As a culture, we've gotten used to corporate feuds: Coke versus Pepsi, McDonald's versus Burger King, Bud Light versus Miller Lite, and of course Mac versus PC. The Mac / PC debate has gotten particularly heated in recent years. The now famous commercials that portrayed the Mac as a hip youngster and the Windows PC as a fuddy-duddy in a cheap suit further polarized both sides, and ultimately helped bring Mac computers more into the mainstream. But the two tech giants continue to battle for market share in the personal computing space, and with the loss of visionary Steve Jobs, who can say if Apple will maintain its reputation for innovation and general coolness. Rest assured that Microsoft will do whatever it can to position itself as the cooler brand, in attempt to capture the huge 18-29 demographic.
As that corporate war rages on in the world of personal technology, an analogous contest is being fought in the world of web hosting servers. While Mac OS and Windows are the big players in computer OS, Windows and Linux are the contestants in the battle for web server supremacy. Without a doubt there are enthusiastic supporters of both operating systems, and indeed both have proven histories of performance and reliability. A quick Google search for 'Linux or Windows hosting' will give you an idea of the competing viewpoints. While the Mac vs. PC battle is carried out in nationwide marketing campaigns, the server OS contest happens largely out of the public eye, in IT blogs and tech forums frequented by those who proudly call themselves Geeks. If you're trying to decide on a hosting plan and you're wondering which OS is best for you, read on.
When Windows is employed in web hosting servers, it's not the versions most of us are familiar with, like XP, Vista or Windows 7. Rather, web servers use one of several versions of Windows created specifically for servers, collectively called Windows Server (not too creative, huh?) Windows Server has a long track record of reliable performance in web hosting applications. It is loved by many webmasters simply because they are more familiar with the Windows interface, and there is less of a learning curve than there would be with a new OS like Linux.
It's important to note, however that for a large segment of web hosting customers, the question of what operating system their server is running does not and should not enter into their decision. The reason is that both OS's are fully capable of providing an intuitive and feature rich user experience for building small or simple websites. The reasons to choose Windows specifically over Linux are more technical in nature:
As we've demonstrated, you should really only concern yourself with the web server OS question if your site creates specific technical requirements. Most sites don't, however, and in those cases I recommend selecting whichever plan best fits your budget. Furthermore, many hosting providers use s certain operating system on all their servers, so choosing a provider is the same as choosing an OS. Both Linux and Windows are powerful and stable systems for web servers and both can provide a simple way to get your website online without a lot of hassle. Whatever OS you pick, be sure to check out our available plans, we're sure there's one that's just right for you.