Ubuntu vs Windows – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons)

Ubuntu vs Windows – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons). No matter what you do, whether you’re coding, browsing the web, or watching videos online, an operating system is essential. So, if you’re planning to buy a new PC or upgrade your existing one, you might start wondering which operating system would be the right choice.

Unlike most Linux based operating systems, Ubuntu offers a lot of advanced functionality that is useful for developers and power users. On the other hand, the world’s most popular operating system, Windows, is, of course, the most widespread and easy to use platform available for users of any skill level.

Ubuntu and Windows both are very popular and most widely used operating systems. But the question is, which system will work best for you?

Don’t worry. We’ll help you compare both the operating systems and help you find out which is better based on your requirement. So let’s  look at Ubuntu vs Windows.

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu – A Linux based operating system, was announced in October 2004 by Canonical as an open source operating system. This operating system is known for its reliability. The latest version of the operating system is Ubuntu 22.04. The operating system comes with three official editions: Ubuntu Desktop – for desktop computers, Ubuntu Server – used for creating servers and Ubuntu Core – used for creating Internet of Things and Robots.

Features of Ubuntu

  • Limited user base so Ubuntu is very secure from a security perspective.
  • Ubuntu is equipped with Thunderbird, Mozilla’s popular email application. Enjoy fast desktop access to your email. It can be any you use Gmail, Hotmail, POP or IMAP.
  • Great for Gaming.
  • Backed by Canonical and GNOME 3.36 improvement for visual and performance.
  • WireGuard VPN specially backported.
  • In order to test the system, Ubuntu can run directly from the pen drive without installation.
  • It is best for programmers to work in the Unix environment.
  • The software has a centralized software repository through which the required software can be downloaded.
  • Ubuntu offers a more user friendly interface.
  • In comparison to Windows, Ubuntu’s font family is much better.
  • It is a free and open source operating system.
  • It comes with both a command line interface and a graphical user interface.

Pros of Ubuntu

  • You can use it both for personal and professional purposes for free.
  • In Ubuntu, the process of setting up is straightforward, especially for the purpose of testing.
  • Ubuntu has an easy to use interface.
  • With this Operating System, users can also avoid the hassle of installing drivers.
  • Users do not need to restart their machines if their Ubuntu Operating System needs to be updated since the updates can easily run in the background. As a result, Ubuntu is a preferred option for services like servers.

Cons of Ubuntu

  • In order to use Ubuntu, users must be tech savvy. Users without command line experience may find Ubuntu difficult to use.
  • In addition to this, Ubuntu does not provide the same level of support for some hardware components and software applications as Windows does.
  • Some popular software, such as Photoshop and Microsoft Office, is not supported by Ubuntu. Although Ubuntu offers alternatives for this software, still the user’s experience on Ubuntu is not the same as it is on Windows.

So next in in Ubuntu vs Windows – What’s the Difference, let’s look at Windows.

What is Windows?

Windows was the first ever graphical user interface in 16 bit, released by Microsoft in November 1985. The development was spearheaded by the company’s founder Bill Gates. It is a graphical operating system that allows users to view and store files, run the software, play games, watch videos and provides a way to connect to the internet. 

Microsoft’s latest update is Windows 11, which offers the most advanced features and improvements for desktop and laptop users. Windows has an excellent UI interface and is the most widely used operating system worldwide. It can run on different brands of hardware, such as HP, Dell, and Sony computers, including home built PCs.

Features of Windows

  • Windows 11 is the latest and the best update of the Windows series.
  • Authentication for Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services. LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) server runs as a Windows service and provides a directory for authenticating users on a network. 
  • There is a better snap assist on this OS.
  • Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)a protocol for managing routers and other network devices.
  • Microsoft Edge is the new name of the browser that is a replacement for Internet Explorer.
  • This operating system is the best for gamers.
  • Most of the apps are supported by Windows, and it comes with excellent keyboard and mouse features as well.
  • A very useful and helpful feature of this OS is Cortana, which is a visual personal assistant.
  • The Windows Mobile operating system can be synced with Windows quite easily.

Pros of Windows

  • The Windows interface is easy, intuitive and smooth.
  • As an operating system, Windows is renowned for its compatibility and is capable of supporting a wide range of applications.
  • Windows do not reveal all error details to the user when an error is encountered. Even if a user is technically illiterate, they will still be able to understand the error, unlike in other operating systems where users cannot comprehend the error details if they are unfamiliar with the words and error codes.
  • Windows Operating System installation is a simple and straightforward process.

Cons of Windows

  • In Windows, there are very few options for personalization, such as icons, wallpaper, themes, notification sounds, background, etc.
  • Windows is not free to use. This is one of its major disadvantages. Even if the user wants to upgrade to the latest version of Windows, they have to pay a price.
  • When compared with Ubuntu, Windows consumes a large amount (almost double) of the RAM and disk space on a computer. With a low RAM and Windows operating system, the user experience can be impacted.

Ubuntu vs Windows: Feature Comparison

Follow this article Ubuntu vs Windows – What’s the Difference to learn more about their differences.

Functionality and Customization

Windows Functionality

Windows is the most popular desktop and laptop operating system in the world due to its user friendly interface, which has evolved over the decades. It’s easy even for beginners to navigate on a Windows computer, thanks to the easy installation process and familiar interface (including the Start menu).

Although Windows doesn’t offer a lot of surprises, it is easy to use on a daily basis. With better functionality and more hardware support, the interface is cleaner and simpler.

Ubuntu Functionality

Ubuntu beginners face many of the same challenges. Although there are a few more steps than in the Windows installer, the setup process makes everything simple. Ubuntu is a simple and elegant operating system that comes with a sidebar and a drawer style Start menu to help you find and launch your apps and files.

Basically, the official Ubuntu “flavors” (or versions) alter the Ubuntu interface in every possible way, so you are free to choose among various desktop managers. Basics remain the same, however the Start menu will always exist.

However, Ubuntu’s greatest strength is its ability to be customized and personalized. Unhappy with the interface? The official Ubuntu “flavors” (or versions) change the Ubuntu interface entirely, so you can switch to any number of alternative desktop managers.

Software availability

Windows Software Availability

A major advantage of Windows systems is their software availability. Most of the biggest software programs, including Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office, are designed for Windows and Mac computers. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Linux.

Ubuntu Software Availability

You can run Windows applications on Linux, but not every application will work. Many apps won’t even run, while others are incredibly buggy and difficult to use. Unfortunately, Linux users will need to find alternatives to Windows apps.

One of the greatest advantages of Ubuntu is that all software and application are free and you can install them easily from the Ubuntu built in software center. Yu don’t need to pay for any application or software.

Ease of Use

Windows Ease Of Use

With Windows, everything is done through a Graphical User Interface, which is easier than with Ubuntu. Various complex tasks, such as disk management, device management, scheduling tasks, etc., can also be handled in just a few clicks.

Windows is a graphical operating system so you will need to depends on hardware resources such as keyboard, mouse, etc to perform operations.  In Windows, you will need to install all updates manually. You will also need to restart the  system after the system update.

Ubuntu Ease Of Use

Unlike Windows, Ubuntu provides both graphical and command line interface. So you don’t need to rely on hardware resources to perform the operations. You can do anythin via command line interface.

In Ubuntu, you can install all updates automatically and you don’t need to restart your system after the system update as the update can easily run in the background.


Windows Flexibility

Windows is a commercial and paid operating system. You can not modify Windows kernel or other built in system settings. It does not allows users to modify its source and customize it.

Windows a is a single user operating system. It does not allows multiple user to login to system and work at the same time. In Windows, you will need to install a driver for each hardware device like, printer, scanner or camera.

Ubuntu Flexibility

Ubuntu is a significantly more flexible operating system than Windows because it is open source. Unlike Windows, which can be viewed as essentially a black box from an administrative perspective, it allows you to adjust kernel settings, recompile your kernel, and replace or customize pretty much any component.

Ubuntu is an open source and free operating system so you can download source code of any application and modify it as per your requirements. Ubuntu comes with all major hardware drivers in built. So you don’t need to install them manualy.

Ubuntu is a multi user operating system. So multiple userscan login to Ubuntu system and works simultaneously.

Security and Privacy

Windows Security

Security has always been an issue for Windows, which is plagued with malware and viruses. A built in malware scanner is now available in Windows and a built in firewall that is enabled by default. And that is a great improvement compared to Windows’s previous version.

However, Malware and viruses continue to pose a problem for Windows users and because of their widespread usage of Windows, it became the most targeted OS for hackers. Despite Windows’ market share, hackers regularly discover security flaws and exploits. There is no doubt that Ubuntu is the better option, offering a more secure operating system and far fewer exploits and malware (found).

Ubuntu Security

Linux antivirus programs can be downloaded and installed on your PC if you’re worried about malware. The Linux virus is rare, but it does exist, and, at the very least, a Linux antivirus can easily detect viruses that could spread to other hardware on your network.

Ubuntu is known to be more secure when compared to Windows. This is primarily because the number of users using Ubuntu is far lesser as compared to that of Windows. Generally, hackers main motto is to attack the software that affect maximum computers.


Windows Cost

Windows is neither open source nor free. You should pay for Windows if you’re building your own computer. If you are upgrading from an earlier version of Windows to the latest on your computer, sometime you may also have to pay for it, as some previous versions of Windows do not offer free upgrades.

Ubuntu Cost

On the other hand, as an open source operating system, Ubuntu’s source code is available for anyone to download. It is, therefore, free to download. In addition, you can browse through Ubuntu’s source code to discover how it works. This allows you to make changes and innovate. By doing so, you can contribute to Ubuntu’s development.

Thanks for reading this article about Ubuntu vs Windows – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons). I hope you have increased your knowledge and information about these two tools.

Ubuntu vs Windows - What's the Difference Conclusion

To summarize, where Windows supports a wider range of hardware and offers the widest range of software options, it still falls short on security and privacy, despite recent improvements.

Ubuntu and Windows are ultimately engaged in different battles. Linux distributions like Ubuntu are free, great, secure, and beginner friendly, but Windows is the best choice if you need ease of use and a plug and play system, even if there are a number of reasons not to use Windows (the cost is one of them).

You can always choose both if you can’t decide between them. Ubuntu can be dual booted with Windows or you can run it on Windows directly using the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Linux can also be run as a virtual machine under Windows using VirtualBox.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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