First and foremost, Windows Server is a commercial product developed by Microsoft, which means it comes with a price tag and licensing fees. On the other hand, Linux is an open-source platform that is generally free to use, although there are enterprise distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that also require licensing fees.
Secondly, the user interface is another key difference. Windows Server typically provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for management, whereas Linux systems are often managed through the command line. This can make Linux more challenging for newcomers, but it also allows for greater flexibility and control for experienced administrators.
In terms of customization, Linux offers more opportunities to customize and fine-tune your system because it is open-source. You can modify the source code, compile your own kernel, or choose from a wide variety of distributions tailored to specific needs. Windows Server, on the other hand, is more of a one-size-fits-all solution with limited customization options.
Lastly, community support is an important factor to consider. Linux has a large, active community of developers and users who contribute to its development and provide support through forums and documentation. While there is also a community around Windows Server, it may not be as extensive or as quick to respond to issues and questions.
In my last role, I managed both Windows and Linux servers, and I found that understanding these key differences helped me make informed decisions about which platform was best suited for specific tasks and applications.