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Linux vs. Windows: Which is a better Web host?

The operating systems have converged in Web hosting, making either a good choice and pushing the conversation as to "which is best" to the applications they enable.

It used to be that choosing Windows or Linux to host your Web site made a big difference in the kind of functionality or services offered. On Friday, as this informative article on KnockOutHost.com suggests, the choice between Linux and Windows has become somewhat less stark.

It's not that there aren't differences between the two. Security, programming languages, and more all differ between Linux and Windows. But it's a great coup for Linux to note that, if anything, the functionality available for Linux meets and often exceeds that provided by Windows, making one's choice less about operating systems and more about the Web host's other services:

It is better to pick a Web host based on its features and services rather than on what operating system...is running on its Web servers, as the difference between the two is very little. However, if your Web site particularly requires a certain language due to the programmers you work with...it would be prudent to check for system compatibility before subscribing to a Web host.

If you do not require such specific details, you should simply sit back and let the Web host handle these complicated technical details, and focus on your Web site itself. After all, the content is way more important than the programming language or the OS of the Web servers.

Some will argue with this contention, suggesting that Linux is always better than Windows (or vice versa). It's simply not true--not anymore at least.

I believe that this is a huge step forward for Linux. It has narrowed the functionality and ease-of-use gap and, if anything, has put some distance between itself and Windows as it steps into the lead.

This is what we should want for any operating system: less attention on the operating system and more attention on higher-level features and services. It makes Linux and Windows, in this case, foundations for what users really care about. How well the operating system does its job and then gets out of the way, without calling too much attention to itself, should be the next decade of OS competition.