Linux accounts are differentiated by the operating system platform that the server runs on.
Windows is a Windows 2000 (or the new Windows server 2003), which are both very much like the Microsoft Windows 98, XP, etc…Except, web server versions are more specialized for hosting web sites and server applications that standard PC operating
Linux is an alternative operating system platform originally developed from open source code and Unix (not from a software corporate giant, like Microsoft). It is not very popular in the Desktop PC market, but has become huge in
the server arena with versions like RedHat, Debian, CentOS and others.
Q: I have a Windows PC, does this mean I need Windows web hosting?
A: No – That does not matter.
So, which one is better for a basic website?
Performance-wise, it is hard to tell any difference at all. With Linux, you tend to get more “bang for the buck”, since there are not the extensive licensing fees as are associated with a Microsoft product. You will notice that in web hosting plans, the Linux accounts typically cost a little less than the Windows hosting accounts.
For the beginning webmaster or hobbyist, Linux seems to be a good starting place due to it’s affordability and versatility. You may find it interesting that about 2/3 of all web sites are hosted on Linux platform. About 1/4 are Windows driven.
For the advanced web developer, the opposing platforms represent different flavors of technology associated to each. For example, Microsoft developers can use “Access Database” and “ASP Script”- while
Linux developers can use “MOD_PERL” and “MYSQL Database” (with HostNed, PHP, CGI and Perl are supported on both platforms). All of this garble is simply different technologies for driving dynamic and very complex sites (like auction sites or shopping malls).
Whichever one you choose, it is not a big deal. Both Linux and Windows are excellent server platforms that can be a very fast and reliable vessel to serve up your website to the world!