UNIX and Microsoft's Windows Server are the two main competitors in the server software market. Both of them are widely used and are capable of handling very complex tasks. However, they are quite different from each other. In this article we will compare their features to see which one is better.
UNIX is the most popular server platform. It was developed specifically for servers and has everything that a webmaster might need. The biggest reason behind its popularity is its open source nature. That means you can make changes to the core software to suit your needs. This is an amazing feature because every business has its own requirements and UNIX gives them the required level of freedom. Making changes to the source code is not complicated at all. You can easily edit the shell by using the"VI editor" (Don't do this unless you are an advanced user). Due to this capability many people have created custom derivatives of the original software. All these derivatives are themselves open source and you can install any of them on your server. The most popular versions include Red Hat Linux, Debian, SuSe, FreeBSD. Linux and BSD have developed these and most of the other top rated versions. The only shortcoming of UNIX is that it is a bit difficult to use. Newbies often feel overwhelmed by the huge number of complex features.
Windows Server 2003 is the second most popular operating system. Unlike UNIX it is very easy to use and has been developed with unexperienced users in mind. But that ease of use comes with a hefty price tag. You can't use the software on your server without purchasing a license from Microsoft. Also, you can not edit the source code of the operating system without getting into trouble. This is one of the main reasons why Windows Server 2003 isn't as popular as its counterpart. In addition to that, some popular php scripts don't run very smoothly on Windows servers and most wordpress web hosting companies use Linux.
If you are confused as to which operating system to install on your server, you should consider your requirements and level of expertise. If you are an advanced user and/or require a lot of freedom then UNIX is the ideal choice. On the other hand if your are not very tech savvy then go for Windows. Keep in mind that both UNIX and Windows Server are great option and neither one can be labeled as bad. However, one might be more suitable for a client than the other.