As for running Windows Based Programs
in Linux, there are two solutions. Virtual PC software, or WINE.
As for the differences,...
Windows is a single integrated solution. You have one file manager, one theme engine, one browser. One task for each, and they are included with Windows. One that the average user is aware of, anyway.
Windows is a software bundle, which includes tools needed to maintain the computer.
Linux on the other hand, can be called many different things. A movement, a "kernel", a "breed" of operating systems, or any of a number of things.
Linux is very modular. I'm searching for the right words. Linux comes in several different parts. Each of these parts can be removed, swapped, or added to change the experience, and functionality.
There are "Distributions" that bundle these parts. They bundle several different programs together to create something that has the same, or more functionality than Windows. The software collection can vary greatly, depending on design, and need.
Linux is more secure by design. Windows Vista uses similar security measures, but they are not as polished. Things such as setting the time is a more difficult process in Vista, than in most Linux Distributions.
The process of installing software is fairly different in Linux. Many distributions have their own method. However, there are a few different types, Debian/APT, RedHat/RPM, are just two. Each distribution is practically a different Operating System. You should not compare Linux to Windows, but compare Windows to the individual distributions.
RedHat = Windows Server 2003/XP Professional/Vista Business
Suse = Windows 2000 Pro/XP Professional/ Vista Business
Xandros = Windows XP/Windows 2000/Vista Premium/Business.
Ubuntu = XP Home/XP MCE/Vista Premuim.
D.S.L or Puppy Linux = Windows CE/Windows Embedded.
Personally I prefer the Debian installation method. Xandros, Ubuntu, Mepis, and several others are based on Debian.
This is just a quick overview. Linux is VERY different. Yet the basic use of the computer remains the same. You type with the same keyboard, you browse the web pages with a browser and a mouse. You select the "Print" option from a file menu. But they are still VERY different.
Edited by Monster_user, 01 May 2007 - 05:31 PM.
The Answers are out there, you've just got to know how to find them.