You may get confused over choosing Windows or Linux as host operating system in both server and desktop spaces. With focus on aspects of cost, the functionality provided, hardware compatibility, support, reliability, security, existing software, and other factors, here are reasons why Linux can be better option than Windows operating system.

1. Cost of ownership

Linux is free whereas Windows is not. Windows license cost is different for both desktop and server versions. In case of Linux OS either it can be desktop or server, distribution comes with no cost. Even the related applications are completely free and open source.

For personal use, a single Windows OS license fee may appear inexpensive but when considered for business, more employees means more cost. Not only the OS license cost, organization also needs to pay for applications like MS Office, Exchange, SharePoint that run on Windows.

In Windows world, you cannot modify the OS as its source code is not open source. Same is the case with proprietary applications running on it. However, in case of Linux, a user can download even the source code of a Linux OS, change it and use it spending no money. 

2. User friendly and easy to use

Windows OS is one of the simplest desktop OS available. Its graphical user-friendliness is exceptional. Though Windows has a relatively minimal learning curve, Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint are striving to improve the user experience that makes transition from Windows to Linux become smooth and easy.

Linux distribution allows user to choose one of the various desktop environments available: Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, GNOME, etc. If a Windows user is looking to migrate to Linux, WINE can be installed to have a feel of MS Windows on a Linux system.

3. Reliability

Linux is more reliable when compared to Windows. Linux will rock with its top-notch design, built-in security resulting very high up-time. Developers of Linux distributions are much active and release major and minor updates time to time. Traditionally Unix-like systems are known for running for years without a single failure or having a situation which demands a restart. This is an important factor especially choosing a server system. Definitely Linux being a UNIX-like system, it is a better choice.

4. Hardware

Linux systems consume fewer system resources (RAM, disk space) when compared to Windows. Hardware vendors already realized the popularity of Linux and started making Linux compliant hardware and drivers. When running the OS on older hardware, Windows is slower.

5. Software

Windows has a large set of commercial software available. Linux, on the other hand, makes use of open source software available for free. Linux armed with easy to use package managers which aid in installing and uninstalling desired software applications. Linux is armed with decent desktop themes that certainly run faster than Windows.

For developers, the Linux terminal offers superior environment when compared to Windows. Administrators can make use of package managers to manage software and of course, Linux has the unbeatable CLI (Command Line) interface.

6. Security

Linux is almost non-vulnerable and more secure due to its inherent design. Linux does not require the use of commercial anti-virus or anti-malware packages. Linux respects privacy. Unlike windows, it does not generate logs and upload data from your machine.

7. Freedom

Linux can be installed and used it as a desktop, firewall, a file server, or a web server. Linux allows a user to control every aspect of the operating systems. As Linux is an open-source operating system, it allows a user to modify its source itself as per the user requirements.

Linux allows full freedom to install open source applications from its vast repository. With USB live-mode option, you can give a try to test a Linux distribution before you finalize one for you. Booting via live-mode does not install the OS on a hard disk.

8. Annoying crashes and reboots

There are times when Windows suddenly shows an annoying message saying that the machine needs to be restarted. Apart from showing "Applying update of 5 of 246" kind messages, Windows will confuse you with several types of updates critical, security, definition, service pack, tool, feature pack.

When undergoing a software update or installing or uninstalling software on Linux systems, generally it does not need a machine reboot. Most of the system configuration changes can be done while the system is up.

9. Server segment

Linux is installed on the majority of servers demonstrating that it is the best choice with the minimal resource footprint. As software applications are moving to cloud platforms, Windows servers are getting phased out to make room for Linux servers. Majority of the supercomputers to run on Linux.

Though the battle between Linux and Windows continue in desktop-segment when comes to server-segment, Linux is as a clear winner. Organizations rely on servers because they want their applications to run 24 x 7 x 365 with no or limited downtime.

10. Linux is everywhere

From smallest device to largest supercomputers, Linux is everywhere. It can be a car, router, phone, medical devices, plane, TV, satellite, watch or school tablet, Linux will be there.