Windows and Linux are software packages, commonly known as operating systems, which are used by web servers to perform their various functions. Whether to opt for Windows or Linux is a dilemma which is encountered by many clients and a word of advice in this matter is that the web hosting platform is seldom affected by the operating system. This implies that a Windows desktop PC need not be restricted to Windows web hosting and as long as the user has an understanding of his web publishing software, he should be able to make a decision in accordance with his particular needs.

An individual overview of both operating systems would provide the necessary guidelines –

Windows – An operating system made by Microsoft, this package allows integration with all Microsoft products and is particularly noteworthy for its user friendly interface. Some of the available options are Windows 2000 server, 2003 server and Advanced Server and the only factor not in its favor is its high price and extra charges levied for additional software packages. Windows web hosting has the following advantages –

• Provision of ASP support and ASP .NET support

• Seamless integration with the powerful SQL database

• Easy compatibility with PHP and MySQL

• Database support is readily accessible

• IIS web server

Linux – Linux is the collective name given to a bunch of different operating systems and there are a number of companies and individuals who are involved in its subsequent creation and evolution. While its universal compatibility is its foremost benefit, there are other advantages attached to it like affordability and safety with the only drawback being a slightly complex interface. The advantages of Linux web hosting are listed as follows –

• Support for PHP and MySQL is guaranteed

• Compatibility with Apache web server

• Provision of support for Mod Rewrite

• Chmod file permissions are granted

On comparison, it has been found that a user who wishes to cultivate his website on ASP lines must opt for Windows web hosting where as a user who is more interested in PHP development must go for Linux web hosting. There are other factors like OpenBSD and compatibility with Microsoft products and while for the former Linux id recommended for the latter Windows is the perfect choice.

Last but not the least is the security issue wherein Linux scores above Windows as it is considered as being safer and hence more reliable.