For years, people have turned to Linux as an alternative operating system due to its many advantages over Windows and Mac OS. Some of these reasons include the fact that Linux is free to download and use while the other two commercial operating systems cost money and place heavy restriction. Additionally, Linux users can fully customize their operating system while the other commercial operating systems place heavy restriction in this avenue as well. However, the drawback to having Linux installed is that many popular programs are not compatible with Linux.
However, this does not mean these programs will never work with Linux. There exist a few programs that will allow Linux users to emulate Windows, allowing them to run Windows-only programs that would otherwise not run correctly on Linux. This includes programs like VirtualBox and WINE, and they are immensely popular among Linux users who find it difficult to make the change from Windows.
As previously stated, using virtual Windows on Linux offers a great amount flexibility with compatibility with commercial programs. For business, this might include invoicing software that works only on Windows and does not have a stable Linux release. For personal use, this might include hundreds of games that, again, only work on Windows and do not have true Linux versions available. In both situations, installing virtual Windows on Linux offers a great solution to keep the Linux operating system without having to compromise by getting unfamiliar software.
Another major benefit to getting virtual Windows on Linux includes its easy removal. After installing an operating system side-by-side with another operating system, it is very difficult to remove one without compromising the other, which means that the user may accidentally remove both operating systems or several other problems can arise. With an installed instance of virtual Windows on Linux, the only action needed to remove the virtual operating system is clicking and dragging the virtual hard drive into the Linux trash can.
The Windows operating system is not for everybody. People who enjoy having control of every facet of their operating system would most likely prefer installing the Linux operating system in its stead so that they can take advantage of its total flexibility with customization. However, Linux is an operating system that many major software developers have a habit of overlooking. For example, while many programs might be available on both the Windows and Mac operating systems, there may be no version available or even planned for the Linux operating system.
The primary reason Windows programs do not function properly on the Linux operating system is because Linux functions much differently than Windows. This not only includes the very core of the code but also includes the way the folder hierarchy works. For example, no version of Linux features a C drive with a Program Files folder, and it's certainly true that no Linux version features a folder named Windows. Installing Windows-only programs is therefore impossible naturally because it will not accept the folders that Linux establishes.
If there are programs exclusive to Windows that a new Linux user cannot live without, or if a long-time Linux user finds a program very useful to his needs but find it's only available on Windows, installing virtual Windows on Linux immediately resolves this problem. This is because installing the virtual operating system creates a new virtual hard drive that functions just like a Windows hard drive, complete with a folder for Program Files and much more. When installing the Windows-only program, the user just needs to find the virtual hard drive and select it as a destination. From there, the Windows-only program will recognize the hard drive as an acceptable location and installs it to the computer as normal, even though the true operating system available on the computer is Linux.