Linux (and its close relation Unix) and Windows 2012 (and its close cousin Windows NT) are types of software (known as operating systems) that web servers use to do the kind of things that web servers do. You do not need to know any real detail of either to make a decision as to which you need but here a few guidelines.
"Just because you use a windows desktop PC doesn't mean you have to opt for Windows web hosting (and the reverse is true as well). The operating system you use on your desktop has little to do with your choice of web hosts. As long as you understand how to use your FTP or web publishing software, your can use either operating system".
But what is important is that you know what you want your website to do and what you want to offer on it. This is what will ultimately help determine the type of web hosting that will work best for you. As mentioned earlier, interactive websites usually rely on ASP, PHP, or Perl type languages.
Linux Web Hosting or Windows 2012 Web Hosting ?
Make your Choice !
When it comes to Web hosting, Linux has, for some time, been widely onsidered the best OS for Web servers. It's typically found to be the most reliable, stable and efficient system and, as such, it's commonly used for the demanding environment of Web and mail servers. Indeed, IWHost.com runs on the Linux OS precisely because of this traditional stability.
The million-dollar question is what application are you looking to use for your hosting? Consider the tools and scripting languages you plan to use, if you use PHP, Perl or MySQL, Linux is the way forward. If apps are Microsoft-specific ,eg. ASP, ASP.NET, ODBC, MS Access & MSSQL Databases, then Windows is what you need.
If your site, like most web sites, is what might be termed "brochure-ware" then Linux servers are ideal. By brochure-ware I mean a site that offers the kind of information that in the past might have been provided on paper in the form of brochures, newsletters or data sheets. Brochure-ware sites will offer some interaction through enquiry forms and can certainly incorporate online purchasing and other routine e-commerce functions.
If however your site incorporates an online searchable database or interactive chat facilities then Windows 2012 will be a better bet in most cases.
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