Overview
Microsoft Windows and Linux are the two most well known operating system used for web hosting on servers all over the world. Unlike Linux based operating system Windows offer an interface which is popular for its smooth operation and managements. It supports many Web programming databases and languages; for example MS SQL, ASP.NET,PHP and MySQL. There are several verities of Linux which comprises of the traditional operating system like UNIX. The choice for the right operating system depends on the kind of task you want your website to accomplish, and also to get hold of the desired tools essential for your website. UNIX was developed twenty years back by the effort of both AT&T Bell Labs and Berkeley University. This operating system has been referred to as the “open system” as its source code is easily available to the public.

Some of the Differences:

Linux has provided its users a platform to host ones server in a stable and reliable way. It has been extensively used by the hosting industry for email hosting, database as well as DNS services and also provides web server. It is not only efficient in its service but also quite cost effective. In comparison to Linux which has been in the market for four decades Windows is quite new with its service over a decade. Yet Windows has created a ground of its own especially in the corporate world which has found it as reliable and effective as Linux. As Windows is a commercial product and so it has been built to be user friendly and easily accessible. There are some applications designed to run on Windows only; for example ASP and SQL Databases, the .NET Infrastructure. It has been built in a way so that it is not only easy to use but also one can create and develop applications without hassle. Within a very short span of time Windows has gained more and more popularity. People who are using Windows use its server which hosts Active Server Pages Technology (ASP). Developing websites can be easy using interface provided by Microsoft tools like, Microsoft Access, Visual Interdev and Microsoft FrontPage.

One can easily create a website which is database driven by the help of Microsoft SQL and Microsoft Access, using them as the database. Windows server does not have the secured server stability like that of Linux, as it is required to reboot quite frequently in comparison to Linux. The hosting services provided by the Windows Server may cost the user a lot on the development tools as all of them are products manufactured by the Microsoft. It has been observed that the cost of applications run on Windows is much higher than those on Linux. For an UNIX based site one can find various free scripts for web site, email, chat room, but in the Windows Server one would not find much free applications.

As Windows is a commercial product it is almost impossible to transfer a website to a Linux hosting plan which was developed to run on Windows. The tools available on Windows are absent in the Linux which makes them less and less compatible to each other. It should be noted that filenames in Windows are case sensitive, so while transferring the files to Linux one has to retain some amount of case sensitivity on the server provided by Linux.

Conclusion for The difference between Linux and Windows Hosting:
It can hence be concluded that if your work is not corporate related and has nothing much to do with technology offered by Windows you can easily opt for Linux Hosting which is not only cost effective but also guarantees reliability and stability. But then again if your work is based on SQL Server databases, .NET etc. then hosting based on Windows is your only option.