Although the Linux operating system is still a favorite amongst webmasters and web hosting providers, Windows is trailing closely behind and has been gaining popularity during the past couple of years. In the home PC market, Windows is well known as the most popular operating system in the world, with the Mac OS X being a close second. Meanwhile, many regular computer users have never even heard of Linux, despite its popularity in the hosting industry. Windows web hosting is more expensive than Linux hosting, and has a significant number of limitations in relation to software compatibility and licenses. Nonetheless, there is a high demand for Windows web hosting plans, and the majority of major hosting providers offer a selection of Windows hosting packages. The following paragraphs explain the recent rise in popularity of Windows web hosting.
Novice Webmasters and Initial Online Endeavors
As mentioned, Windows has established a reputable brand in the home computer market, and is perhaps the most familiar name when it comes to operating systems. Thus, many novice Webmasters choose Windows web hosting over Linux because of its familiarity and renowned reputation, rather than its features or cost. There are two types of aspiring online business owners – those on a budget that attempt to save as much as possible while building their first websites to mitigate risk, and those that would like to maximize their chances of success and will spare no cost to do so. Individuals within the latter group are usually the ones that will opt for Windows web hosting for their initial online endeavors.
The Need for Windows-Based Applications
Other than novice webmasters, some business owners have a legitimate reason to use Windows web hosting – Windows-based applications. Online businesses that utilize Windows applications like SharePoint and Microsoft Server need a web server with the Windows operating system installed in order to function. Alternatively, it is possible to purchase a Linux web hosting plan and install virtualization software in order to host a third-party operating system like Windows within the Linux operating system. However, most people are not aware of this solution and instead opt to purchase a Windows web hosting plan for their Windows-based business applications.
Windows Performance and Familiarity
The Windows operating system user interface also contributes greatly towards the rising popularity of Windows web hosting during the past few of years. Windows is known for reliable performance, and Microsoft provides continual automatic updates to web hosting providers and computer users. Thus, while it may take longer to repair certain bugs within the operating system, fixes are guaranteed to arrive, and Windows is considered to be much safer than other open-source operating systems like Linux. Even so, Linux is also reliable and safe operating system, and is a cheap alternative to Windows that is suitable for individuals on a budget, or that do not have a need for Windows-based web applications. Although Windows hosting is more expensive than Linux, the margin is not that large, with Windows hosting plans usually only costing $20-$50 more than their Linux counterpart.