktop -oriented Operating system supplied Lenovo Group Limited (,) is China's largest and the world's fourth largest Personal computer manufacturer after Hewlett-Packard and Dell of the U ThinkPad is a brand of portable Laptop and Notebook Personal computers originally designed manufactured and sold by IBM.  Recently many more Linux-based low-end consumer laptops have been introduced. ||Microsoft's agreement with vendors to sell only the Windows operating system is being challenged in court by French consumer rights groups. This page is a comparison of various Subnotebooks in various categories |
|Window Managers/Desktop Environments||One available WM per release, parts of which may be modified; system file patching (uxtheme. In graphical computing a desktop environment ( DE) commonly refers to a style of Graphical user interface (GUI that is based on the Desktop metaphor which dll) or third party software such as WindowBlinds is required for some modification. WindowBlinds is a Computer program that allows users to skin the Windows Graphical user interface. WM is critically required to operate the system (graphics system failure will render the system unusable); remote control not part of original architecture. ||GNOME, KDE, Enlightenment, Xfce, Openbox, Fluxbox, etc. A gnome is a Mythical creature characterized by its extremely small size and subterranean lifestyle KDE ( K Desktop Environment) (ˌkeɪdiːˈiː is a Free software project which aims to be a powerful system for an easy-to-use Desktop environment. Enlightenment, also known simply as E, is a Free software / Open source Window manager for the X Window System which can be used alone Xfce ( ɛf siː iː is a Free software Desktop environment for Unix and other Unix-like platforms such as Linux, Solaris Openbox is a free Window manager for the X Window System, licensed under the GNU General Public License. In Unix computing Fluxbox is an X window manager based on Blackbox 0 Can be enhanced with Beryl or Compiz or the newer Compiz Fusion (merge of Compiz/Beryl forks). Beryl was a Compositing window manager for the X Window System which forked from Compiz in September 2006 and was re-merged in 2007 under the Compiz is one of the first Compositing window managers for the X Window System that uses 3D graphics hardware to create fast Compositing desktop Compiz Fusion is a collection of plugins and a configuration system for the Compiz Compositing window manager for the X Window System. WM not critical for system operation (reverts to command line operation in case of failure); remote control implicit in design and protocol. ||Different Window managers provide users with a uniquely different method of interacting with the computer, though sometimes at the cost of compatibility.|
|System consoles/Command line interface||The Command Prompt exists for power users. The system console, root console or simply console is the text entry and display device for system administration messages particularly those from the BIOS The command line can be used to recover the system if the graphics subsystem fails. A .NET-based command line environment called Windows PowerShell has been developed. Windows PowerShell is an extensible command-line shell and associated Scripting language from Microsoft Its functionality is similar to that provided in Unix-like operating systems. Cygwin provides a UNIX-like terminal for Windows. Cygwin (ˈsɪɡwɪn is a collection of tools originally developed by Cygnus Solutions to provide in Microsoft Windows a command line and programming interface familiar||Strongly integrated with system console. Many applications can be scripted through the shell, there are a lot of small and specialized utilities meant to work together and to integrate with other programs. The GNU Core Utilities or coreutils is a package of GNU Software containing many of the basic tools such as cat, Ls This is called the toolbox principle. The command line can be used to recover the system if the graphics subsystem fails. |
It is very difficult to properly gauge the number of Linux or Windows users as the former are mostly not required to register their copies; additionally, a large number of illegally copied Windows exist. The above desktop usage share data is estimated from web browser user agent strings, rather than sales information or surveys. A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display and interact with text images videos music games and other information typically located on a This is not entirely reliable because, among other things, web browsers do not always provide accurate information to web servers, and different sites attract different audiences that may be more prone to using one OS or another: such bias is very difficult to eliminate. (Of course, most servers are unlikely to be included in this measurement due to their traditional role as dedicated machines). More estimates are available at Usage share of desktop operating systems. This is a list of collections of statistics showing the usage share of the most popular desktop and notebook Operating systems The information is derived from web browser user agent
Both Windows and Linux include command line interpreters. In computing a shell is a piece of software that provides an interface for users A command line interpreter, typically displayed in a system console, allows users to tell the computer to perform tasks ranging from the simple (for example, copying a file) to the complex (compiling and installing new software). The system console, root console or simply console is the text entry and display device for system administration messages particularly those from the BIOS The term computer file management refers to the manipulation of Documents and Data in files on a Computer. Shells are powerful but can be confusing to new users. Some complex tasks are more easily accomplished through shells than through a GUI, such as piping, or scripting. In Unix-like computer Operating systems a pipeline is the original software pipeline: a set of processes chained by their Standard "Scripting" redirects here For other uses see Script.
|Ease of Install||On Windows Server 2003 and prior, the installation is divided into two stages; the first text-mode, the second graphical.  On Windows Vista and newer, the installation is single stage, and graphical. |
Some older versions require third party drivers (for example, by using driver floppies disks or slipstreaming the drivers and creating a new installation CD) if using a large number of SATA or SATA2 drives or RAID arrays. 
|Varies greatly by distribution. |
General purpose oriented distributions offer a live CD or GUI installer (SuSE,Debian,Pardus, Pclinuxos, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora etc. SUSE Linux (ˈsuːsə is a major Operating system. The developer rights are owned by Novell Inc Debian ( pronounced) is a computer Operating system composed entirely of Free and open source software. The Pardus Linux distribution is an Operating system developed in Turkey, as a product of the Pardus Project PCLinuxOS, often abbreviated as PCLOS, is a Desktop Operating system. Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is an Operating system created by Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft Ubuntu Kubuntu Edubuntu Xubuntu Gobuntu --> Ubuntu The Fedora Operating system is an RPM -based general purpose Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored ), others offer a menu-driven installer (, Vector Linux, Slackwaredebian) while others, targeting more specialized groups, require source to be copied and compiled (Gentoo). VectorLinux, abbreviated VL is a Linux Operating system for the X86 platform currently based on Slackware 12 Slackware is an Operating system created by Patrick Volkerding of Slackware Linux Inc Debian ( pronounced) is a computer Operating system composed entirely of Free and open source software. The Gentoo Linux Operating system (ˈdʒɛntuː is a Linux distribution based on the Portage Package management system. The system can also be built completely from scratch, directly from source code (Linux from Scratch). Linux From Scratch ( LFS) is the name of a book written by Gerard Beekmans and others
|Install time||Varies based on version installed, hardware configuration, and whether it's an update or clean installation. Typically ranges from about 20 minutes to about an hour.  Additional time may be required to install OS updates and drivers.||Ranges from 6 minutes to over an hour, depending on distribution. Is generally around 5-30 minutes for general-use distributions like Ubuntu. Additional time may be required to install OS updates and drivers. However, distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora and many others, once installed, already has most of the basic software (such as Office, GIMP) the user needs.||Please see footnotes for Ease of Install. |
"Installation time" can be measured differently depending on what actions are included: installing the base OS, additional drivers, OS updates, and/or applications.
|Drivers||Often drivers must be installed separately. In computing a device driver or software driver is a Computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a Hardware device If not included in install media they must be provided by manufacturer. Most common drivers are available in the Windows install or after a quick Internet update. The process of installing drivers is mostly automated.||Most free drivers available are included in most distributions or can be found in online archives. Some devices (e. g. graphics cards, wireless adapters) do not have free drivers available due to licensing issues, but proprietary drivers are available from manufacturers or special archives. Some devices allow using Windows drivers. For some devices no usable drivers are available. Most special-purpose drivers must be compiled by the user manually. Time has been invested in centralizing and automating some driver installation through a package manager.|
|Installation via Live Environments||May be installed through WinPE and BartPE. Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE is a lightweight version of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 or Windows Vista BartPE (Bart's Preinstalled Environment is a Live CD / Live USB version of the Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 32bit However, only the former is endorsed by Microsoft.||Almost all Linux distributions now have a live CD that may be used for install. A live CD or live distro is a computer Operating system that is executed upon boot, without installation to a Hard disk drive. |
|Pre-installed software||Some multimedia and home use software (IE, Media Player, Notepad, WordPad, Paint…) plus OEM bundled software. Windows Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer abbreviated MSIE) commonly abbreviated to IE, is a series of graphical Windows Media Player ( WMP) is a digital media player and media library application developed by Microsoft that is used for playing Notepad is a simple Text editor included with all versions of Microsoft Windows since Windows 1 WordPad is a simple proprietary Word processor that is included with almost all versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows 95 upwards Paint (formerly Paintbrush for Windows) is a simple graphics painting program that has been included with almost all versions of Microsoft Windows since An original equipment manufacturer, or OEM is typically a company that uses a component made by a second company in its own product or sells the product of the second company Windows Vista Includes IE7, Windows Mail, Windows Media Center, etc. Windows Mail is an e-mail and newsgroup client included in Windows Vista and later versions Windows Media Center is an application designed to serve as a home-entertainment hub. depending on which edition is purchased. It does not include Office suites or advanced multimedia software.||All main distributions contain numerous programs: multimedia, graphics, internet, office suites, games, system utilities and alternative desktop environments. Some distributions specialise in education, games, or security. Most distributions give users the choice of which bundled programs to install, if any.||Microsoft's methods of bundling software were deemed illegal in the case United States v. Microsoft. United States v Microsoft There were many civil actions taking place in May 18 1998 |
|Not pre-installed software||A large pool of both proprietary software (including shareware and freeware) and free software. Proprietary software is Computer software on which the producer has set restrictions on use private modification copying, or republishing. The term shareware, popularized by Bob Wallace, refers to Copyrighted commercial Software that is Distributed without payment on a trial Freeware is computer Software that is available for use at no cost or for an optional fee Free software or software libre is Software that can be used studied and modified without restriction and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified The programs usually come with the required libraries and are normally installed easily. Most programs must be individually installed. |
Deinstallation is equally easy, but components and registry entries can be left behind if a program has been equipped with an older uninstaller.
|A large pool of free software and some proprietary software. Ports of proprietary Windows software also exist. See also Software portability In Computer science, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created Using free Windows compatibility layers like Wine, a large number of Windows software can also be run on Linux. Wine is a free Software application which aims to allow Unix-like computer Operating systems on the X86 architecture to execute Distribution-included programs may be very easily installed in large batches with dependencies to shared libraries being taken care of. Packaging systems allow easy installation of common/supported programs. Other programs can be installed, but require users to be familiar with the UNIX shell.|
|Partitioning||Expanding NTFS partitions is possible without problems, and on Vista it is possible to shrink partitions as well. Dynamic Disks provide dynamic partitioning. The Logical Disk Manager is an implementation of a logical volume manager for Microsoft Windows NT, developed by Microsoft and Veritas Software Third party tools are available that have more features than the built-in partitioning tools.||Some filesystem support resizing partitions without losing data. LVM and EVMS provide dynamic partitioning. LVM is a logical volume manager for the Linux kernel: it manages disk drives and similar mass-storage devices in particular large ones Enterprise Volume Management System (EVMS is a flexible integrated volume management software used to manage storage systems under Linux. All Linux distributions have bundled partitioning software such as fdisk or gparted|
|Boot Loader||May boot to multiple operating systems through the Windows Boot Manager (Windows Vista and newer) / Microsoft boot loader (NTLDR, Windows Server 2003 and prior). fdisk (for "fixed disk" is a commonly used name for a Command-line utility that provides Disk partitioning functions in an Operating system. GParted (abbreviated as GPT) is a GTK+ GNU Parted frontend and the official GNOME Partition Editor application This refers to the boot components for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. NTLDR ( Abbreviation of NT Loader) is the boot loader for all releases of Microsoft 's Windows NT||May boot to multiple operating systems through GRUB or LILO. LILO redirects here for uses other than the boot loader see Lilo LILO ( LI nux LO ader is a generic Boot loader  Also has security features, like password protection, that are not found in the Windows boot loader.|
For a Windows and Linux dual-boot System, it is easiest to install Windows first and then Linux. Multi boot or Multi booting (usually dual booting, but many OSes can be booted from the same computer is the act of installing multiple Operating Numerous third-party boot managers are available for Windows. In Computing, booting ( booting up) is a bootstrapping process that starts Operating systems when the user turns on a Computer system
Linux distributions were said to be difficult for the average user to install.  Today, most distributions have simplified the installation and offer a “LiveDistro” system allowing users to boot fully functional Linux systems directly from a CD or DVD with the option of installing them on the hard drive. A live CD or live distro is a computer Operating system that is executed upon boot, without installation to a Hard disk drive.
The Windows install process, like most general-use Linux distributions, uses a wizard to guide users through the install process. A wizard is a User interface element where the user is presented with a sequence of dialog boxes.
A study released in 2003 by Relevantive AG indicates that “The usability of Linux as a desktop system was judged to be nearly equal to Windows XP”. 
|User Focus||Mostly consistent. Inconsistencies appear primarily through backports - software ported from newer operating systems to older ones. For example, software ported from Vista to XP, or from XP to Windows 2000/98, must follow the guidelines of the newer system (IE7 and Windows Media Player 11 are examples of this). Windows Media Player ( WMP) is a digital media player and media library application developed by Microsoft that is used for playing  However, Microsoft continually pushes for consistency between releases with guidelines for interface design. The latest are Windows Vista User Experience guidelines.  Their focus is on consistency and usability, but with increased concern for safety in new versions. 3rd party applications may or may not follow these guidelines, may have their own guidelines, or may not follow any rules for interface design.||The quality of graphical design varies between desktop environments and distributions. The two biggest desktop environments (GNOME and KDE) have clearly defined interface guidelines, which tend to be followed consistently and clearly. A gnome is a Mythical creature characterized by its extremely small size and subterranean lifestyle KDE ( K Desktop Environment) (ˌkeɪdiːˈiː is a Free software project which aims to be a powerful system for an easy-to-use Desktop environment.  These provide consistency and a high grade of customizability in order to adapt to the needs of the user. Distributions such as Ubuntu, SuSE, Fedora or Mandriva take this one step further, combining well-functioning usability and safety. Ubuntu Kubuntu Edubuntu Xubuntu Gobuntu --> Ubuntu SUSE Linux (ˈsuːsə is a major Operating system. The developer rights are owned by Novell Inc The Fedora Operating system is an RPM -based general purpose Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored Mandriva SA is a publicly traded (symbolMDKFF Linux and Open source Software company with its headquarters in Paris, France and However, inconsistencies may appear, since GNOME-based programs, following different guidelines, look somewhat different from KDE programs. KDE ( K Desktop Environment) (ˌkeɪdiːˈiː is a Free software project which aims to be a powerful system for an easy-to-use Desktop environment. However, these differences are now considered minor and may not even be noticed. There are other environments/window managers, usually targeting professionals or minimalist users, featuring some very powerful programs with rudimentary, minimalist graphical front-ends, focusing much more on performance, small size and safety. A window manager is Computer software that controls the placement and appearance of windows within a Windowing system in a Graphical user interface WindowMaker and the Fluxbox/Openbox/Blackbox environments are such examples. Window Maker is a Window manager for the X Window System, allowing graphical applications to be run on Unix-like operating-systems In Unix computing Fluxbox is an X window manager based on Blackbox 0 Openbox is a free Window manager for the X Window System, licensed under the GNU General Public License. In Unix computing Blackbox is a window manager for the X Window System. Some other environments fit between the two models, giving both power, eye candy and simplicity (Enlightenment/E17, Xfce). Enlightenment, also known simply as E, is a Free software / Open source Window manager for the X Window System which can be used alone Xfce ( ɛf siː iː is a Free software Desktop environment for Unix and other Unix-like platforms such as Linux, Solaris Some graphical environments are targeted to mouse users only (Fluxbox), others to keyboard users only (Ratpoison), others to either. In Unix computing ratpoison is a free minimalist Window manager for the X Window System primarily written by Shawn|
|Consistency between versions||User interaction with software is usually consistent between versions, releases, and editions.||Consistency can be poor between distributions, versions, window managers/desktop environments, and programs. Software is highly user-customizable, however, and the user may keep the customizations between versions.|
|Consistency between applications||All Microsoft software follows the same guidelines for GUI, although not all software developed for Windows by third parties follows these GUI guidelines. As stated above, backports tend to follow the guidelines from the newer operating system.||Highly consistent within KDE and GNOME. However the vast amount of additional software that comes with a distribution is sourced from elsewhere; it may not follow the same GUI guidelines or it may cause inconsistencies (e. g. different look and feel between programs built with different widget toolkits). A widget toolkit, widget library, or GUI toolkit is a set of widgets for use in designing applications with Graphical user interfaces (GUIs||Though Windows' GDI and most widget toolkits in Linux allow for applications to be created with a custom look and feel, most applications on both platforms simply use the default look and feel. The Graphics Device Interface (GDI is one of the three core components or "subsystems" together with the kernel and the Windows API for the user interface However, there are exceptions like FL Studio for Windows, and LMMS for Linux. FL Studio, formerly known as Fruity Loops, is a Digital audio workstation, developed by Belgian company Image-Line Software. Linux MultiMedia Studio, or LMMS, is a free (licensed under GPL) Linux -based alternative to popular programs such as FL Studio, Cubase|
|Customization||Source code may be purchased for modification in some circumstances (restrictive), or third party tools may create modifications.||All of the kernel source code is freely available for modification. Most other software is free software, too.|
|Accessibility||Both Windows and Linux offer accessibility options, such as high contrast displays and larger text/icon size, text to speech and magnifiers. Contrast is the difference in visual properties that makes an object (or its representation in an image distinguishable from other objects and the background Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech.|
|General stability||Windows variants based on the NT kernel (Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista) are technically much more stable than earlier versions (95, 98, 98 SE, ME). In Computer science, the kernel is the central component of most computer Operating systems (OS Installing unsigned or beta drivers can lead to decreased system stability. Mechanisms to terminate badly behaving applications exist at multiple levels.||The kernel inherits the stability of UNIX due to its modular architecture (acknowledged to be stable). Linux terminal emulators and frontend “Window Managers” stabilities vary widely, but are generally stable. Mechanisms to terminate badly behaving applications exist at multiple levels. Because Linux can use a text based system if the graphics system fails, the graphics system can be easily restarted following a crash without a whole system reboot.||Instability can be caused by poorly written programs, aside from intrinsic OS stability. Software crashes, however, can usually be recovered without restarting the entire operating system, and losing data from other applications.|
|Device Driver stability||Device drivers are provided by Microsoft or written by the hardware manufacturer. Microsoft also runs a Certification program.||Device drivers are sometimes reverse engineered to work for Linux. Reverse engineering (RE is the process of discovering the technological principles of a device object or system through analysis of its structure function and operation Some vendors contribute to free drivers (Intel, HP etc. ) or provide proprietary drivers (Nvidia, ATI etc. The multinational NVIDIA Corporation ( (ɪnˈvɪdiə specializes in the manufacture of graphics-processor technologies for Workstations ). Specifically designed server lines exist. Some Windows drivers can also be used (mostly wireless drivers using the ndiswrapper framework). NDISwrapper is a Free software Driver wrapper that enables the use of Microsoft Windows drivers for wireless network devices (cards USB modems||Crashes can be caused by hardware problems or poorly written device drivers.|
|Downtime||Reboots are usually required after system and driver updates, and are occasionally needed for software installations if the installer wishes to overwrite a file that is being used by critical running program. Downtime or outage refers to a period of time or a percentage of a timespan that a System is unavailable or Offline. Microsoft has its hotpatching technology, designed to reduce downtimes.||Linux itself only needs to restart for kernel updates.  However, a special utility can be used to load the new kernel and execute it without a hardware reset (kexec) and hence can stay up for years without rebooting.|
|Recovery||In modern, NT-based versions of Windows, programs that crash may be forcibly ended through the task manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC or CTRL+ALT+DEL or through the command line in professional SKUs. Windows NT is a family of Operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993 Reboots were often required in pre-NT versions (Windows 9x). Windows 9x is the family of Microsoft Windows Operating systems that comprises the hybrid 16/32-bit Windows versions Windows 95, Windows 98||All processes except for init and processes in D or Z state may be terminated from the command line. In KDE applications can be closed using CTRL+ALT+ESC or by KSystemGuard by pressing CTRL+ESC. SysRQ allows low-level system manipulation and crash recovery if configured. The magic SysRq key is a key combination in the Linux kernel which if the CONFIG_MAGIC_SYSRQ option was enabled at kernel compile time allows the user to perform various low The entire graphical subsystem can be halted with CTRL+ALT+Backspace without the need for a whole system shutdown. Reboots are seldom required. |
Additionally, Live CDs of Linux, if equipped with the correct tools, can work to repair a broken OS as long as it can mount the hard drive. 
|Unrecoverable errors||If the kernel or a driver running in kernel mode encounters an error under circumstances whereby Windows cannot continue to operate safely, a "bug check" (colloquially known as a "stop error" or "Blue Screen of Death") is thrown. A bug check (also known as a system crash, stop error, or kernel error) is when the Windows operating system halts the moment it reaches a condition The Blue Screen of Death (also known as a stop error, BSoD, bluescreen, or Blue Screen of Doom) is an Error screen displayed A memory dump is created and, depending on the configuration, the computer may then automatically restart. A core dump is the recorded state of the working memory of a Computer program at a specific time generally when the program has terminated abnormally ( crashed Additionally, automatic restart can be applied to services.||The Unix equivalent of the Windows blue screen is known as a kernel panic. A kernel panic is an action taken by an Operating system upon detecting an internal Fatal error from which it cannot safely recover the term is largely specific The kernel routines that handle panics are usually designed to output an error message to the console, create a memory dump, and then either wait for the system to be restarted or restart automatically.|
For an operating system to be subjectively “stable”, numerous components must operate synchronously. Not all of these components are under the control of OS vendor; while Linux and Windows kernels may be stable, poorly written applications and drivers can hamstring both. Much of stability, then, is the extent to which the operating system is structured to thwart the consequences of bad behavior by third party installations.
Much of the reputation Windows has for instability can be traced to Windows 95, 98, and ME, which were notorious for displaying the blue screen of death (BSOD) upon crashing. The Blue Screen of Death (also known as a stop error, BSoD, bluescreen, or Blue Screen of Doom) is an Error screen displayed Three weaknesses with these particular Windows versions increased the likelihood such a crash would occur:
These are not the exclusive causes of instability, but their correction in the Windows NT codebase has dramatically improved the stability of all subsequent Windows variants: Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003 and Vista.
|Process Scheduling||NT-based versions of Windows use a CPU scheduler based on a multilevel feedback queue, with 32 priority levels defined. In Computer science, a multilevel feedback queue is a Scheduling algorithm The kernel may change the priority level of a thread depending on its I/O and CPU usage and whether it is interactive (i. e. accepts and responds to input from humans), raising the priority of interactive and I/O bounded processes and lowering that of CPU bound processes, to increase the responsiveness of interactive applications. |
The scheduler was modified in Windows Vista to use the cycle counter register of modern processors to keep track of exactly how many CPU cycles a thread has executed, rather than just using an interval-timer interrupt routine. Windows Vista (ˈvɪstə is a line of Operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on Personal computers including home and business desktops 
|Linux kernel 2. 6 once used a scheduling algorithm favoring interactive processes. Here "interactive" is defined as a process has short bursts of CPU usage rather than long ones. It is said that a process without root privilege can take advantage of this to monopolize the CPU, when the CPU time accounting precision is low. However, the new CFS, the completely fair scheduler, addresses this problem.|
|Memory Management/ Disk Paging||Windows NT and its variants employ a dynamically allocated pagefile for memory management. In Computer Operating systems that have their Main memory divided into pages, paging (sometimes called swapping) is a transfer A pagefile is allocated on disk, for less frequently accessed objects in memory, leaving more RAM available to actively used objects. This scheme suffers from slow-downs due to disk fragmentation, which hampers the speed at which the objects can be brought back into memory when they are needed. Windows can be configured to place the pagefile on a separate partition; doing this negates the disk-fragmentation issues, but introduces an I/O slowdown due to the seek time involved in switching back and forth between the two partitions.  However, the main reason this is not done by default is that, if the pagefile is on a separate partition, then Windows cannot create a memory dump in the event of a Stop Error.  The ideal solution performance-wise is to have the pagefile on a separate hard drive to the primary one, which eliminates both defragmentation and I/O issues.||Most hard drive installations of Linux utilize a "swap partition", where the disk space allocated for paging is separate from general data, and is used strictly for paging operations. This reduces slowdown due to disk fragmentation from general use. As with Windows, for best performance the swap partition should be placed on a separate hard drive to the primary one.|
|Community support||Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), and multitudes of user driven support forums are available at no charge. Additional support is available by 3rd party services.||Most support is provided by advanced users and developers over online forums, and other free community based venues. Professional support is available, but most commonly only utilized by large-scale businesses, and server dependent organizations.||There are many paid local Windows techs. Fewer for Linux. |
Most OEM's offer support along with their products, which include both hardware and software technical support.
|Phone support||By Microsoft or OEM.||Red Hat, Canonical, Novell and other major distributors have support available as well. Extensive help and assistance is available in online guides, and in the form of books.|
|Documentation||A Wealth of information is available free online, or in books, as well as on Microsoft's own support page.||Most documentation is available online, either in FAQ form or Wiki pages on developers websites. Some major distributions have books written by 3rd party authors, mainly for server admins, or application development.|
|Training||Many IT courses are written for participants to learn how to use and manage Windows systems and networks. Information technology ( IT) as defined by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA is "the study design development implementation support Most computer assistance experts have Windows training and qualifications.||Linux strongly dominates many computing university courses in programming and computer science. Linux diplomas and certificates, however, are rarely offered. Courses for certifications are provided only by some distributions, such as Red Hat and Ubuntu. In Computing, Red Hat Inc ( is a company dedicated to Free and open source software, and a major Linux distribution vendor Ubuntu Kubuntu Edubuntu Xubuntu Gobuntu --> Ubuntu|
|Third Party Documentation||As Windows has the majority of the market share, virtually all producers of software and hardware will give Windows specific instructions for the installation and operation of their programs and drivers.||Virtually all products ignore the Linux platform, giving no instructions to install or use software. Indeed, some Linux laptops have shipped with Windows documentation.|
|Emulation||Cygwin or Interix and its successor SUA may be used to compile programs dependent on Linux libraries, but neither can be used to run Linux binaries. An emulator duplicates (provides an emulation of the functions of one System using a different system so that the second system behaves like (and appears to Cygwin (ˈsɪɡwɪn is a collection of tools originally developed by Cygnus Solutions to provide in Microsoft Windows a command line and programming interface familiar Interix is the name of an optional full-featured POSIX and Unix environment subsystem for Microsoft 's Windows NT -based operating systems Whether full ABI compatibility for open-source software is actually needed, however, is debatable. In Computer software, an application binary interface ( ABI) describes the low-level interface between an application program and the Operating system||Cedega, CrossOver, and Wine can be used to run some Windows programs on Linux with varying degrees of reliability. Cedega (formerly known as WineX) is TransGaming Technologies ' proprietary fork of Wine (from when the license of Wine CrossOver (known before version 60 as CrossOver Office) is the collective name for three commercial and proprietary programs developed by CodeWeavers Wine is a free Software application which aims to allow Unix-like computer Operating systems on the X86 architecture to execute While these programs technically do not emulate Windows, and instead provide an alternate Windows API, the practical effect is the same.|
|Virtualization||VMware, VirtualBox, Virtual PC, Virtual Server, Hyper-V (only available on Windows Server 2008), Parallels, QEMU on new hardware||VMWare, VirtualBox, Xen, Parallels, Linux-VServer, QEMU, User-mode Linux, OpenVZ, Win4Lin, KVM||With virtualization you may run an operating system within another operating system. VMware Inc ( is a Software developer and a global leader in the Virtualization market VirtualBox is an X86 virtualization software package originally created by German software company innotek now developed by Sun Microsystems as part Microsoft Virtual PC is a Virtualization suite for Microsoft Windows Operating systems and an Emulation suite for Microsoft Hyper-V, codenamed Viridian, formerly known as Windows Server Virtualization, is a Hypervisor based Virtualization system for Windows Server 2008 is the most recent release of Microsoft Windows ' server line of Operating systems Released to manufacturing on 4 February Parallels Workstation is the first commercial software product released by Parallels Inc QEMU is a processor Emulator that relies on dynamic Binary translation to achieve a reasonable speed while being easy to port on new host CPU architectures VMware Inc ( is a Software developer and a global leader in the Virtualization market VirtualBox is an X86 virtualization software package originally created by German software company innotek now developed by Sun Microsystems as part Xen is a virtual machine monitor for IA-32, X86, X86-64, IA-64 and PowerPC 970 architectures Parallels Workstation is the first commercial software product released by Parallels Inc Linux-VServer is a Virtual private server implementation done by adding Operating system-level virtualization capabilities to the Linux kernel QEMU is a processor Emulator that relies on dynamic Binary translation to achieve a reasonable speed while being easy to port on new host CPU architectures User-mode Linux (UML allows multiple virtual Linux systems (known as guests to run as an application within a normal Linux system (known as the host OpenVZ is an Operating system-level virtualization technology based on the Linux kernel and operating system Win4Lin is a proprietary Software application for Linux which allows a user to run a copy of Microsoft Windows 95, 98,|
|Package management system|
Modern versions of Windows rely on the Windows Installer as their package manager. A package management system is a collection of tools to automate the process of installing upgrading configuring and removing software packages from a Computer The Windows Installer (previously known as Microsoft Installer, codename Darwin) is an engine for the installation maintenance and removal of software This registers what components are installed where on the user's system. The Windows package management system depends on software vendors following certain guidelines. However, many applications are still deployed with custom-written or old installers and some install systems didn't yet catch up using the Windows Installer, most popular and notably here NSIS. The Windows Installer (previously known as Microsoft Installer, codename Darwin) is an engine for the installation maintenance and removal of software Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS is a script-driven Windows installation system with minimal overhead backed by Nullsoft, the creators of Applications are typically installed into the Program Files directory by an executable file.
Most distributions have a package manager, often based upon RPM, APT, or Gentoo Ebuild metapackages (source). RPM Package Manager ( Red Hat Package Manager, abbreviated RPM) is a Package management system. The Advanced Packaging Tool, or APT, is a free user interface that works with core libraries to handle installing software on Linux The Gentoo Linux Operating system (ˈdʒɛntuː is a Linux distribution based on the Portage Package management system. An ebuild is a specialized Bash script format created by the Gentoo Linux project for use in its Portage software management system which automates Sometimes an installation can have a second package management system which is incompatible with the primary system. Numerous distribution-specific front-ends exist on top of the core formats allowing for GUI or command-line package installation e. g. aptitude, Synaptic, Portage, YaST and YUM. aptitude is a Front-end to the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT It displays a list of software packages and allows the user to interactively Portage is a Package management system used by Gentoo Linux. Gentoo is sometimes referred to as a " Meta-distribution " due to the flexibility The Yellow dog Updater Modified ( YUM) is an open source command line package management utility for RPM -compatible Linux Though rare, some distributions create their own formats e. g. Pardus PiSi or Pacman. The Pardus Linux distribution is an Operating system developed in Turkey, as a product of the Pardus Project Pacman is a software package manager, developed as part of the Arch Linux Linux distribution. Most package managers have a form of package signing usually based on PGP e. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP is a Computer program that provides Cryptographic Privacy and Authentication. g. OpenPGP for Debian packages. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP is a Computer program that provides Cryptographic Privacy and Authentication.
|PM simplifies the process of installing new software, updating it, and managing dependencies (See Dependency hell). Dependency hell is a colloquial term for the frustration of some software users who have installed software packages which have dependencies on specific versions In Linux distributions the type of package manager is pre-determined by what the distribution was originally derived from though more modern distributions can import other package formats.|
|Adding New Programs||Thousands of programs are available for download from many websites and for purchase on CD/DVD in retail shops. Care must be taken to avoid programs that include adware, viruses, and spyware. |
Programs must be downloaded (or purchased on CD/DVD) and installed individually.
|In additions to website downloads, thousands of programs are available from repositories maintained by each distribution and that are free of viruses. Access to the repositories is usually without cost. |
The package manager automatically handles download and installation of selected packages, and automatically upgrades or patches software when a newer version appears in the repository. For some distributions, however, it's normal not to update the applications released together with the distribution to new versions. In these cases, only security updates are provided. 
|Updates||Gentoo goes further and allows different versions of software and libraries to be installed in separate “SLOTS” so a system can have different versions of the same software installed. The Gentoo Linux Operating system (ˈdʒɛntuː is a Linux distribution based on the Portage Package management system. GoboLinux uses a radically different approach where "the filesystem is the package manager" which allows even different versions of a program to be run concurrently. GoboLinux is a free Operating system whose most salient feature is its reorganization of the Filesystem hierarchy |
|Cross-platform (software)||Some companies make versions of their products to work on both Windows and Linux.|
|Cross-platform (development)||Software written in cross-platform languages and frameworks is usually easily ported.|
|Cross-platform (hardware)||Windows client and server OS comes both in x86 and x64 editions. In computing cross-platform (also known as multi-platform) is a term used to refer to Computer software or computing methods and concepts that are implemented See also X86 assembly language The generic term x86 refers to the most commercially successful Instruction set architecture in the history of Personal x86-64 is a Superset of the x86 instruction set architecture. ARM, MIPS, x86-64, SuperH are the target platforms for Windows CE / Windows XP Embedded. The ARM architecture (previously the Advanced RISC Machine, and prior to that Acorn RISC Machine) is a 32-bit RISC processor architecture MIPS (originally an acronym for Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages) is a RISC microprocessor architecture developed by MIPS Technologies x86-64 is a Superset of the x86 instruction set architecture. The SuperH (or SH) is brandname of a certain Microcontroller and Microprocessor architecture PDAs are the target platform for Windows Mobile.||i386, x86-64, PowerPC 32/64, SPARC, DEC Alpha, ARM, MIPS, PA-RISC, S390, IA-64, SuperH and m68k, and many PDAs and embedded systems. x86-64 is a Superset of the x86 instruction set architecture. PowerPC is a RISC Instruction set architecture created by the 1991 Apple – IBM – Motorola alliance known as AIM SPARC (from Scalable Processor Architecture is a RISC Microprocessor Instruction set architecture originally Alpha, originally known as Alpha AXP, was a 64-bit Reduced instruction set computer (RISC Instruction set architecture (ISA developed The ARM architecture (previously the Advanced RISC Machine, and prior to that Acorn RISC Machine) is a 32-bit RISC processor architecture MIPS (originally an acronym for Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages) is a RISC microprocessor architecture developed by MIPS Technologies PA-RISC is a Microprocessor architecture developed by Hewlett-Packard 's Systems & VLSI Technology Operation. IBM System z, or earlier IBM eServer zSeries, is a brand name designated by IBM to all its Mainframe computers In 2000 IBM rebranded the existing Itanium is the brand name for 64-bit Intel Microprocessors that implement the Intel Itanium architecture (formerly called IA-64) The SuperH (or SH) is brandname of a certain Microcontroller and Microprocessor architecture The Motorola 680x0 / m68k / 68k / 68K is a family of 32-bit CISC Microprocessor CPU chips and was the primary An embedded system is a special-purpose Computer system designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions often with Real-time computing constraints|
|Backwards Compatibility within a release||Has historically been very good.||Varies significantly The Linux Standard Base (LSB) aims to improve this. The Linux Standard Base, or LSB, is a joint project by several Linux distributions under the organizational structure of the Linux Foundation (merger of Since very few applications or distributions support this standard, many applications will not be compatible even between different distributions using the same version of the Linux kernel.||This refers to the general backwards compatibility of software on the operating system within a single release.|
|Backwards Compatibility between releases||Programs that use LSB functions will work for at least six years on any LSB-compliant distribution.  Non-LSB frameworks and libraries have other compatibility policies||This refers to the backwards compatibility of the operating system between releases.|
|IDEs & Compilers||Several commercial IDEs for sale, such as Microsoft's Visual Studio. In Computing, an integrated development environment ( IDE) is a Software application that provides comprehensive facilities to Computer programmers A compiler is a Computer program (or set of programs that translates text written in a computer language (the source language) into another Multiple free IDEs and compilers, including the GNU Compiler Collection, Eclipse, NetBeans, Pelles C, lcc32, Borland C++, Visual Studio Express (Visual C++, C#, and VB. The GNU Compiler Collection (usually shortened to GCC) is a set of Compilers produced for various Programming languages by the GNU Project In Computing, Eclipse is a Software platform comprising extensible Application frameworks tools and a Runtime library for Software NetBeans refers to both a platform for the development Pelles C is a lightweight Freeware Integrated development environment for Windows and Pocket PC programming in the C language built and maintained LCC ("Local C Compiler" or "Little C Compiler" is a small free Retargetable compiler program for the ANSI C programming language Borland C++ is a C and C++ programming environment (used to be called an Integrated Development Environment) for DOS, Windows Microsoft Visual Studio Express is a set of Freeware Integrated development environments (IDE developed by Microsoft that are lightweight versions of the NET compilers), . NET compilers freely included in .NET Framework, Sharpdevelop, Free Pascal||Several commercial IDEs and comilers for sale such as PGI, Intel, and Absoft's Fortran compilers. SharpDevelop is a free and Open source IDE for the C#, Visual Basic. Free Pascal (or FPK Pascal or FPC is a free, portable, Open source, Pascal and Object Pascal Compiler. Fortran (previously FORTRAN) is a general-purpose, procedural, imperative Programming language that is especially suited to  Multiple free IDEs and compilers, the most common of which are often included in distributions; including the GNU Compiler Collection, Eclipse, NetBeans, Mono, MonoDevelop, Geany, Anjuta, KDevelop, Free Pascal, OpenLDev|
|Support for standards||Windows has a careful anticipation of mass-market user requirements and has created shifting “standardization” around its products through market dominance. A Linux distribution (also called GNU/Linux by distributions such as Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Mandriva and The GNU Compiler Collection (usually shortened to GCC) is a set of Compilers produced for various Programming languages by the GNU Project In Computing, Eclipse is a Software platform comprising extensible Application frameworks tools and a Runtime library for Software NetBeans refers to both a platform for the development Mono is a project led by Novell (formerly by Ximian) to create an Ecma standard compliant. MonoDevelop is an open source Integrated development environment for the Linux platform primarily targeted for the development of software that uses both the Geany is a light-weight cross-platform GTK+ Text editor based on Scintilla with basic Integrated Development Environment (IDE features Anjuta is an Integrated development environment for the C and C++ computer Programming languages written for the GNOME project KDevelop is a Free software Integrated development environment for the KDE desktop environment for Unix-like computer Operating systems Free Pascal (or FPK Pascal or FPC is a free, portable, Open source, Pascal and Object Pascal Compiler. OpenLDev is a graphical front-end to Linux development tools such as gcc, GNU autotools and make. A technical standard is an established norm or requirement It is usually a formal document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria methods processes and practices Standardization (or standardisation) is the process of developing and agreeing upon technical standards.||Because of its collaborative development model Linux has achieved a high degree of openness and configurability while adhering to ISO and IEEE standards. The Collaborative software development model is a style of software development whose focus is on public availability and communication usually via the Internet The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE (read eye-triple-e) is an international Non-profit, professional organization|
Linux distributions come with a great deal of software which can be installed for free, with an especially large collection of computer programming software.  Debian comes with more than 18,000 software packages. Debian ( pronounced) is a computer Operating system composed entirely of Free and open source software. 
Microsoft has had a longstanding emphasis on backwards compatibility.  In general, the Windows API is consistent over time; programs designed for earlier versions of Windows often run without issues on later versions. The Windows API, informally WinAPI, is Microsoft's core set of Application programming interfaces (APIs available in the Microsoft Windows Operating For the sake of progress, however, Microsoft sometimes draws a line precluding support of very old programs. That first happened with Windows 95, where some purely 16 bit Windows 3. 1 applications would not work, and again with Windows XP, where certain mixed-bit applications would not work. 64-bit versions of Windows (XP-64 and Vista-64) drop 16-bit support completely. However, 16 bit emulation and the enormous array of application-specific tweaks (“shims”) within new Windows versions ensure that compatibility with old applications remains very high. 
A major attraction of Windows is the library of games available for purchase. A video game is a Game that involves interaction with a User interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. The majority of current major games natively support Windows and are released first for the Windows platform.
Some of these games can be run on Linux with a compatibility layer like Wine or Cedega. A compatibility layer is a term that refers to components that allow for non-native support of components Wine is a free Software application which aims to allow Unix-like computer Operating systems on the X86 architecture to execute Cedega (formerly known as WineX) is TransGaming Technologies ' proprietary fork of Wine (from when the license of Wine Others, and especially more modern games that rely on proprietary delivery systems, copy protection, Windows dependencies, or advanced acceleration features, may fail. Moreover, those that run usually have quirks that are not present on the Windows platform. Games differ from running slightly better performance than they have in Windows, to a 25% or worse performance cut, depending on the game. 
There are notable exceptions, such as id Software's Doom and Quake series. id Software (ɪd officially is an American computer game developer based in Mesquite, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. Doom (officially cased DOOM) is a 1993 Computer game by Id Software that is a landmark title in the First-person shooter The Quake series is a line of First person shooter Computer and video games produced by Id Software. When a developer chooses to write graphics code in OpenGL instead of DirectX, Linux ports become much easier.
Recently, virtual machines such as VMware Workstation 5. In Computer science, a virtual machine (VM is a Software implementation of a machine (computer that executes programs like a real machine VMware Inc ( is a Software developer and a global leader in the Virtualization market 0 have added support for accelerated 3D graphics. This provides much higher framerates at no performance cost.
There are also numerous Open Source games designed first for Linux.  While most of these are small games like Kolf or Pingus, there are also bigger games, such as Nexuiz and Freeciv. Kolf is a Miniature golf game for KDE, that was developed by Jason Katz-Brown in 2002. Pingus is a free computer game inspired by Lemmings and created by Ingo Ruhnke. Nexuiz is a First-person shooter by Alientrap Software. It is a Free game: source code is Free software and data is Free Freeciv is a multiplayer Turn-based strategy game for Workstations and Personal computers inspired by the commercial proprietary Many have been ported to work on Windows as well. See also Software portability In Computer science, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created
To determine what constitutes secure software, working backwards from insecurity is illuminative. The ideal software to encourage the creation of malware has several characteristics. It should be:
To discourage the creation of malware and reduce its impact, software should therefore have a small user base, rapid updates to neutralize new threats, and a compartmentalized structure that isolates damaged sections.
Compartmentalization is achieved by separating user and root privileges. Prior to Windows Vista, almost all Windows users were given a root account by default because lesser accounts were overly restrictive for most users. Linux user account tiers have historically allowed greater control, precluding the need for all users to have root access. Without root, it becomes much more difficult for malware to spread.
|Malware||According to Kaspersky Lab, more than 11,000 malware programs for Windows were discovered in the second half of 2005. Malware, a Portmanteau word from the words '''mal'''icious and soft'''ware''', is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without Kaspersky Lab (pronounced /kæsˈpɝski læb/) is a Computer security company co-founded by Natalia Kasperskaya and Eugene Kaspersky in  Botnets - networks of infected computers controlled by malicious persons - with more than one million computers have been witnessed. Botnet is a Jargon term for a collection of Software robots or bots that run autonomously and automatically |
Users are advised to install and run anti-malware programs.
|More than 800 pieces of Linux malware have been discovered. The Linux Operating system, Unix and other Unix-like Computer operating systems are generally regarded as well-protected against Computer  Some malware has propagated through the Internet. |
|Open vs. Closed||Claims its platform is more secure because of a comprehensive approach to security using the Security Development Lifecycle. The Trustworthy Computing Security Development Lifecycle is a Software development process used and proposed by Microsoft to reduce software maintenance |
However, due to the nature of closed source, only company programmers can fix bugs.
|Claims its platform is more secure because all of its code is reviewed by so many people that bugs are detected (referred to as Linus's law). Linus's Law can refer to two different notions both named after Linus Torvalds.||Microsoft claims that Windows Vista is more secure than other operating systems.  However, security vulnerabilities have been found in Windows Vista. |
|Response speed||Claims closed source offers a faster and more effective response to security issues, though critical bug fixes are only released once a month after extensive programming and testing and certain bugs have been known to go unpatched for months.||Bugs can be fixed and rolled out within a day of being reported, though usually it takes a few weeks before the patch is available on all distributions.|
|User Accounts||In Windows Vista, all logged in sessions (even for those of "administrator" users) run with standard user permissions, preventing malicious programs from gaining total control of the system. Windows Vista (ˈvɪstə is a line of Operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on Personal computers including home and business desktops |
Prior versions of Windows would assign administrator status to the first user account created during the setup process. The majority of users did not change to an account type with fewer rights, meaning that malicious programs would have full control over the system.
|Users typically run as limited accounts, having created both administrator and user accounts during install, preventing malicious programs from gaining total control of the system.||A malicious program executed under a limited account in both Linux and Windows is limited to the users' data.|
Both Windows NT-based systems and Linux support permissions on their filesystems, except for FAT which has no permission support. Windows NT is a family of Operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993 Linux (commonly pronounced ˈlɪnəks In Computing, a file system (often also written as filesystem) is a method for storing and organizing Computer files and the data they contain to make Templateinfobox filesystem whilst covering all 3 file systems please make any style changes to both at the same time
Linux—and Unix-like systems in general—have a “user, group, other” approach to filesystem permissions at a minimum. A Unix-like (sometimes shortened to *nix) Operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system while not necessarily conforming  Access Control Lists are available on some filesystems, which extends the traditional Unix-like permissions system. In Computer security, an access control list ( ACL) is a list of permissions attached to an object Security patches like SELinux and PaX add Role-Based Access Controls, which add even finer-grained controls over which users and programs can access certain resources or perform certain operations. Security-Enhanced Linux ( SELinux) is a Linux feature that provides a variety of security policies including U In Computer security, PaX is a patch for the Linux kernel that implements least privilege protections for Memory pages The least-privilege In computer systems security role-based access control ( RBAC) is an approach to restricting system access to authorized users Some distributions, such as Fedora, CentOS, and Red Hat use SELinux out of the box, although most do not. The Fedora Operating system is an RPM -based general purpose Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored CentOS is a freely-available Operating system that is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a Linux distribution produced by Red Hat and targeted toward the commercial market including mainframes. 
Most Linux distributions provide different user accounts for the various daemons. In Unix and other computer multitasking Operating systems a daemon (ˈdiːmən or /ˈdeɪmən/ is a Computer program that runs in the background  In common practice, user applications are run on unprivileged accounts, to provide least user access. In Information security, Computer science, and other fields the principle of least privilege, also known as the principle of minimal privilege or just In some distributions, administrative tasks can only be performed through explicit switching from the user account to the root account, using tools such as su and sudo. On many computer Operating systems the superuser, or root, is a special User account used for System administration. su ( substitute user or switch user) is a Unix command used to run the shell of another user without logging out The sudo ( super user do; officially ˈsuːduː though /ˈsuːdoʊ/ is also common command is a program for Unix-like computer Operating systems
Windows NT uses NTFS-based Access Control Lists to administer permissions, using tokens. NTFS (New Technology File System Is the standard File system of Windows NT, including its later versions Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows In Computer security, an access control list ( ACL) is a list of permissions attached to an object In Microsoft Windows Operating systems an access token contains the security information for a Login session and identifies the User, the user's 
On Windows XP and prior versions, most home users still ran all of their software with Administrator accounts, as this is the default setup upon installation. Windows XP is a family of 32-bit and 64-bit Operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on Personal computers including home and On many computer Operating systems the superuser, or root, is a special User account used for System administration. The existence of software that would not run under limited accounts and the cumbersome runas mechanism forced many users to use administrative accounts. This gives users full read and write access to all files on the filesystem. A computer file is a block of Arbitrary Information, or resource for storing information which is available to a Computer program and is usually
Windows Vista changes this by introducing a privilege elevation system called User Account Control that works on the principle of Least user access. Windows Vista (ˈvɪstə is a line of Operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on Personal computers including home and business desktops User Account Control ( UAC) is a technology and security infrastructure introduced with Microsoft 's Windows Vista Operating system. In Information security, Computer science, and other fields the principle of least privilege, also known as the principle of minimal privilege or just When logging in as a standard user, a logon session is created and a token containing only the most basic privileges is assigned. In Microsoft Windows Operating systems an access token contains the security information for a Login session and identifies the User, the user's In this way, the new logon session is incapable of making changes that would affect the entire system. When logging in as a user in the Administrators group, two separate tokens are assigned. The first token contains all privileges typically awarded to an administrator, and the second is a restricted token similar to what a standard user would receive. User applications, including the Windows Shell, are then started with the restricted token, resulting in a reduced privilege environment even under an Administrator account. In Computing, Windows Shell is the most visible aspect of the Microsoft Windows line of Operating systems The shell is the container inside of which the When an application requests higher privileges or "Run as administrator" is clicked, UAC will prompt for confirmation and, if consent is given, start the process using the unrestricted token. 
For more information on the differences between the Linux su/sudo approach and Vista's User Account Control, see Comparison of privilege authorization features. su ( substitute user or switch user) is a Unix command used to run the shell of another user without logging out The sudo ( super user do; officially ˈsuːduː though /ˈsuːdoʊ/ is also common command is a program for Unix-like computer Operating systems User Account Control ( UAC) is a technology and security infrastructure introduced with Microsoft 's Windows Vista Operating system. A number of computer Operating systems employ security features to help prevent Malicious software from gaining sufficient privileges to compromise the computer system
It is easy to have multiple languages installed in Linux and to switch between them while the user is logging in. Almost all applications will communicate with the user in the selected language, because they can detect it from the environmental variable LANG. In MS Windows, localization can be provided by a separate installation of the operating system, or the Multilingual User Interface (MUI) can be used to provide multiple languages on one installation. Multilingual User Interface ( MUI) is the name of a Microsoft technology for Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and other applications that Multilingual User Interface ( MUI) is the name of a Microsoft technology for Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and other applications that