Is Windows Bad for Programming?

Windows used to be bad for programming, but not anymore.

One of the main drawbacks for Windows is that it doesn’t have a unix shell.

MacOS and Linux, are both unix based operating systems, and they both have a unix shell.

A unix shell means that the user has a much wider array of terminal commands that can be used. For example BASH commands.

This means that, from a programming perspective, MacOS and Linux are superior.

Despite lacking unix shell commands, it seems that windows is not actually that bad for programming.

2019’s Stackoverflow report for OS usage put Windows at 49.3% for “Professional developers” with MacOS at 29.2% and Linux at 25.3%. So about half of software developers still use windows.

One piece of software that has enabled this is known as WSL and WSL2.

WSL stands for Windows Subsystem for Linux.

provides a Linux-compatible kernel interface developed by Microsoft, containing no Linux kernel code, which can then run a GNU user space on top of it, such as that of Ubuntu1

This means that programmers can get both the benefits of programming, with the stability and support of Windows.

Previously I’d been told that Windows was basically just a piece of junk for programming and that your best bet would be to partition your hard drive and install linux. Now it’s possible to have a linux kernel interface inside your windows installation.