Most web hosting service providers offer two kinds of hosting: Linux hosting and Windows hosting. In general, Linux hosting refers to shared hosting, the most popular hosting service in the industry. In fact, most of the websites are now hosted using Linux hosting due to its affordable price and flexibility. Linux hosting is compatible with PHP and MySQL, which supports scripts such as WordPress, Zen Cart, and phpBB. Windows hosting, on the other hand, uses Windows as the servers' operating system and offers Windows-specific technologies such as ASP, .NET, Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL server (MSSQL).
If my PC runs Windows, do I have to use Windows Hosting?
The answer is NO. The type of hosting you choose has nothing to do with the operating system your PC runs.
Generally speaking, Linux hosting (or shared hosting) is much cheaper than Windows hosting. Why is that?
Linux is a free open source system; therefore, web hosting service providers do not need to pay licensing fees for using Linux as their hosting servers' operating system. Therefore, web hosting providers are able to offer lower prices for this type of web hosting service.
Bottom line: which hosting service should you choose?
These two types of hosting offer the same level of proficiency. So the type of hosting service you choose greatly depends on what kind of technologies your website needs. For example, if you would like to start a blog with WordPress, or setup an online forum using phpBB, then Linux hosting will be a great choice for you. However, if your website requires specific Microsoft technologies such as MSSQL, you are required to use Windows hosting.