UNIX has a philosophy, it has 25 years of history behind it, and most importantly, it has a clean core. It strives for something – some kind of beauty. And that’s really what struck me as a programmer. Operating systems that normal home users are used to, such as DOS and Windows, didn’t have any way of life. Nobody tried to design Windows – it just grew in random directions without any thought behind it. […] I don’t think Microsoft is evil in itself; I just think that they make crappy operating systems.” ~ Linus Torvalds
Microsoft introduced Windows as their signature operating system long back in 1985. Over the next thirty-five years, Microsoft has undergone many dynamic changes. As a result, it has seen both its user interface and functionality changes. Currently, Microsoft is a versatile operating system that is immensely popular among corporates and domestic users. It allows the users to run software, view and store files, watch videos, play games, and stay connected with the internet.
Windows has its own distinct set of features –
- Protected and supervisor mode
- Program Execution
iii. Allows disk access
- Handling I/O operations
- Memory Management with virtual memory multitasking
- Manipulation of the files system
vii. Resource Allocation
viii. Error Detection and handling errors
Although not that popular with casual domestic users, UNIX has been quite prominent in the computing world for some six decades now. UNIX is also an operating system that was first introduced in the 1960s. It has been under constant development since its inception. It is a stable, multitasking, multi-user software system for desktops, laptops, and servers.
Like Microsoft, UNIX also its unique features like –
- Multitasking system
- Multi-user system
iii. UNIX toolkit
- Building-Block approach
- Programming Facility
- Pattern Matching
On that note, here are ten differences that distinguish Windows and UNIX operating systems –
Windows Operating System is software that has its proprietary rights reserved with Microsoft. That implies that its source code is and will never be available to the public.
UNIX was developed to be an open-source operating system. Therefore, it was made using only C and Assembly Languages like C++ and ADD. Since UNIX is an open-source program, the Linux distribution account is the most used OS worldwide. UNIX and all the Linux distributions fall under the General Public License.
- User Interface
Windows Operating System is designed with elementary fundamentals. Microsoft kept the user interface as user-friendly and simple as possible. This is because Microsoft targeted the mass as their client segment. That includes professionals and laymen who plan to use Windows for purely domestic purposes. Since Windows considered the non-IT people as their target customer, you will always find a Windows computer extremely user-friendly. The user interface is very compact and simple so that everyone can work on Windows.
On the other hand, UNIX operating systems are significantly more complicated. The user cannot grasp the concept and use it without basic training. UNIX operating systems have always provided a barrier in front of the newcomers. UNIX always targeted the professionals and people serious about computing as their customer base. So, any Windows user will find things different and complex to work on Linux.
However, Linux distributions have come up with newer operating systems like Ubuntu, aiming to change the users’ perceptions. Ubuntu is more of a GUI-based application and much simpler to navigate than the earlier models of UNIX.
Windows support a system called Multithreading. That means you can create many threads from one single process. This system is mostly used to increase computing power. The USP of the Multithreading process is that multiple threads are executed simultaneously while all the threads share the common address.
However, in UNIX, the operating system uses Multiprocessing instead of Multithreading. That means the user can execute multiple processes simultaneously. In multiprocessing, all the operations have separate address spaces. As a result, you can add additional CPUs to increase the computing power.
- File System
Windows uses File Allocation Table or, as termed by technical guys, FAT32. They also use NTFS or New Technology File System to manage files. This system requires the owner of the executables before executing any process. Usually, in Windows, these files are stored in various data drives like C, D, etc. You can make more than one compartmentalisation in the drive folders according to your requirements.
UNIX, on the other hand, uses STD.IO and STD.ERR file systems. UFS or UNIX File System manages and treats all the physical drives as a single logical drive. As a result, it has an efficient and robust file system. File System is visualised as a hierarchical tree originating from the same root.
- User Accounts
Windows has three types of user accounts –
- Administrator – This is usually the main controller account. This account is responsible for controlling all the services and allows the users to check the activities of other users. It also allows the user to make any necessary changes in the system.
- Guest – This account allows the user to log in to the system once or occasionally. You can log on to the system as a guest only to perform the usual computing tasks. You cannot make any alterations to the existing PC settings, neither you can install any applications.
- Child – This account is made especially for the children of the family. This account comes with a lot of parental lock features. The family safety settings can be monitored only by the administrator.
On the other hand, UNIX also has three types of user accounts –
- Root – Root users are also called Superusers. They are the main admins of the Linux system. They have all the administrator privileges and can manage every service.
- Regular- After the superusers, the next sect is the regular users. They have moderate privileges, and their permissions are mostly for routine computing works. It cannot do any system change and can only perform the tasks it has been authorised for. A regular user can also access and edit files but only those files that have been assigned to them.
- Service – The lowest rung of Linux users who only use the account to run the processes.
- File Name Conventions
The user cannot save multiple files with the same name. It will always show an error in a dialogue box.
However, in UNIX, the user can save multiple files under the same name if necessary.
Security has always been an Achilles heel for Windows. You need minimal permissions to execute any files. Unfortunately, this always carries a higher risk of Malware and virus attacks when you install software unknowingly or from an unverified source.
On the other hand, UNIX is more secure. Executing a simple .exe file is also difficult in UNIX because of the primary protection system. Every executable process needs to be processed with explicit permissions since UNIX treats all its processes equally. Since UNIX is so much more secure, it also carries significantly lesser chances of getting attacked by a virus. Even if the system gets infected, only the User accounts and the Root account remains unaffected by any malware.
- Data Backup and Recovery
Data Backup and recovery of data is simple in Windows. You can do it by using the inbuilt GUI. In the latest version of Windows, the system is integrated with OneDrive, which makes data backup even simpler, since it makes temporary saved copies of your works in case the system malfunctions.
Earlier, recovering data from the UNIX system was impossible. However, in its newer versions like Ubuntu, it has introduced a Live Distribution feature, making recovering data possible even from inaccessible devices.
Windows have almost all the drivers available for its hardware.
But UNIX runs with limited hardware support.
Windows was never the best OS in terms of reliability. Windows used to crash quite often in the past. However, they have improved their performance with the latest updates.
However, the main USP of UNIX was its stability. That is the reason most professionals always preferred UNIX over Windows.
Windows and UNIX both have served computing purposes for a considerable period. However, both have their own sets of benefits and disadvantages and are tailored to meet the specific needs of two different types of users. Follow this blog to know everything about the advantages and disadvantages of Windows and UNIX.
Suhana is a passionate blogger and digital marketing enthusiast. Suhana Williams is one of the most talented bibliography maker who also provide assignment help through Myassignmenthelp. She enjoys the ever-evolving world of digital marketing and loves to share her opinion on every possible update with her audience. When not creating magic with her words, you can find her sky-diving or trekking in the most bizarre locations.